Jesus Handed Over to Pilate…
Powerless to condemn Jesus themselves, the chief priests hand Jesus over to Pilate:
As soon as morning came, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
He said to him in reply, “You say so.”
The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. -Mark 15:1-5, NAB
Jesus, now being questioned by Pilate, responds similarly to His trial before the chief priests. When asked an honest question, He decides to testify to the truth, but chooses to remain silent against the other accusations against Him.
Most people would choose to defend themselves, especially when they were being unfarily persecuted – and even more so when their life was at stake. But Jesus chose another path. Once again, He fulfilled the Scriptures from Isaiah 53:7, just as He did with the chief priests (read here).
If you have been following along the Daily Bible Verses for the past few days, you can see how the story continues to build. Jesus is nearing His passion, but He continues to follow His Father’s will. Jesus has the opportunity to speak up for Himself in front of Pilate, but once again, He chooses silence.
The chief priests charged Jesus with blasphemy in Mark 14:61-65. Why, then, did they need to bring Him to Pilate? If they had already found Him guilty, what need was there to hand Him over to the Romans? Because the chief priests did not have the power to execute Jesus. To do that, they would need the help of the Romans.
There was one problem, as we will soon find out. There is nothing in Roman law against blasphemy; it is purely a violation of Jewish law. In order to have Jesus crucified, the chief priests would have to present Jesus as a threat to the Roman power in the region.
The plot will only continue to grow thicker from here. Stay tuned to the Daily Bible Verses as we near the end of Mark’s Gospel.