(Jerusalem. Early Friday Morning.)
^C Luke XXIII.6-12.
^c 6 But when Pilate heard it [when he heard that Jesus had begun his operations in Galilee], he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.7 And when he knew that he was of Herod's jurisdiction [Herod was tetrarch of Galilee -- Luke iii.1], he sent him unto Herod, who himself also [|also| includes both Pilate and Herod, neither of whom lived at Jerusalem] was at Jerusalem in these days. [|These days| refers to the passover season. Pilate had come up from his residence at Cæsarea to keep order during the passover, and Herod had come from Tiberias to keep in favor with the Jews by showing his respect to their festival. Hearing that Jesus was a citizen of Herod's province, Pilate saw an opportunity to do two things: first, by sending Jesus to Herod he would either shift or divide the grave responsibility in which he was placed; second, he would show a courtesy to Herod which might help to remove Herod's enmity toward him, a courtesy which perhaps might be the reverse of the discourtesy which likely caused the enmity -- Luke xiii.1.] 8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was of a long time desirous to see him, because he had heard concerning him; and he hoped to see some miracle done by him. [As to Herod's previous knowledge of Christ, see Luke ix.7-9.] 9 And he questioned him in many words; but he answered him nothing.10 And the chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him. [The rulers felt that their case had well-nigh failed before Pilate, so they became the more urgent in the presence of Herod, since Herod had less reason to fear them than Pilate. In the midst of this, Jesus stood silent, answering neither question nor accusation. Herod, as sated ruler, adulterer, and murderer, wished Jesus to turn juggler for his amusement; but the Son of God had nothing but silence for such a creature. The only contemptuous word which Jesus is recorded to have spoken had reference to this ruler -- Luke xiii.31, 32.] 11 And Herod with his soldiers set him at nought, and mocked him, and arraying him in gorgeous apparel sent him back to Pilate. [Herod took vengeance upon the silence of Christ by treating him with abusive contempt. But finding nothing in Jesus worthy of condemnation, he returned him to Pilate.] 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day: for before they were at enmity between themselves. [Thus Pilate gained but half his desire: Herod was now his friend, but the case of Jesus was still on his hands.]