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The Scourging of Christ Tiziano Vecellio

Pilate's Clean Hands & Jesus' Bloody Body — From The Garden To The Cross

Welcome to another special edition of the Share Life podcast. We're in an ongoing podcast series, as part of the discovery process for my next book project, From The Garden to the Cross: How Jesus' Harrowing Mission Shows Us The Way.

In this discussion, we're reflecting on the moments where Jesus was sentenced to flogging and crucifixion after he was returned to Pilate by Herod.

For those just now following along, this event takes place after Jesus' agonizing prayer in the garden, his arrest, betrayal by Judas, a night of scheming to find a way to sentence Jesus to death by the religious leaders, the three denials by Peter, the death of Judas, Pilot asking Jesus about Truth, and Herod directing Jesus to entertain him and his guests.  

In this episode, we read and discuss my harmonization of the story from the different accounts of Jesus' life, and then, we explore the story through the following questions: What we can learn about Jesus, humanity, and ourselves from this monumental moment in time? How does this event apply to our lives today?

Discussion Highlights

Some topics of the discussion included:

  • How much we are like that roaring mob that called for Jesus' crucifixion.
  • The voice of truth that came through Pilate's wife.
  • The wavering allegiance and decision-making of Pilate.
  • We, as Christians, are called to follow in Jesus' sufferings.
  • How God's grace and mercy are demonstrated through these tragic events.
  • How this is a story of God's love for us.
  • How the abundance of opportunity and intervention did not prevent Jesus from going to the cross.
  • How Pilate claims to have the power but acts as if he has no power.
  • How much our perspective informs how we see the world, how we assume that perspective to be a complete picture of reality, and how that informs how we act.
  • The importance of wise counsel and listening to others, especially during stressful and difficult situations.
  • How everything that unfolded, including Jesus' suffering and death, was not a surprise to God. In fact, he used it for his plan to redeem humanity.

Fellow Conversation Participants

In this episode, I'm joined by Akilah, Ray, & Chi Chi.

I'm grateful for their participation in this episode and for helping to make the book better.

Listen to the Discussion

Click here to listen in on Anchor directly, or click play below to immediately begin streaming.

You can also find this discussion on Stitcher, Itunes, and wherever you listen to podcasts under the name, Share Life: Systems and Stories to Live Better & Work Smarter or Jason Scott Montoya.

Watch The Conversation

Click here to watch this discussion on Youtube directly, or click play below to begin streaming the video.


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My Harmonized Account of Pilate Washing His Hands & Jesus' Scourging For Reference & Study — An Excerpt From The Book

Mark 15:6-20 | Matthew 27:15-31 | Luke 23:13-25 | John 18:39-40, 19:1-16

Pilate regathered the religious leaders and the crowd to announce his conclusion.

“You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

As was the custom each year during passover, the governor offered to release one prisoner based on the people’s preference.

One such notorious prisoner available for release was Barabbas, a murderous revolutionary. The crowd wanted him released and went to Pilate with their request. 

Pilate, who knew the religious leader’s arrest of Jesus was out of envy, asked the crowd the following question.

“Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah, King of the Jews?”

Immediately, a message from his wife was passed to Pilate, who was sitting on his judgement seat.

“Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

Unfortunately, the crowd had been stirred up by the religious leaders calling for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus. The Roman governor, willing to release Jesus, asked again.

“Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”

The crowd responded loudly.


Pilate called out the crowd.

“Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

Dominantly, they shouted.

“Crucify him!”

Pilate quipped back.

“Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

The mob ignored him shouting even louder to crucify Jesus. 

With a riot seemingly on edge, Pilate realized he wasn’t getting anywhere and sent for a bowl of water to wash his hands. As he cleaned his hands, he spoke to the crowd.

“I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

The raucous people responded loudly.

“We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”

To pacify the raucous crowd, Pilate released Barabbas and ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 

They took Jesus to their headquarters (known as the Praetorium) and the entire Roman regiment came out to watch. The soldiers stripped Jesus and placed upon him a purple robe. They also wove a crown of thorns and placed it on the head of Jesus with a reed stick in his right hand as his scepter. They knelt before and mocked him.

“Hail! King of the Jews!”

The insults and mocking continued after they blindfolded him. They spit on him, slapped his face, and struck him with a reed stick.

“Prophesy to us! Who hit you that time?”

When they were tired of their games, they took off the robe and placed his clothes back on.

Pilate went back outside to address the people and spoke the following.

“I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 

Jesus was brought out to the crowd with the crown of thorns on his head and wearing the seamless purple robe. Pilate spoke.

“Look, here is the man!”

Seeing Jesus, the leading priests and temple police chanted.

“Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Pilate responded.

“Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find him not guilty.”

The Jewish leaders responded with force.

“By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”

On hearing the roaring crowd’s response, Pilate was frightened. 

Going back to his headquarters, Pilate questioned Jesus.

“Where are you from?

Jesus remained silent. Pilate demanded an answer.

“Why don’t you talk to me? Don’t you realize I have the power to release you or crucify you?”

Jesus responded.

“You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

Pilate attempted to release Jesus, but the religious leaders responded with a piercing rebuke.

“If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

Pilate brought Jesus before the crowd once more and proceeded to sit on his judgement throne (a platform called the Stone Pavement, or Gabbatha in Hebrew). Now about noon on the day of Preparation for the Passover, pilate spoke to the crowd of people.

“Look, here is your King!”

The crowd roared in response and together they yelled.

“Away with him! Crucify Him!”

Perplexed, Pilate responded.

“What? Crucify your king? 

The religious leaders shouted back once more. 

“We have no king but Caesar!”

Pilate caved and turned Jesus over to be crucified.

Hero Photo: The Scourging of Christ – Tiziano Vecellio (Titian)

Additional Resources

From The Garden To The Cross, Podcast - From The Garden To The Cross

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