The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And
Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 185: Section 6.
Pilate's Last Appeal
In all that is transpiring early this Friday morning before Pilate, only the
enemies of Jesus are participating. His many friends either do not yet know
of his night arrest and early morning trial or are in hiding lest they also
be apprehended and adjudged worthy of death because they believe Jesus' teachings.
In the multitude which now
clamors for the Master's death are to be found only
his sworn enemies and the easily led and unthinking populace.
Pilate would make one last appeal to their pity. Being afraid to defy the clamor
of this misled mob who cried for the blood of Jesus, he ordered the Jewish guards
and the Roman soldiers to take Jesus and scourge him. This was in itself an
illegal procedure since the Roman law provided that only those condemned
to die by crucifixion should be thus subjected to scourging. The guards took
Jesus into the open courtyard of the praetorium for this ordeal. Though his
enemies did not witness this scourging, Pilate did, and before they had finished
this wicked abuse, he directed the scourgers to desist and indicated that Jesus
should be brought to him. Before the scourgers laid their knotted
Jesus as he was bound to the whipping post, they again put upon him the purple
plaiting a crown of thorns, they placed it upon his brow. And when
they had put a reed in his hand as a mock scepter, they knelt before him and
mocked him, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they spit upon him and struck
him in the face with their hands. And one of them, before they returned him
to Pilate, took the reed from his hand and struck him upon the head.
Then Pilate led forth this bleeding and
lacerated prisoner and, presenting him
before the mixed multitude, said: "Behold the man! Again I declare to you that
I find no crime in him, and having scourged him, I would release him."
There stood Jesus of Nazareth, clothed in an old purple royal robe with a crown
of thorns piercing his kindly brow. His face was bloodstained and his form bowed
down with suffering and grief. But nothing can appeal to the unfeeling hearts
of those who are victims of intense emotional hatred and slaves to religious
prejudice. This sight sent a mighty shudder through the realms of a vast universe,
but it did not touch the hearts of those who had set their minds to effect the
destruction of Jesus.
When they had recovered from the first shock of seeing the Master's plight,
they only shouted the louder and the longer, "Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify
And now did Pilate comprehend that it was futile to appeal to their supposed
feelings of pity. He stepped forward and said: "I perceive that you are determined
this man shall die, but what has he done to deserve death? Who will declare
Then the high priest himself stepped forward and, going up to Pilate, angrily
declared: "We have a sacred law, and by that law this man ought to die because
he made himself out to be the Son of God." When Pilate heard this, he was all
the more afraid, not only of the Jews, but recalling his wife's note and the
Greek mythology of the gods coming down on earth, he now
trembled at the thought
of Jesus possibly being a divine personage. He
waved to the crowd to hold its
peace while he took Jesus by the arm and again led him inside the building that
he might further examine him. Pilate was now confused by fear, bewildered by
superstition, and harassed by the stubborn attitude of the mob.