1. Very early in the morning, after having deliberated through the night, the chief priests, elders, and religious leaders, along with the entire Sanhedrin, reached a decision. So they bound Jesus, and led Him away to be handed over to Pilate.
2. When He finally stood before the governor, Pilate asked Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus calmly replied, "I am to each man whoever he says that I am...if you say that I am the King, then to you I am the King."
3. At these words the chief priests started in with another litany of charges and accusations against Him.
4. When Pilate had heard enough, he stopped them and turned his attention back to Jesus, asking Him, "Aren't you going to answer your accusers and defend yourself? Don't you see how many indictments they are bringing against you?"
5. But Jesus by this point had said all that He wanted or needed to say about what was unfolding...He was still...He was silent...He was serene. Pilate was amazed at how someone who appeared to be so resigned to His fate could at the same time seem to be in charge of everything that was happening around Him.
6. Now it was the custom at the Festival to release one prisoner...anyone that the people requested, regardless of his crime.
7. And a man named Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in an uprising against Rome.
8. So the crowd assembled before Pilate and asked him to do for them what he usually did during the Festival.
9. "What is your pleasure?", asked Pilate. "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"
10. He made the suggestion, knowing that it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.
11. But the chief priests were already moving through the crowd...stirring them up...influencing them to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
12. "Well, what do you suggest I do, then, with the one you call the King of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
13. "Crucify Him!" they shouted in unison.
14. "Crucify Him? Why? What crime has He committed?" asked Pilate. But by now a mob mentality had set in, and the people assembled were just mindlessly chanting louder and louder, "Crucify Him!"
15. And, wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. Then he had Jesus brutally flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified.