In yesterday’s Blame Game we highlighted the Controllers dislike of appearing to be the one in charge, especially when they are. We pointed out Abraham’s falsified conversation with Yahaveh to make sure Abraham would remain blameless, and therefore influential in future lifetimes. The reader was challenged to find Abraham in the second story in the post. Let’s see if we can find him in the following story.
The Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 63 BCE began their rule of Judea and Israel. The Romans did not try to forcibly convert the Jews to the Roman pagan religion or worship their Emperors as gods. History had shown them this would cause rebellion and make them more difficult to rule.
The Romans appointed the leaders of the Jewish society. Herod I was appointed as king of Judea ruling from 37 BCE to 4 CE. Caiaphus was appointed as Jewish High Priest by the Roman prefect Valerius Gratus in 18 CE. These men and their courts/staff owed their position to Roman authority. If the Jews had won independence they would have been executed.
Pontius Pilate was the Prefect appointed after Gratus, in 26 CE. Little is known of Pilates life before this appointment. Normally a Prefect would have served as a military commander but there is no record of Pilate having done so. The appointment to the tiny Prefecture was not one of high prestige.
Who gave him the post is debated. It may have been Emperor Tiberius or the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard Lucius Sejanus. Sejanus took control of the Praetorian Guard (Royal Bodyguard) in 14 CE. He used his position to gain influence and control over Tiberius. He eliminated political rivals including Julius Caesar. When the Emperor retired in 26 CE Sejanus administered the Empire. His rule ended when he was arrested, tried and executed for treason against Tiberius in 31 CE. It is unclear who appointed Pilate.
Pilate went against the earlier tradition of not pressing against the religion of the Jews (Wikipedia). He brought in standards bearing the image of the Caesar and caused protest by the Jews. He did the same with shields. In another incident he had a crowd dispersed, killing many, protesting his appropriation of temple funds. The first two incidents show his disdain for Judaism.
Jesus the Nazarene was tried (30 – 33 CE). He was brought to the High Priest Caiaphus (Matt c26, Mark c14, Luke c22 and John c18) where he was beaten. Then he was taken to Pilate (Wikipedia).
Pilate is said to have “washed his hands” of the affair. What does this really mean? Roman soldiers were present with the priests who arrested Jesus. The gospel accounts make Pilate out to be reluctant in the affair but (Wikipedia) according to Josephus “Pilate alone […] is said to condemn Jesus to the cross.” According to Luke, Pilate sends Jesus to Herod Antipas who finds no fault with him and returns him to the Prefect.
Pilate took the accused, Jesus, before the priests or the people depending on the Gospel account. In Luke it’s the priests and leaders of the Jews.
Luke 23;13 Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading men and the people
18 But as one man they howled, ‘Away with him! Give us Barabbas!
Skip a bit Brother Maynard
23 But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts kept growing louder
24 Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted.
Reminiscent of the conversation in Blame Game but with a twist. According to John in chapter 18
14 It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people.’
These accounts indicate the condemnation of the Jews for Deicide is not only unfounded but the result of the manipulations of a few, well placed, men: Pilate and Caiaphus. The Prefect was the only man who could sentence someone to death, and many where on Golgotha, the mountain of skulls. Could Pilate have been a reincarnation of Abraham? Maybe it wasn’t Pantera after all.
The release of Barabbas the bandit (John) or the inciter of riots (Luke) is significant. Pilate’s attempts to goad the Jews to rebel was to gain an excuse to destroy Israel and Judea. Nero used the strategy by having his image placed in the Temple. This lead to an uprising and the eventual destruction of the Jewish nations (Wikipedia).