The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920
The Jews saw that they were losing favor with Pilate, and they brought forward the second complaint against our Lord, shouting, 'Jesus forbade paying taxes to Caesar.' This further roused the procurator's anger and he exclaimed.
"' That is a lie, I must know more about that than you do. It is my place to see that all tributes are paid.'
" Although this man is of obscure birth, he is the chief of a large party. When at their head he denounced, curses on Jerusalem, and related parables of double meaning regarding a king who is preparing a wedding feast for his son. The multitude whom he gathered together on a mountain tried to make him a king, but it was sooner than he intended, his plans were not matured, and he fled away and hid himself. Lately he has come for ward much more. The other day he entered Jerusalem at the head of a tumultuous crowd, who by his orders filled the air with acclamations : c Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed be the empire of our father David which is now beginning.' * He obliges his followers to pay him royal honors, and tells them that he is the Christ, the Anointed of the Lord, the Messiah, the King promised to the Jews, and he wishes to be addressed by these fine titles.'"
When witnesses gave testimony to these last charges, Pilate became thoughtful. He had but a vague idea of the gods, thinking that they lived on Olympus, as his pagan education taught him. But since he became procurator of Judea, he heard that the Jewish prophets had foretold that one would appear among them, who would be the Anointed of the Lord, their Saviour, their Deliverer from slavery and from the Roman dominion. He learned that Persian priests, leaders of the religion of Zoroaster, who worshiped God under the name of Ormuzd, had come from the East, and entering that very same palace inquired of Herod where the expected King was born, as they had seen his star in the East and came to adore him.
According to the Roman custom still followed in all civilized lands the judge takes his seat to open court. Just as Pilate sat on his throne to hear the case, his wife Claudia sent him a message snying, in the Gospel words:
"And as he was sitting on the judgment seat his wife sent unto him saying: * Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in dreams on account of him.' (Matt, xxvii. 19.)
"And Pilate seeing this was afraid, and sought to go away from the tribunal .... And Pilate summoning the Jews said to them:
"'You know that my wife is a worshiper of God, and prefers to adhere to the Jewish religion with you.
" The Jews say to him, 'Yes, we know.' Pilate says to them: 'Behold my wife (One MS. has here "Procla.") has sent to me : "Have nothing to do with that just man. For many things have I suffered on account of him this night.'
"And the Jews answering Pilate, said: 'Did we not tell thee he was a sorcerer, and behold he has sent a dream to thy wife.'
"And Pilate having called Jesus, says to him, 'What do these witnesses say against thee ? Sayest thou nothing?'
"And Jesus said: 'Unless they had the power, they would say nothing, for every man has the power of his own mouth to speak both good and evil. They shall see to it.' (One MS. has " Let them see to It.")
"And the elders of the Jews answered and said to Jesus: 'What shall we see ? First that thou was born of fornication; secondly, that thy birth in Bethlehem was the cause of the murder of the infants; thirdly, that thy father Joseph and thy mother Mary fled into Egypt, be cause they had no confidence in the people.'
"Some of the bystanders, pious men of the Jews, say, 'We deny that he was born of fornication. For we know that Joseph espoused Mary, and he was not born of fornication.'
"Pilate says to the Jews, 'Who said that he was born of fornication ? This story of yours is not true, because they were betrothed, as also these your fellow-country men say.'
"Annas and Caiphas say to Pilate: 'All the multitude of us cry out that he was born of fornication, and we are not believed. These are proselytes and his disciples.'
"And Pilate, calling Annas and Caiphas, says to them : 'What are proselytes ?' They say to him : 'They are by birth children of the Greeks and have now become Jews.'
"And those that said he was riot born of fornication, viz: Lazarus, Asterius, Antonius, James, Amnes, Zeras, Samuel, Isaac, Phinees, Crispus, Agrippas and Judas, (There is a variation in some of MS regarding these names.) say : 'We are not proselytes, but are children of Jews, and speak the truth, for we were present at the betrothal of Joseph and Mary.'
"And Pilate calling these twelve men, who said that he was not born of fornication, says to them : 'I adjure you by Caesar's health, tell me whether it be true, what you say, that he was not born of fornication.'
"They say to Pilate: 'We have a law against taking oaths, because it is a sin, but let them swear by the health of Caesar, (One MS has "Let them swear.") that it is not as we have said, and we are liable to death.'
"Pilate says to Annas and Caiphas: 'Have you nothing to answer to this ?' Annas and Caiphas say to Pilate : 'These twelve are believed when they say he was not born of fornication. All the multitude of us cry out that he was born of fornication, and that he is a sorcerer, and he says that he is the Son of God, and a king, and we are not believed.'
"And Pilate orders all the multitude to go out, except the twelve men, who said he was not born of fornication, and he ordered Jesus to be separated from them. And Pilate says to them: 'For what reason do they want to put him to death ?' They say to him. 'They are angry because he cures on the Sabbath!' Pilate says: 'For a good work do they wish to put him to death ?' They say to him : 'Yes.'
"And Pilate filled with rage went outside of the praetorium, and said to them, I take the sun to witness that I find no fault in him. (It was the custom among the Romans when pronouncing the sentence or death on a prisoner, for the judge to raise his hands to the sun, whom they worshiped on Sunday, and witness that he was not guilty of the prisoners blood.)
"The Jews answered and said to the procurator. 'Unless this man were an evil-doer, we should not have delivered him to thee And Pilate says: ' Do you take him and judge him according to your law.' The Jews said to Pilate. * It is not lawful for us to put any one to death.' Pilate said : 'Has God said that you are not to put any one to death, but that I am ?'