Luke 23:5-16; John 19:4-15
5 But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”Luke 23:5–16 (NKJV)
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. 7 And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other. 13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him”
In this account of Pilate’s first and second trial of Jesus, Pilate is conflicted about Jesus’ fate. He struggles with either convicting an innocent man or displeasing the people. After hearing He was Galileean, he sent Jesus to Herod, in whose jurisdiction Galilee was. Herod could not get Him to talk, so he sent Him back to Pilate, forging a new friendship with him. Pilate could not bring himself to convict Jesus in this passage.
4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”John 19:4–15 (NKJV)
5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”
8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
The passage in John goes a little further, with Pilate demanding answers from Jesus, and Jesus eventually letting him know that no one has power over Jesus unless the Father gives it to him. Pilate still sought to release Jesus, but the people began to cry out for Jesus crucifixion. What does a good man do when everyone else wants him to do wrong? Pilate had the power to spare Christ, but all the people cried out for him to be crucified. In another account, Pilate’s wife even told him of a bad dream she had warning him to let Jesus go. Yet, Pilate gave Jesus to the Jews by decreeing His crucifixion. While this particular story was a story of a plan of God unfolding, it still gives us a moral: do the right thing!