THE long tedious night of anguish at last wore away, and morning dawned upon Jerusalem. Then all the chief priests, together with the elders, the scribes, and the whole Jewish council, called the Sanhedrim, after holding a consultation, proceeded to bind Jesus and lead him away to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. On reaching the Hall of Judgment, however, they were obliged to wait for Pilate; for they dared not enter the Judgment Hall, lest they should by that act be defiled, and thereby shut out from taking a part in the celebration of the Passover. 

"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." 

"Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him,  If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die." "And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king." 

"Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me; what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all." "And the chief priests accused him of many things; but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled." 

"Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place." 





"WHEN Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. 

"And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad; for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 

Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. 

And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. 

And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 

"And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together; for before they were at enmity between themselves. 

"And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people; and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him; no, nor yet Herod; for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will, therefore, chastise him, and release him." 

Now it was the custom for the Governor to release one prisoner at every Passover, whomsoever the people might choose. 

At this time there was in prison a noted outlaw called Barabbas, who was guilty of robbery, sedition, and murder; and Pilate being anxious to deliver Jesus, asked the people whether he should not set him free rather than Barabbas. 

Pilate could easily see that it was only because of their envy that the chief priests had accused Jesus, and he hoped by this appeal to the people to get a decision in favor of his release. 

But the chief priests instigated the people to choose Barabbas, the lawless murderer, rather than Jesus, the Saviour of men. 

Pilate was greatly perplexed, for he knew that the accusations of the Jews were false, and besides this, his wife sent to him, saying, "Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream, because of him." 

When the people insisted on the release of Barabbas, Pilate said to them, "What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? " 

And they cried out saying, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Then Pilate said again, "Why, what evil hath he done? 

I have found no cause of death in him. 

I will therefore chastise him and let him go." 

But they were the more persistent and turbulent, crying out with loud voices, "Crucify him, crucify him!" 

"When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person; see ye to it. 

Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 

"Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified." 

"And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 

And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees, worshiped him."