Saturday, February 27, 2016

Passion Voices: Pilate

Bring me a basin.


What do I do with this man? I don't see that he's broken any real laws--Roman laws I mean--and what do I care about all their religious falderal? Sabbath? Passover? Phalacteries? What is all that to me?

"Are you a king?" I asked him.

"I came to bring the truth."

Truth? What is truth? Does anyone know? Is that Jewish truth? Roman truth? Your truth? My truth?

And then my wife sends me a message, saying "Don't have anything to do with him. I had bad dreams about him." 

Bad dreams? Am I the sender of dreams? Why is all this on my head?

Then I thought I had the answer. It was brilliant, really. The mob was screaming for blood--so I would give them Barrabas. It was one of their stupid traditions, after all--to release one prisoner at Passover.

Barrabas--a piece of work if ever I saw one. A murderer caught red handed. No question about his guilt. Surely they would rather put him on a cross.

No dice! The Pharisees have got them all worked up. They've got to have Jesus-Jesus-Jesus and nobody else. I just don't like this whole business.

It's their voices screaming. It's their decision. Let it be on their heads! After all, that's what they said. "Let His blood be on us." Well then, so be it!

Where is that basin? I want to wash my hands of this mess! 

More water! Hurry!

No good! No good! Why won't my hands come clean? 

It's not my fault!

Photo Credits:
     Pilate with Jesus, by Nicholai Ge
     The Message of Pilate's Wife, by James Tissot
     Christ in front of Pilateby Jacek Malczewski  
     detail of Pilate Washing his Hands), 1533-34, fresco, 
             Church of Santa Maria della Neve, Pisogne (BG), Italy

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