As soon as the sun rose, the chief priests, elders, scribes and the entire Sanhedrin met, plotting to find a way to execute Jesus. They bound him and led him out to hand him over to Pilate, the governor of that area. They did not enter Pilate’s headquarters because they would have become ritually unclean and thus unable to eat the Passover meal.
Pilate came out of his headquarters to speak to them. He asked them “What do you accuse this man of?” They answered “He has been dividing our nation, telling people to not pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that he is the Messiah, our king. We wouldn’t have brought him to you if he weren’t a criminal.”
Pilate replied “You should take him back and judge him by your own law.”
“Our Law doesn’t allow us to sentence anyone to crucifixion,” they replied. In saying this, they fulfilled Jesus’ prophecy as to how he would be killed.
Pilate then went into his headquarters, summoned Jesus, and asked him “Are you their King?”
Jesus answered, “You have said the truth. Are you asking me for yourself if I am the Messiah, or have others said it to you?”
“I’m not Jewish, am I?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and the chief priests brought you to me. What have you done to warrant that?”
“My kingdom is not an earthly one. If it was, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But actually, my kingdom is not of this world.”
“Then you are a king?” Pilate persisted.
“You say that I am.” Jesus answered. “This is why I was born, why I came into this world – to speak the truth. Everyone who is truthful listens to what I have to say.”
“What does ‘truth’ mean?” asked Pilate.
Pilate then told the Jewish authorities that he found no reason to press charges against Jesus.
The Jewish authorities began to accuse Jesus of many things, saying that he riled people up through his teachings, all throughout Judea, from Galilee to here.
Jesus did not answer their accusations.
Pilate said to Jesus “Don’t you hear all that they are accusing you of? Aren’t you going to say anything?” And Jesus still would not defend himself. Pilate was stunned.
MT 27:1-2 and 11-14, MK 15-1-5, LK 23:1-5, JN 18:28-38a