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The trial of Jesus before Pilate


THE TRIAL OF JESUS BEFORE PILATE
After the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was taken to Pontus Pilate in the morning of the next day for another trial.

The Governor, Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews and Jesus answered, “You have said so.” Of all the allegations that were leveled from the Priests and elders against Jesus, he did not give any response or react in any way.

The custom was that annually, a prisoner was released by the Governor to the people anyone they wanted at the feast. Pontus asked the people whom they wanted him to release to them, whether he should release Jesus or Barabbas.

The Chief Priest and the elders persuaded the people to ask for the release of Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. When Pilate asked them again whom he should released, the people, with one voice asked for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be crucified.

Pilate knew that the crowd wanted Jesus crucified because they envied him. Quiet apart from that, Pilate’s wife had warned him not to have anything to do with the death of the innocent man Jesus. So he washed his hands publicly and declared that “I am innocent of this man’s blood, see to it yourself.” The people told him that let “His blood be upon us and our children!” Pilate released Barabbas and scourged Jesus. Having done that, he delivered him to be crucified. 

The soldiers led him out and stripped him and put a red robe on him. They put a crown of thorns on his head and a reed in his right hand. They knelt before him and mocked him saying “Hail the King of the Jews!”
The soldiers spat on him. They took the reed from his hand and struck his head. Then they removed the robe and put his real clothes on him again. 

They led him away to be crucified.

WHAT STEPS CAN BE TAKEN TO ENSURE FAIR TRIAL
1. The judiciary must be independent of all political interference.
2. Judges must be well paid so that there room for bribery and corruption is narrowed.
3. Judges must be assured that their jobs are secured. There is security of tenure.
4. The judges must be bold and fearless in the exercise of their mandate.
5. The individual must be allowed to express his/her views on all cases as much as the law allows.

WHY PILATE WAS WRONG IN CONDEMNING JESUS
1. Pilate was wrong because he was only trying to please the people in order to save his position.
2. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent of all charges against him so he should not have had him crucified.
3. Pilate’s own wife sent word to him not to have anything to do with the death of the innocent man. So sentencing him was wrong.
4. Pilate was just a plain weak personality and this was manifested in his trial.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Describe the trial of Jesus before Pilate and the Roman authorities as recorded in Matthew.
    b. Give two reasons why Pilate was wrong for condemning Jesus to death.
2. a. Narrate the story of the trial of Jesus before Pontus Pilate.
    b. What steps can be taken into action to ensure a fair judicial system?



OBJECTIVE QUSTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE TRIALS OF JESUS
Test One
1.         During the trial of Jesus, the Jews preferred that Pilate should release
a.         Bar-Jesus
b.         Barsabas
c.         Bartholomew
d.         Barabbas

2.         Which of the following false charges were leveled against Jesus before Caiaphas the high priest? He
a.         Claimed to be Christ, the son of God
b.         Forbade the people from paying tax to Caesar
c.         Forbade the authorities from exchanging money in the temple
d.         Claiming to be the king of Jews.

3.         According to St. Luke, which of the following did not feature in the trial of Jesus before Pilate and Herod?
a.         Pilate did not find Jesus guilty as charged
b.         Jesus asserted that He was Christ, the son of God
c.         Pilate asked Jesus whether He was the king of the Jews
d.         Herod treated Jesus with contempt.

4.         Pilate and Herod suddenly became friends because.
a.         Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate
b.         Jesus performed miracle for Herod
c.         Pilate referred Jesus to Herod who had wanted to see him
d.         Jesus belonged to Herod’s Jurisdiction

5.         Which of the following did Pilate ask Jesus during the trial?
a.         “What is it that these men testify against you”?
b.         “Are you Jesus, the prophet from Galilee”?
c.         “I adjure you by God; tell me if you are the Christ”
d.         “Are you the King of the Jews”?

6.         The trial of Jesus was transferred from the High Priest’s court to Pilate because
a.         Jesus lodged an appeal to the high court.
b.         The High Priest has no power to impose death penalty on Jesus
c.         It gave the high Priest the opportunity to reconcile with the governor
d.         The governor sent troops to stop the trial as a riot was threatening.

7.         At the final trial of Jesus before Pilate, the notorious robber who was released instead of Jesus was
a.         Barnabas
b.         Barsabas
c.         Barabbas
d.         Bartholomew

8.         The final trial of Jesus was presided over by
a.         Pilate
b.         Herod
c.         Caiaphas
d.         The high priest

9.         Herod was happy to receive Jesus for trial because
a . Herod planned to release Jesus
b.         Pilate and Herod were friends
c.         He expected to see a sign
d.         Pilate had communicated with Herod

10.       What allegation was raised against Jesus during His trial before Pilate?
a.         Changing the laws of Moses
b.         Claiming to be the son of God
c.         Being a friend of tax collectors.
d.         Forbidden people to pay tribute to Caesar

Test Two
1.         The trial of Jesus on the eve of the Passover was irregular because
a.         Jesus was not a criminal
b.         The law did not allow such trials
c.         It was not thorough
d.         The leader worked under cover of darkness

2.         When the Roman soldiers put a crown of thorns on Jesus heads, they were
a.         Using it as mockery for a royal diadem
b.         Proclaiming him king
c.         Suggesting that Jesus deserved royal status
d.         Echoing his royal status

3.         Pontius Pilate Presided over Jesus’ trial in order to
a.         Investigate the Jewish charge of treason
b.         Save him from the Jewish charge of blasphemy
c.         Punish him for his Messianic claims
d.         Find out if he was the king of the Jews

4.         Jesus allowed himself to be arrested and taken away for trial in order to
a.         Show that he was law abiding
b.         Plead for his righteousness
c.         Fulfill the scriptures
d.         Prove his disciples faithfulness

5.         At the trial of Jesus, Caiaphas tore his garment to show that
a.         He was unhappy with Jesus answer
b.         Jesus must die on the cross
c.         A blasphemy had been committed
d.         He was not happy with the witness

6.         Before Pilate, Jesus was accused of having claimed to be all the following except
a.         Son of God
b.         Messiah
c.         King of the Jews
d.         Servant of God

7.         Pilate was appointed the prosecutor of
a.         Galilee
b.         Judea
c.         Jerusalem
d.         Decapolis

8.         When the High Priest asked if he was the Messiah, Jesus spoke about the
a.         Son of man coming in his kingdom
b.         Suffering Messiah
c.         Resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion
d.         Restoration of the kingdom

9.         When Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews? He replied
a.         “My kingdom is not of this world’
b.         The kingdom of God suffered violence
c.         “For this cause I was born’
d.         ‘You have said so’.

10.       During the trial of Jesus, He was taken to the praetorium by the soldiers in order to
a.         Continue with their investigations
b.         Stage a mock coronation
c.         Torture him to confess
d.         Detain him until the Jews departed


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