Jesus was brought before Pilate to be judged. Pilate asked him ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ But he could find no reason to put him to death. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent but the crowds kept shouting ‘Crucify him’ so he had him flogged and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers mocked Jesus and gave him a crown of thorns.
Who holds the power here? On the surface it is Pontius Pilate. When Pilate challenged Jesus about his identity, Jesus replied that his kingdom is not from here. Pilate might have thought he had the power, but Jesus tells him that he would have no power unless it had been given to him from above.
The soldiers thought they were mocking him by giving him a purple robe and a crown of thorns, but Jesus’ true power and kingship are revealed in his passion and death.
O sacred Head surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head, so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
The pow’r of death comes o’er you,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore you
And tremble as they gaze.