Faithlife
Faithlife

Pilate Monologue

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All my misfortunes stem from the death of the Nazarene, the one they call the Christ.  My life is full of torment and affliction.  Not because of the injustice of my exile by Caesar.  

It all began when Tiberius Caesar, the Emporer of the Roman Empire confirmed my appointment as Procurator, or governor in your day, over the new Roman territory of Judea & Samaria.  He said, Pilate, you have a fine government; just let your hand be firm and your words conciliatory.  Act in public matters in your usual good sense and never forget the Roman maxim, "parcere subjectivis et debellar superhos" - that is "spare the submissive and crush the haughty".   At the Palatine I was instructed to make the Roman name be a positive thing in the minds of all Judea.  Let all you do bring blessings down upon the Roman name.  We, the Romans, he said have allowed the Jews their King, their religion, their temple, their laws... It's time the conquest be strengthened by a paternal government.  

I reached Jerusalem, took solid possession of the government and gave orders for a splendid feast.  I invited the tetrarch of Judea, the high-priest and the other Hebrew dignitaries and princes.  At the appointed time, not a guest appeared!

Some days later the tetrarch came by to honor me with a visit, but he was cold and full of dissention.  He pretended that their religion would not allow them to sit at our table.  I accepted, but from that day, the conquered where in declared hostility to the conquerors. 

Jerusalem at that time was the most difficult subject-city in the world to govern.  I was always expecting a revolt.  The people were so turbulent.  To suppress the potential revolt I had only a centurion and a handful of soldiers.  I request reinforcement of troops but was told there wasn't enough.

Of all the rumors that circulated there was one that caught my attention.  Public rumor and my officials reported of a young man in Galilee with remarkable sweetness of speech and a noble austerity of manner.  He went from city to city preaching a new law in the name of God who had sent him. 

At first I thought this man was a threat and intended to rouse the people against us.  I was concerned that his words were preparing for a revolt.  My fears were quickly distinguished.  I promptly learned that this Jesus the Nazarene spoke of the Romans more favorably than the Jews.  He was a friend of the Romans. 

One day, as I passed the pool of Siloe, there was a large gathering of people in the midst of a young man standing with his back to a tree.  He quietly addressed the crowd.  I was told that it was Jesus.  Never had I seen such a mild glance, so calm a face.  I didn't want to cause a disturbance so I continued on and my secretary remained to give me a full report of his words.  Never had I heard comparable words in all the sayings and speeches in public or in books.  He reported that a rebellious Jew approached and asked if tribute should be paid to Caesar, Jesus answered with "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God's"

From that point forward I reserved great liberty to this Nazarene.  It would have gone against good Roman sense to arrest him - that would be acting against justice.   In fact, I saw to it that Jesus was under my protection, likely against his knowledge.  He was free to gather groups, speak and travel throughout the region without any intervention or trouble for him or any of those listening to him. 

This great liberty which I afforded Jesus greatly displeased the Jews, not so much the common people but the rich and powerful.  They were the ones Jesus did not spare in his discourse.  On one occasion Jesus criticized the charity of a rich man, saying the mite of the poor widow was far more precious to God. 

New reports of insolence and complaints came to me daily.  I was told that he would be assaulted and it wouldn't be the first time that Jerusalem had stoned those who called themselves prophets.  They threatened to appeal to the Emperor if I refused them justice.  I had no intentions of falling prey to their threats so I reported immediately to Caesar and requested reinforcements.... of which I was informed that aid was contained in war with Parthia and would come after that war ended; an indeterminable delay given wars with Parthia never end. 

These Jews hated me and were trouble since I set foot in Judea.  Reminded of the day when I arrived and brought the presence of the Roman guard into Jerusalem.  this resulted in great revolt from the Jews.  They objected to the banners of Caesar which I paraded through Jerusalem.  They finally appealed to Caesar who yielded and had my government remove the banners from Jerusalem due to their religious beliefs. 

Too weak at this time to repress a revolt I determined to make a move in an effort to pacify the city without having to make any humiliating concessions - So I sent for Jesus of Nazareth.  He received my message with respect and came straightway. When I saw this Nazarene enter my basilica it was as though an iron hand held me to the marble of the pavement.  This Nazarene was as calm as innocence itself;  He stood before me, with a single gesture, as if to say: Behold ME!  For some time I remained contemplating, with mingled terror and admiration, this extraordinary man, type of physical perfection unknown to any man or sculpture. 

Once my emotions has subsided I spoke to him.... For nearly 3 years now, I have allowed you freedom to speak publicly everywhere, without regret.  There is a majestic simplicity in your speech which raises you above any philosoper.  I have been pleased to allow the freedom you afforded and the Emporer has concurred. 

Youu must, however, be aware, that your words have provoked great criticism and powerful enemies against you.  You have become an object of hatred.  I gave him no commands but charged him seriously to spare the pride of his enemies.  

He responded saying my words spring from a "false wisdom".  He spoke of the futility in stopping the revolt against him as they were obeying the very voice of God.  He spoke of his blood being shed.

I quickly told him I don't wish his blood to be shed.  He is more precious to me than any haughty Pharisee who abuses Roman patience and conspires against Caesar.  I told him I will defend him against them and that my palace was open as a place of refuge, an available asylum.   

He replied quietly with an air of godlike grace, " When the day comes, there will be no shelter on earth nor in the depths, for the son of man.   What is written in teh book sof the prophets MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED".  

I then siad,  I made a request, now I give a command.  The preservation of order in the province requiires you to bring the tone of your speech to become more moderate.   My voice became calm as it seemed that my voice could not be harsh in the presence of this one who calmed thet storms.

Jesus told me, Prince of Earth, I do not bring war to the nations, but charity anad love.  Persecution cannot come from me; I expect it from others, and do not flee before it.  I go before it, in obedience to the will of my father who has appointed my way. 

He then disappeared from my presence.  

The great feast of the Jews was upon us.  City crowded with a growing rebel force of those who chimed for the death of the Nazarene.  I learned that the temple treasury was used to stir the populace in that direction. 

I was alone in a mutinous city too weak to suppress the disorder and with no choice but to tolerate it. 

I learned of the religious leaders having already seized Jesus.  Hoping that I would tacitly acquiesce in their design for death, they brought him before me shouting "crucify him"  .  Three powerful sects joined together against this Nazarene; Herodians, Saduccees and the Pharisess.  These groups had a hatred towards Jesus and towards me for the Roman yoke upon them and their land.   They frequently remembered when I wished a contribution from the treasures of the Temple towards building a water viaduct. 

Caiaphas, the high-priest condemned him to death and hypocritically sent him to me to pronounce the sentence.  I quickly judged it to be a matter for Herod being he was a Galilean.  Herod in humility protested and deferred to me.  My palace resembled a citadel besieged by an army.  For at every moment the revolting crowd was reinforced by new arrivals.  It seemed that all Judea had invaded Jerusalem. 

As I sat on the tribunal, my wife send word….

I made a last effort to appease them and ordered for his scourging, this Nazarene, hoping this would suppress their desire for his death.  They only shouted the louder.  The marble palace staircase trembled from the roar of the crowds. 

Their ferocious cries shook the very foundations of the palace, with one man, the Nazarene himself as calm - one might have taken him as a statue of innocence.

Washed my hands... allegorical meaning of my act…

I offered them Barabas, but they wanted Jesus’ life. 

It gradually became quiet with everyone following to the place of execution leaving the city silent and mournful as a tomb.  The sounds brought by the wind from Golgotha announced to my horrified ear a death-agony such as never nature underwent before.  Darkness covered the land.  At the first hour of the night I wrapped myself in a cloak and walked down into the city toward the gate leading to Golgotha.  The sacrifice was consummated. 

Shame, despair, fear and remorse were in every heart.  When I returned to the palace, an old man, Joseph of Arimathea begged for Jesus’ body to bury. 

The third day, reports came, that Jesus has risen!   He is Risen!  He truly was not of this earth!  He is risen…. He is risen… He is risen….

From that time forward, I set no limits to my hatred against the people who had forced me into both crime and cowardice.  I struck terror into Jerusalem.  Resulting in my exile.

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