We continue our reading notes on Matthew’s Passion narrative, in the weeks leading up to Easter.
Today we look at the trial before Pilate, in which Matthew continues to emphasise the innocence of Jesus. Although it may seem Pilate is concerned with Jesus’ innocence, his delaying tactics are probably more about toying with the Jewish rulers to show who was really in charge. After all, Pilate had a reputation for being brutal and self-serving, and was quite hostile to the Jews early in his rule. He caused great offence when he attempted to set up a Roman standard within Jerusalem, when he tried use temple treasury money to fund aqueduct construction, and when he defiled the temple sacrifices by mixing human blood in with them (see Lk 13:1).