After the agony in the garden, Judas and many men arrive. John would tell us that Judas “received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees” (John 18:3).It’s generally thought, because of Josephus’ writings, that due to all the people who came to Jerusalem for the Passover, these men the Pharisees gave to Judas were the usual hired hands, men who were typically hired to help maintain peace amongst the crowds in Jerusalem, which would explain why there were so many of them and why they all had weapons. Matthew and Mark would both tell us that Judas brought with him “a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders” (Matt. 26:47; Mark 14;43).
Matthew and Mark would also quote what Judas said to the men beforehand. Matthew 26:48 cites Judas as telling them, “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.” Mark 14:44 would also cite him as saying, “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.” He made both of those statements. There were a lot of men. Judas had to have repeated himself so they all knew how His arrest would play out.
When they entered the garden, Matthew records Judas approaching Jesus saying, “Hail, master” (Matt. 26:49). Mark records him as saying, “Master, master” (Mark 14:45). Matthew would tell us that Jesus actually responded to him and said, “Friend, wherefore art thou come?” (Matt. 26:50), which is an astounding line. John said Jesus knew all the things that should come upon Him (John 18:4). He knew what Judas was doing. He knew why. He knew how this would play out. And yet, in this moment, Jesus still willingly called Judas, of all people, a “friend.” And he was. Despite the fact that he had no faith. Despite the fact that He knew Judas would betray Him for some lousy silver. Despite the fact that Jesus affirming His friendship with Judas would guarantee His arrest, He still called him a “friend” before all. Because He was. Despite all that Judas was, Jesus still loved Him. He still wanted for Judas what He wants for all men – to be saved because He loved him. I find that moment simply jaw-dropping.
Luke 22:47-48 tells us, “And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” Luke is the only one who would record this line, which is arguably one of the greatest dramatic lines ever written. This is the kind of line that would make Shakespeare salivate with envy. “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”You have in this moment, the sincerest of love extended by Christ to Judas when He called him “friend” before everyone, and in response, Judas returns His love with a kiss that would seal His death. Jesus was sincere. Judas was a liar.
How the Lord phrased His statement is fascinating. He said, “betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” This was more than just Christ asking him, “are you going to betray Me?” This was Christ asking him, “are you going to betray the Son of Man? Are you going to betray everything you know I am, everything I am here to accomplish with My kingdom, which you know all the prophets spoke of since the world began? Are you going to betray everything that the Father wants to accomplish upon this Earth, everything our people have longed for, everything that your kinsmen in the flesh have come to receive by faith and gave up all their possessions to follow Me, everything that your fellow disciples sacrificed to accomplish? Are you going to betray the entire prophetic program with a kiss?”
Not least of all, Judas had betrayed himself by living a lie before the Son of God when he knew with absolute certainty that Christ was all that He said He was. Everything everyone had worked toward came tumbling down in a moment with the betrayal of a kiss. Judas didn’t even have the decency to betray Him honestly to His face. He would betray Him through a hypocritical lying gesture. He would weaponize an act of love to become a means of death, the kiss of death. A disciple could not have inflicted more pain to the heart of Christ if he had tried.
Christ loved him sincerely. His love is returned with betrayal and death. And Christ would say, simply, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” As if to say, “Are you really going to return all my love for you with death for me?” Albert Barnes would write, “Every word of this must have gone to the very soul of Judas.”
It would seem that Judas didn’t answer His question, and the mob began to close in on Jesus. John would tell us in Joh 18:4-6, “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”
When Christ said, “I am He,” this was an assertion of His deity: “I am that I am.”
When all the men fell backward onto the ground, what happened? Did this mean, as some have asserted, that they all bowed down to worship Him? I don’t think so. We’re given this impression that they all fell backward onto the ground, as though a great unseen hand knocked them over, as if the Spirit pushed them all back. Why? Because in that moment, anyone who wasn’t sure of the veracity of Christ’s claims, they would have no doubt after that. Once they were knocked down, they all knew with certainty that they were dealing with the legitimate Messiah of Israel. And they would all be held accountable to God for their choice in that moment to continue to lay hands upon Him knowing full well who He really was.
Then John tells us in Joh 18:7-9, “Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.” This was not a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy but of what the Lord said to the Father in His High Priestly prayer in John 17:12.
The interesting thing about that prayer was that the Lord told the Father, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” When the Lord said that “those that thou gavest me I have kept” we could have interpreted that verse to mean that the Lord was speaking only in a spiritual sense, in the sense that He was preserving their souls unto eternal life. But in the kingdom, the promised blessings were as much physical as they were spiritual. As long as the Lord was in the world, He protected His disciples both physically and spiritually. Even when the kingdom was being offered again at Pentecost, they were still protected, but by the time we get to Paul’s conversion and the implementation of this new dispensation of the grace, Israel had been set aside temporarily, as well as the offer of the kingdom, and the disciples were then no longer under that protection. By the time we get to Acts 12:1-2, Herod kills James the brother of John with the sword.
Luke would tell us the disciples then asked the Lord, “shall we smite with the sword?” (Luke 22:49). Peter whips out his sword, clumsily swings it and cuts off the ear of a servant of the high priest whose name was Malchus (John 18:10). Jesus would tell Peter, “Suffer ye thus far.” (Luk. 22:51). “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 26:52-54).
In this moment, we’re given a reference to angels. He said, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” What does He mean by saying this? This reference to angels speaks to His free will in which Jesus could have said “no” to all of this and say “no” to the cross. But He made His choice during His agony in the Garden. He made the choice to fulfill His Father’s will and be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, even though He had the power and the authority to call twelve legions of angels and wipe out all these faithless traitors. This statement about angels emphasizes not only His continued authority but also His free will choice to consistently obey the will of the Father by sacrificing Himself upon that cross to pay for all the sins of all mankind.
After this, Luke would tell us that Jesus “touched his ear, and healed him” (Luk. 22:51), which was yet more proof of His deity, His kindness to His enemies, His love shown through miracles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew, Mark, and Luke would record that Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:55-56).
Mark would record that after this, “all forsook him and fled” (Mark 14:50). All the disciples saw the writing on the wall and took off running, abandoning Christ to His fate, which had to have been for Him not only relief because they’re safe but also heartbreak.
We learn from John that Jesus was first taken to Annas, who was father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. Annas was once the high priest, but he had been deposed a few years prior, yet, still wielded great power. We find in Joh. 18:12-13, “Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.” We do not know what was said, but we know that Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas and brought before the chief priests, the elders, the scribes, and all the council (or the Sanhedrin).
It’s during Christ’s time with Caiaphas that Peter would deny the Lord three times.
The hearing before the council begins with some civility. John tells us that “The high priest (Caiaphas) then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, ‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.’ And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, ‘Answerest thou the high priest so?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?’ (Joh. 18:19-23)
Then things really go downhill.
Matthew tells us, “Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none” (Matt. 26:59-60). Mark 14:56 would tell us that “their witness agreed not together” (Mar. 14:56). They couldn’t find collaborating testimonies.
Then Matthew writes, “At the last came two false witnesses, And said, ‘This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’” (Matt. 26:60-61). Mark 14:58 records the witness as saying, “’I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’”
Following this, “the high priest arose, and said unto him, ‘Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?’ But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, ‘I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God’” (Matt. 26:62-63). Luke would record that Jesus said, “’If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.’ Then said they all, ‘Art thou then the Son of God?’ And he said unto them, ‘Ye say that I am’” (Luke 22:67-70).
Mark would record yet another exchange. We find in Mar 14:61-62, “Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, ‘Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’”Matthew would record Him also saying, “’Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven’” (Mat. 26:64). Mark records, “Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, ‘What need we any further witnesses?’” (Mar. 14:63). Which exchange is the correct one? Both of them. They asked the Lord this question repeatedly, and the Lord answered repeatedly, before they rent their clothes and condemned Him.
Then the elders said to the council in Mat. 26:66-68, “’What think ye?’ They answered and said, ‘He is guilty of death.’ Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, ‘Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?’”
After this ordeal, Judas commits suicide by hanging himself.
Easton tell us that Pilate was “Probably connected with the Roman family of the Pontii, and called ‘Pilate’ from the Latin pileatus, i.e., ‘wearing the pileus’, which was the ‘cap or badge of a manumitted slave,’ as indicating that he was a ‘freedman,’ or the descendant of one. He was the sixth in the order of the Roman procurators of Judea (A.D. 26-36). His headquarters were at Caesarea.”
Smith’s Bible Dictionary points out that “One of his first acts was to move the headquarters of the army from Caesarea to Jerusalem. The soldiers, of course, took with them their standards, bearing the image of the emperor, into the Holy City. No previous governor had ventured on such an outrage. The people poured down in crowds to Caesarea, where the procurator was then residing, and besought him to remove the images. After five days of discussion, Pilate gave the signal to some concealed soldiers to surround the petitioners and put them to death unless they ceased to trouble him; but this only strengthened their determination, and they declared themselves ready rather to submit to death than forego their resistance to an idolatrous [intrusion]. Pilate then yielded, and the standards were, by his orders, brought [back] to Caesarea.”
Luke 13:1 highlights how Pilate slaughtered the Galileans. “There were present at that season some that told [Jesus] of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.” Can you believe that blasphemy? Pilate not only slaughtered many Galileans, but he also mingled their blood with the sacrifices.
Easton would tell us that Pilate was a “typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime, mal-administration, cruelty, and robbery. He visited Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, etc., Jerusalem, with [all of] its religiousness… was a dreary residence.”
Pilate was near Jerusalem, probably because of the Passover. He was not in Herod’s palace, either. Archeological evidence seems to indicate that he was in an older palace built by Herod now being used by Pilate and other Roman governors, which was located outside of Jerusalem south of the Jaffa Gate beyond the western wall.
The Lord makes two appearances before Pilate. Luke gives the most detailed account of His first appearance before Pilate. “And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.’ And Pilate asked him, saying, ‘Art thou the King of the Jews?’ And he answered him and said, ‘Thou sayest it.’ Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, ‘I find no fault in this man’” (Luke 23:2-4). That sounds like an awfully quick verdict, doesn’t it? A whole lot more was said than what we’re given here. Plus, I have a theory. Just as the Spirit convicts us now through the Word, we have in the Gospels, the Lord as the Living Word manifest in the flesh. I’ll bet as soon as anyone saw Jesus, the Spirit would convict them and they knew that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Not only would the Holy Spirit convict you, but also most likely the spirit of man as well, the candle of the Lord, that which gives all of us God-consciousness. The spirit of man would have also affirmed within them that Christ was the Son of God. This may explain why Pilate knew instinctively that Jesus was innocent.
Luke continues. “And they were the more fierce, saying, ‘He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.’ When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time” (Luke 23:5-7). This may well tie with Luke 13:1 about Pilate slaughtering the Galileans. Because of Pilate’s history with the Galileans, they thought they had a good chance that Pilate would be easily convinced to slaughter Jesus, too, but they were wrong. So Jesus is taken to
Luke continues further. “And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves” (Luke 23:8-12).
Back to Pilate
We learn in Matthew that when the Lord is brought back to Pilate the stakes are raised. As soon as his sits down on the judgment seat, his wife sends him a message saying, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (Matt. 27:19). When Jesus is brought before Pilate, he asks Him, “’Art thou the King of the Jews?’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou sayest.’ And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, ‘Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?’ And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly” (Matt. 27:11-14, c.f., Mark 15:1-5). Matthew and Mark both record that Pilate “knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy” (Matt. 27:18, Mark 15:10).
So the first thing Pilate tries to do is recuse himself. John tells us “Pilate then went out unto them, and said, ‘What accusation bring ye against this man?’ They answered and said unto him, ‘If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.’ Then said Pilate unto them, ‘Take ye him, and judge him according to your law.’ The Jews therefore said unto him, ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’” (Joh. 18:29-31). This was complete and total balderdash because they many times tried to stone Jesus. They would also later stone Stephen to death in Acts 7 and Paul himself murdered believers in Christ! Paul would admit in Act 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. There was no law saying you could not put someone to death during the Passover. They were only saying these things to Pilate because they feared the people and they wanted to be able to say, “We didn’t put Jesus to death. The Romans did it.”
Pilate takes Jesus aside for a private chat. “Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, ‘Art thou the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’” (Joh. 18:33-34). That was a phenomenal response. Christ challenges Pilate to believe Himself.
“Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence’” (Joh. 18:35-36). Baker would make the point that “This statement has often been misinterpreted to mean, ‘My Kingdom will not be upon this earth.’ But when Jesus said in His prayer in John 17:16, ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,’ He surely did not mean that neither He nor His disciples were upon the earth. He was declaring that His Kingdom did not originate out of this present cosmos-world system. His Kingdom has a heavenly origin, but it will be established upon the earth.”
“Pilate therefore said unto him, ‘Art thou a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice’” (Joh. 18:37). What did The Lord mean by saying, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”? This hearkens back to Joh. 8:47 in which the Lord said, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” In other words, he that cares, he that is attentive to the things of God, those people of faith hear God’s words. He that cares about truth in faith hears the voice of Christ. What a phenomenal statement.
“Pilate saith unto him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, ‘I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?’ Then cried they all again, saying, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas’”(Joh. 18:38-40)
Pilate resorts to Plan C. He first tried to send him to Herod. That didn’t work. He tried to recuse himself. That didn’t work. And now we’re on to Plan C. It was customary during the Passover to release a prisoner and Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but the people wouldn’t have it. So then Pilate opts to flog Jesus and release Him.
Matthew tells us, “Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, ‘Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?’ But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, ‘Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?’ They said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate saith unto them, ‘What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?’ They all say unto him, ‘Let him be crucified.’ And the governor said, ‘Why, what evil hath he done?’ But they cried out the more, saying, ‘Let him be crucified’” (Matt. 27:16-17,20-23; Mark 15:6-15).
In Luke, Pilate tells the chief priests, “Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him”(Luk. 23:13-16). So they whipped him, put on Him a purple robe and a crown of thorns.
Matthew records that “they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head” (Matt. 27:28-30, c.f., Mark 15:16-19).
There is an article I have long loved in the April, 1999, issue of the Berean Searchlight called “The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View” by C. Truman Davis, M.D., M.S. He wrote, “I became interested in (the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ) when…I suddenly realized that I had taken the Crucifixion for granted all these years. It finally occurred to me that, as a physician, I didn’t even know the actual immediate cause of death.”
First, he talks about the Lord’s scourging. He wrote, “Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in His hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first, the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally, spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. Finally, the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped. The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again, there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body)…. The soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp.”
The Final Verdict
After the scourging, John tells us, “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, ‘Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.’ Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, ‘Behold the man!’
“When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify him, crucify him.’ Pilate saith unto them, ‘Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.’
“When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, ‘Whence art thou?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, ‘Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?’ Jesus answered, ‘Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.’
“And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, ‘If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.’ When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ But they cried out, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him.’
“Pilate saith unto them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’”(Joh. 19:1-15).
Matthew tells us what Pilate did after this. “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.’
“Then answered all the people, and said, ‘His blood be on us, and on our children.’ Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. (Mat. 27:24-26, c.f., Luke 23:18-24)