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Updated: 03/22/2013 08:00:02AM

The trial of the centuries

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T he trial of Christ was, without a doubt, the court confrontation of the ages: a calm and quiet prisoner standing before a cringing, cowering judge. Most Bible commentators refer to this historic courtroom drama as “Christ before Pilate,” but the late respected writer, H.A. Ironside, called it “Pilate before Christ.” He saw Pilate as only an earthly judge standing before the One who would someday judge him.

The presiding judge that day desperately wanted to discover a reason to find this peaceful prisoner guilty of some crime so he wouldn’t offend his constituency. Pilate was already in deep trouble for decisions that had caused unrest in the area and had been reprimanded by Tiberius, the Roman Emperor, for offending local leaders on two previous occasions. He couldn’t afford another incident. Now he risked the wrath of the accusers of this prisoner, as well as his superiors in Rome, if he couldn’t come up with some good reason to declare this prisoner guilty.

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