Pilate went back out to the crowd of Jews and said, “I don’t see any reason to press charges here. But there is that Passover custom where I release a prisoner. Do you want me to release your ‘king of the Jews’?”
“No!” They shouted. “Don’t release him. Release Barabbas!” Barabbas was a rebel who had been arrested for taking part in an uprising against Rome.
So Pilate took Jesus and had him beaten. The soldiers who beat him also wove together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They hung a purple robe around him and mocked him, saying, “All hail the king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
Then Pilate went back out to the crowd and said, “Look, I don’t find any reason to press charges, so I’m turning him back over to you.” Jesus came out at that moment dressed in the crown of thorns and purple robe, and Pilate announced, “Here you go, all yours.”
But the Jewish leaders started shouting, “Execute him! Hang him on a cross!”
Pilate answered back, “You hang him on a cross. I already told you I don’t have any reason to press charges.”
The Jewish leaders pressed him: “There is a reason! He’s broken our law by claiming to be the Son of God. And that’s punishable by death.”
This news shook Pilate up and he went back inside the palace. He questioned Jesus again: “Where are you from?” Jesus didn’t answer. “Are you refusing to speak to me? Don’t you realize it’s in my power to free you or to execute you?”
Jesus answered, “Any power you have over me has been granted you from a higher authority. It’s those guys outside who turned me in who bear the greater guilt.”
From that point on, Pilate really wanted to release Jesus, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “He’s claiming to be king and that makes him an enemy to Caesar. If you let him go, then you’re an enemy to Caesar too.”
Finally Pilate brought Jesus out to the crowd and then he sat down on the judge’s seat, which was called the Stone Pavement (Gabbatha in Aramaic). It was about noon of the Preparation Day of the Passover. “Here’s your king,” Pilate announced.
The Jews shouted back, “We don’t want him! You take him! Hang him on cross!
“You want me to execute your king by hanging him on a cross?” Pilate asked.
“Caesar is our only king,” the priests called back.
Finally Pilate gave the OK to have him executed by hanging on a cross.