(First of all, if I have this in the wrong forum, please feel free to move!)
I don’t know about you guys, but I have always found Pontius Pilate’s during the events leading to the Crucifixion more than a little perplexing. My questions specifically centers on: Precisely what was Pilate’s mindset during the whole affair?
I mean, he said numerous times that Christ was not guilty of the crimes for which He had been accused. He even seemingly tried to get Our Savior, as it were, off the hook for what He had been accused of. Pilate even symbolically washed his hands of the whole affair.
Another interesting little tidbit is that we have no record of what Christ said to Pilate after Pilate asked him (in whatever tone he may have used, sarcastic, sincere or some bit of both), “What is [the?] truth?” It seems almost intentionally to be left out of the account, for whatever reason!
My theory ahs always been that something that Christ said may have even moved the governor rather deeply. Maybe He even explained, as best He could, that what was about to happen to Him had to happen. Obviously this is wild speculation on my part, but, maybe Christ told Pilate that He knew that the Jews who were against Him would not relent but to give them a chance to do so as testimony against them. (Again, just some thoughts.)
However, we have a seemingly rather ominous statement in the account of the Crucifixion that, at one point during the whole affair, Pilate and Herod “became friends”. This might indicate that they were both aligned in their desire actually to crucify Jesus(?). Then, again, what of all the denials of Jesus’ guilt and the hand-washing?
I have heard in the past that, either in Catholicism or Orthodoxy (I can’t recall which off-hand), there had, at some point, even been talk of making Pilate (believe it nor not!) a Saint because ofthe apparent unwillingness of his heart to do what he did (even though, arguably, he succumbed to the will of his subjects and perhaps even to fear/cowardice).
So, again, what do you think was Pilate’s mindset during the events of the Crucifixion? Are we to consider every move that he made insincere and somehow politically calculating? Or, are we to consider the handwashing and such a sincere objection to what was being done to Christ? Or, is it somewhere in the middle?
I mean, I suppose a strong argument could be made either way. What is, if any, traditional teaching about Pilate’s mindset/motives/etc. during this time and why?