Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle.
He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer.
Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations.
Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.
(Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)
Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people,
and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent.
Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty.
So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”
Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!”
(Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.)
Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus.
But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”
But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed.
So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded.
As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.