The Lord, bound, is led to the residence of the Procurator Pontius Pilate. They are in a hurry to finish. Jesus, in silence, and with that dignity of His that is reflected in His bearing, passes through some narrow streets on the way to Pilate's residence. "It was already daylight, the inhabitants of the city had awakened and were coming out of their doors and windows to see a prisoner so well known and admired for his holiness and his works. The Lord went with his hands bound, and the rope that bound his hands was attached to his neck: this is the penalty that was given to those who had misused their freedom against their people. He would be cold in that early morning, and sleepy; his face, disfigured from blows and spittle; disheveled from the last pulls they gave him; bruises on his cheeks, and his blood clotted and dried. Thus the Lord appeared in public in the streets, and everyone looked at him in horror and awe. It was clear to all that, as they had treated Him and led Him away, it was but to condemn Him."
Jesus passes from the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin to that of the Romans, because the Jewish authorities could condemn to death, but not execute the sentence. That is why they go as soon as possible - in the early hours of the morning - to the Roman authority, in order to obtain, by all means, that they put Jesus to death. They want to put an end to Him before the feast. The Son of Man will be handed over to the Gentiles, and they will mock him, he will be insulted and spat upon, and after being scourged, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.
An unusual situation is taking place. The one who days before spoke freely in the Temple with such majesty - no one has ever spoken like this man - the one who had entered Jerusalem acclaimed by all the people, was now imprisoned and mistreated by the Jewish authorities. He who had performed so many miracles and was followed by a crowd of disciples, is treated as an evildoer. The people would be amazed and would not speak of anything else in the city. They would call one another to see such an amazing event: Jesus of Nazareth had been taken prisoner!
They led Jesus into the square of the praetorium. But those who accused him did not enter the praetorium so that they might not defile themselves and eat the Passover, for the Jews were legally unclean if they entered the house of foreigners. "O impious blindness! -exclaims St. Augustine. It seems to them that they are going to defile themselves with a strange house, and they do not fear to become impure with a crime of their own". Once again, the very strong words that the Lord had said to them some time before were fulfilled: "You blind guides, you strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Pilate went outside where they were6, Jesus is standing before Pilate; Pilate can see the peace and serenity of the accused, in contrast to the agitation and haste of those who wanted his death.
Pilate said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight that it should not be delivered to the Jews; but my kingdom is not from here. Pilate said unto him, Art thou then a king? Jesus answered, Thou sayest it, I am a king. This will be the last statement before his accusers that the Lord makes; then he will be silent as a dumb sheep before the one who shears it.
The Master is alone; his disciples no longer listen to his lessons: they have abandoned him now that they could learn so much. We want to accompany him in his pain and learn from him to have patience in the face of the little setbacks of each day, to offer them with love.