Jesus before Pilate. Is pronounced not guilty. Jesus before Herod and is tortured and returned to Pilate, who again declares him innocent. The Jews demand his death. Pilate's wife urges her husband to have nothing to do with the punishment of Jesus. Pilate weeps.
INTO the palace of the Roman governor the Jews would enter not lest they become defiled and be unworthy to attend the feast; but they led Jesus to the palace court, abd Pilate met them there.
2 And Pilate said, Why this commotion in the early day? What is your prayer?
3 The Jews replied, We bring before you one, an evil and seditious man.
4 He has been tried before the highest council of the Jews and has been proven traitor to our laws, our state and to the government of Rome.
5 We pray that you will sentence him to death upon the cross.
6 And Pilate said, Why do you bring him unto ? Go to, and judge him yourselves.
7 You have a law, and by the sanction of the Roman law, you have a right to judge and right to execute.
8 The Jews replied, We have no right to execute a man upon the cross, and since this man is traitor to Tiberius, our counsellors believe that he should meet the most humiliating death--the death upon the cross.
9 But Pilate said, No man can be found guilty of a crime by Roman law until the testimony all is in, and the accused has been permitted to defend himself;
10 So I will take your bill of charges, with the evidence you have, and judge by Roman law.
11 The Jews had made a copy of the accusations in the language of the Roman court, and they had added to the bill:
12 We charge that Jesus is an enemy of Rome; that he demands that men shall pay no tribute to Tiberius.
13 And Pilate took the bill; his guards led Jesus up the steps into the palace hall.
14 And Jesus stood before the Roman governor, and Pilate read to him the charges of the Jews, and said,
15 What is your answer to this bill? These charges, are they true or false?
16 And Jesus said, Why should I plead before an earthly court? The charges have been verified by perjured men; what need I say?
17 Yes, I am king; but carnal men cannot behold the king, nor see the kingdom of the God; it is within.
18 If I had been king as carnal man is king, my servants would have stood in my defence, and I would not have willingly surrendered to the minions of the Jewish law.
19 I have no testimony from the sons of men. God is my witness, and my words and deeds bear witness to the truth;
20 And every man who comprehends the truth will hearken to my words, and in his soul give witness unto me.
21 And Pilate said, What is the truth?
22 And Jesus said, Truth is the God who knows. It is the changeless one. The Holy Breath is truth; she changes not and cannot pass away.
23 And Pilate went again unto the Jews and said, This man is guilty of no crime; I cannot sentence him to death.
24 And then the Jews grew boisterous; they cried aloud and said, Our council surely knows. The wisest men of all the land have found him guilty of a score of crimes.
25 He would pervert the nation of the Jews; would overthrow the Roman rule and make himself the king. He is a culprit come from Galilee; he must be crucified.
26 And Pilate said, If Jesus is from Galilee he is a subject of the governor of Galilee, who should be judge.
27 Now, Herod had come down from Galilee and with his suite was in Jerusalem.
28 And Pilate sent to him the Lord in chains; he also sent a copy of the charges, and of the testimonies of the Jews and asked that he would pass in judgment on the case.
29 And Herod said, I have heard much about this man and I am pleased to see him in my court.
30 And then he asked the Lord about his claims, about his doctrines and his aims.
31 And Jesus answered not a word; and Herod was enraged; he said, Do you insult the ruler of the land by answering not?
32 And then he called his guards and said, Take you this man and torture him until he answers me.
33 The guards took Jesus and they smote him; mocked him; wrapped him in a royal robe; they made a crown of thorns and put it on his head; they put a broken reed into his hands;
34 And then they said deridingly, All hail, thou royal king! Where are your subjects and your friends?
35 But Jesus answered not a word. Then Herod sent him back to Pilate with this note of courtesy:
36 Most worthy counsellor of Rome, I have examined all the charges and the testimonies that you sent to me regarding this seditious man from Galilee, and while I might adjudge him guilty of the crimes as charged,
37 I yield to you my rights as judge, because you are superior to me in power. I will approve of any judgment you may render in this case.
38 Now, Pilate and the tetrarch had been foes, but the experience of this hour destroyed their enmity and they were friends in after days.
39 When Jesus had been brought again to Pilate's court, the Roman Governor stood forth before the accusers of the Lord and said,
40 I cannot find this Nazarene to be a criminal as charged; there is no evidence that he should suffer death; so I will scourge him well and let him go.
41 The Jews cried angrily, It is not meet that such a dangerous man should live; he must be crucified.
42 Then Pilate said, I bid you wait a little time. And then he went into an inner room and sat in silent thought.
43 And as he mused his wife, a godly woman, chosen from among the Gauls, came in and said,
44 I pray you, Pilate, hearken unto me: Beware of what you do this hour. Touch not this man from Galilee; he is a holy man.
45 If you should scourge this man you scourge the son of God. Last night I saw it all in vision far too vivid to be set aside as idle dream.
46 I saw this man walk on the waters of the sea; I heard him speak and calm an angry storm; I saw him flying with the wings of light;
47 I saw Jerusalem in blood; I saw the statues of the Caesars fall; I saw a veil before the sun, and day was dark as night.
48 The earth on which I stood was shaken like a reed before the wind. I tell you, Pilate, if you bathe your hands in this man's blood then you may dread the frowns of great Tiberius, and the curses of the senators of Rome.
49 And then she left, and Pilate wept.
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