While Pilate was a Roman governor familiar with shedding blood, he was human enough to see that Jesus was not a guilty perpetrator of blasphemy or a political animal plotting the overthrow of Roman dominance.
Still, Pilate was shrewd enough to recognize a political win by giving the religious crowd what they wanted. With a basin, he washed his hands of innocent blood and put it on the Jewish authorities. They replied that ‘Jesus’ blood would be on them and on their children as well.’[i]
How ironic – his blood would be upon them and their children as well. They meant that his death was justifiable because they viewed him to be a heretic. Jesus meant that his blood was available to pay the penalty for all of their sins and to restore them to God.
When life departed from Jesus on the cross, he was placed in a tomb. This was highly unusual. Most crucified victims were left to rot on the cross and would be devoured by birds and wild animals.
The word on the street was that Jesus had told his followers that he would rise again. If Pilate were to leave the corpse on the cross, would it not be feasible that some of his crazed fans might steal the body and spread the word that he had risen?
That would be a political and religious nightmare. So Pilate contacted ‘Homeland Security’ and gave them an executive order.
There would be no opportunity for false claims of resurrection. Pilate secured the proof of dead man’s bones. Perhaps the proven death of Jesus would have political currency in Palestine. If nothing else, it should bring an end to the outrageous claims of this prophet Jesus.
Three days later, the stone was rolled away. The guards were ‘asleep’. The body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb. How is it that government elite guards would not be able to secure the tomb and then be found asleep? This was unthinkable and certain grounds for the extreme punishment of the guards. There was no way that those men would allow this to happen. So how did it happen?