Now Pilate is now with the Roman government.
In all Jesus had 3 religious trials and 3 civil trials, 6 trials in all.
Pilate is a very interesting character. He ruled as governor from 26 to 36 A.D. If you want to understand why Pilate is having such a struggle because he will admit to the crowd that there's nothing wrong with Jesus. He didn't commit any crime. "I find no fault with this man."
How Pilate took office is very interesting.
Herod the Great who was ruling at the birth of Christ.
· At the time of his death he had his territory broken down into 3 sections and those 3 sections were left to each of one of his three sons.
· So instead of "one" ruling now we had three different rulers over three different sections of Jerusalem.
Antipas, Archelaus, and Philip were his sons.
Well Archelaus was 18 years old and he was just as evil, if not worsen than his father.
So what they did is that Rome called him in and had him put to death, and decided for his territory that they would break it up and let different governors rule over certain sections. So Pilate is one of the governors and he's in charge of the Jerusalem area and he's got problems.
You have to understand that the Roman leadership was commanded to be in charge but you couldn't get the Jewish people upset. Basically they are held captive by the Roman government but they gave them freedom.
· You can exercise your own religious freedom
· Have your own laws
· Try your own people
· Be in charge of your own people
· But then the Roman government is over them.
So there was always a contingent of soldiers around in the various areas to make sure the Jews keep in line. Well Pilate started getting in trouble prior to this incident right here with Jesus.
Pilate was getting into trouble.
He came back into town one day and he had his flags waving and the standard barriers were carrying his flags and on the end of the flagpoles were different characters engraved; eagles and different heads of different animals, just for decoration.
Well the Jews said "you can't do that. You are corrupting Jerusalem.
Those are idols and we don't believe in worshipping of idols".
He didn't listen to them so they went to Rome and complained.
So the headquarters in Rome sends a message back telling him, take them off. Don't get the Jewish people upset.
Then at one time Jerusalem was having problems with its water and he said he would take care of the problem for them. He wanted to build an aqueduct and bring in fresh water for all of Jerusalem. Just as a gift to help the Jewish people. Except he didn't have the money to do it. So he took a group of soldiers and went over to the temple and by force he robbed, took all the money out of the temple to build this aqueduct, this freshwater system for the city.
· So the people came to protest in front of his headquarters there in Jerusalem. But he had soldiers dressed like Jewish civilians and dispersed them throughout the crowd that was coming to protest.
· And when he gave the signal these undercover agents began to beat up the Jews.
Well that is strike two, because the Jewish people complained to Rome and Rome came back at him.
Then there was a third time, (it was actually after this incident) when he decided that he's going to put up shields in Herod's palace there in Jerusalem with the heads of the various kings and rulers and Caesars that have ruled in Rome.
And he put up these pictures and these shields up on the wall.
Well the Jews complained again. They said that's idolatry and you are corrupting our city.
So Rome eventually called him in, 36 AD, found him guilty of these violations and had him killed.
So this is Pilate.
At the time of Jesus being brought to him he already has got two strikes against him. He hasn't put the shields up yet (the incident that caused his death), but you know he's been warned twice now and all of a sudden the Jewish people are coming to him and they are saying, their saying crucify this Man.
And Pilate is going, He didn't do anything wrong. But the Jewish people say we said crucify Him. Yeah ..but you don't understand we can't even have a trial there's no charge against Him. Crucify Him any way!
So you can understand Pilate feels like if I do not cater and compromise to the Jewish people, they are going to complain against me again.
His conclusion is it's better to give up an innocent man for crucifixion and satisfy the Jews than to have them complained and he has a third complaint against him. That is the history of Pilate.