Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning. The Jews did not want to be made "unclean." They wanted to be able to eat the Passover meal. So they did not enter the palace.
Pilate came out to them. He asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?"
"He has committed crimes," they replied. "If he hadn't, we would not have handed him over to you."
Pilate said, "Take him yourselves. Judge him by your own law." "But we don't have the right to put anyone to death," the Jews complained.
This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken about how he was going to die would come true.
Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He ordered Jesus to be brought to him. Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Is that your own idea?" Jesus asked. "Or did others talk to you about me?"
"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What have you done?"
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not part of this world. If it were, those who serve me would fight. They would try to keep the Jews from arresting me. My kingdom is from another place."
"So you are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right to say I am a king. In fact, that's the reason I was born. I came into the world to give witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked. Then Pilate went out again to the Jews. He said, "I find no basis for any charge against him.
But it is your practice for me to set one prisoner free for you at Passover time. Do you want me to set 'the king of the Jews' free?"
They shouted back, "No! Not him! Give us Barabbas!" Barabbas had taken part in an armed struggle against the country's rulers.