It was very early in the morning. The chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law, and the whole Sanhedrin, made a decision. They tied Jesus up and led him away. Then they handed him over to Pilate.
"Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "Yes. It is just as you say," Jesus replied.
The chief priests brought many charges against him.
So Pilate asked him again, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they charge you with."
But Jesus still did not reply. Pilate was amazed.
It was the usual practice at the Passover Feast to let one prisoner go free. The people could choose the one they wanted.
A man named Barabbas was in prison. He was there with some other people who had fought against the country's rulers. They had committed murder while they were fighting against the rulers.
The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
"Do you want me to let the king of the Jews go free?" asked Pilate.
He knew that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd. So the crowd asked Pilate to let Barabbas go free instead.
"Then what should I do with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
"Crucify him!" the crowd shouted.
"Why? What wrong has he done?" asked Pilate. But they shouted even louder, "Crucify him!"
Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd. So he let Barabbas go free. He ordered that Jesus be whipped. Then he handed him over to be nailed to a cross.
The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace. It was called the Praetorium. They called together the whole company of soldiers.
The soldiers put a purple robe on Jesus. Then they twisted thorns together to make a crown. They placed it on his head.
They began to call out to him, "We honor you, king of the Jews!"
Again and again they hit him on the head with a stick. They spit on him. They fell on their knees and pretended to honor him.