Now Jesus was handcuffed.  In this powerless state he was brought face to face with Pontius Pilate, the most powerful man in the whole country.  Pilate had the authority to release Jesus or to have him executed.  What he couldn’t do is get a straight answer out of him.  For some reason Jesus didn’t even want to defend himself.  Perhaps he knew that Pilate would never understand his message?  Perhaps he wanted to teach Pilate a lesson about the limits of his power?

In the end it turned out that Pilate, the most powerful man in the land, was more scared than Jesus, the prisoner in the dock. Under pressure from the crowd Pilate released a convicted murderer and sentenced Jesus to death.

Mark 15: 1-5, 15

The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. …

Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas and handed Jesus over to be crucified.

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