In John 19:1-16 we read that Pilate was not eager to kill Jesus.
In fact, he was hesitant.
He had already attempted to free Jesus once by offering the Jews the choice between Jesus and Barabbas, but they chose Barabbas (John 18:38-40).
Now, in order to appease the bloodlust of the Jews, Pilate had an innocent man flogged. Jesus wasn’t just whipped. The type of whip used had sharp pieces of metal or bone attached to the ends of strips of leather. Being whipped like this would leave the flesh torn to pieces, and it wasn’t uncommon for people to die from it. Often people who were going to be crucified were first flogged like this because it weakened them making them die quicker once crucified.
After Jesus was flogged, he was humiliated even more as they placed a crown of thorns on him, dressed him a purple robe to signify his royalty, and mocked him. Pilate then brought him back out to the Jews and hoped that they would relent but they didn’t. The chief priests continued to scream out for Jesus’s crucifixion.
Pilate still wanted to release Jesus, but then the Jews threatened him. They told him that if he released Jesus, then he was not a friend of Caesar’s. Therefore, they forced his hand and Pilate had no choice but to hand Jesus over to be crucified.
An important thing to note here is that Pilate, a Gentile, could sense something different about Jesus. He knew Jesus was innocent and he feared him. But God’s own people, the Jews, could not see their Messiah even though he was in their midst.
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