IV- Pontius Pilate’s attempts to save Christ
Pilate, the Governor, was thoroughly convinced of the innocence of Jesus Christ, he therefore, had a pre-planned scheme to save Jesus’s life. As a responsible official of the Roman Empire he could not openly come to the forefront, but he was the master-mind behind the whole scheme and the chief actor in the drama. Other characters of the show were Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable councillor and disciple of Jesus Christ. He had already had a sepulchre hewn out in a rock garden nearby. Another actor in the drama was a learned Jew named Nicodemus who was also in the know of the whole matter. We read of him in St. John:
“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes about a hundred pound weight”. (John 19: 39)
It was very clever of Pilate to choose Friday afternoon as the time for Jesus’s crucifixion so that he could not rernain on the cross after sunset, the following day being Sabbath, so holy to the Jews. He selected Joseph and Nicodemus as the most trusted friends to execute the pre-arranged scheme. All necessary measures were adopted to bring Jesus to consciousness. Otherwise what did Nicodemus mean by bringing the mixture of myrrh and aloes ? Jesus was shown to have died in official records to pacify the Jews and the Imperial government at Rome. Joseph of Arimathaea boldly asked the Governor to hand over the ‘body’ of Jesus which request he readily granted. If the plan was not pre-conceived how could the Governor hand over the ‘body’ of Jesus to a stranger from outside. There is reason to believe that Jesus Christ himself must have been informed of the plan so that his prophecy might come true that as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Nicodemus’s meeting with Jesus Christ the previous night brings into lime-light the whole story.