Luke 23:6-12 (ESV)
“6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.“
The 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ was released to charges of anti Semitism by a small but vocal group of critics. One reason for this outcry was that while the Sanhedrin, Caiaphas the high priest, and the mobs are portrayed accurately in their hatred of Christ: Pilate is not. The resulting comparison between the Roman governor and the Jewish high priest leaves the former looking like a victim of unreasonable people and the later looking blood thirsty.
The Passion of the Christ portrays many of the aspects of our Lord’s execution accurately and is therefore valuable in that the film helps people, all people (whether they believe in the redemption the Lord Jesus Christ purchased for the world or not) understand the agony our Redeemer endured because of His great love for His Father’s glory and us. Every Christian should know the scriptures well enough to instantly spot scenes wherein the producers, writers, and director took artistic license.
The film, however, does not portray Luke 23:6-12 completely. If the film had: Pilate would not have seemed to some viewers to be a decent guy who was merely worn down by the stresses of his job.
Luke 23 tells us of two power hungry bullies who eyed one another suspiciously until one of the bullies proved to the other that they were indeed made of the same blasphemous stuff.
A similar bonding scenario is played out every Sunday before and after the meeting of the Church. As churched men attempt to find common ground with the visitor they inevitably turn to the topics of sports, fishing, hunting, and motorcycles instead of Christ. If said visitor gives the correct answers, then they are declared to be an “all right guy, one of us, or a good ‘ol boy”.
Pilate didn’t like Herod until Herod treated the Prince of Peace with contempt. Dressing up a peasant from Galilee like a king: hilarious! Now, this Herod is my kind of fellow, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship Pilate must have thought.
So it was that Pontius Pilate and King Herod formed Esprit De Corps over their mutual disdain for Jesus Christ.
The Church is a group of people who have been redeemed by the life, death and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ. Believers are compelled and drawn together by His bond of peace. But there is another faction in our world that is bound together by the dark chains of united hatred of the claims and person of King Jesus.
Which camp are you in today?