For Lent, I am reflecting on the events leading up the Jesus’ crucifixion by reading part of David Seccombe’s The King of God’s Kingdom.
With Jesus’ appearance before Pilate, we get connected with secular history. Pilate seems like a ruthless, self-interested figure from all we know outside the Bible. So it is a surprise that Pilate goes out of his way to get Jesus released.
Perhaps this is what went wrong with the priest’s intention to quickly execute Jesus before the crowds knew anything about it. They seem to have expected Pilate to rubber-stamp their death sentence.
Of course, one approach would be to say that, because the secular accounts of Pilate do not seem to match the gospel’s characterization of him, the gospels have made Pilate’s reluctance up.
However the Matthew gives us a reason for Pilate to have altered his stance toward Jesus. His wife sent him a…
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