Murder plot rejected by Pontius Pilot
(Editor’s Note: This is the second of a six-part series written by www.thetentacle.com contributor Norman M. Covert. It was first published in April 2011 at his www.thecovertletter.com , providing a news correspondent's reporting of events unfolding in Jerusalem two millennia ago and mirroring Christianity's remembrance of “Holy Week.” It records the last days of the life of Jesus Christ, providing a perspective, which is not unlike current events in Israel and Jerusalem.)
Jerusalem (March 31) – There was more intrigue here today when Gov. Pontius Pilot of Judea rejected the notion of a Jewish plot to kill zealot Jesus of Nazareth. He is the darling of the masses with seats increasingly difficult to obtain.
“It is a bit far-fetched,” Pilot said, “to believe the Sanhedrin would consider hiring assassins, especially when they are probably overwhelmed preparing for their Feast of Passover.
“This young man Jesus has a lively following, but has not broken any laws,” Pilot continued. “His remarks may seem extreme to Jewish fundamentalists, but hardly worthy of murder. I see no justification, nor real evidence.”
Roman military police said they would review the information.
Reporters scrambled to learn Jesus’ schedule of events and were directed to Bethany where they learned Jesus himself indicated his death was imminent. His declaration followed an incident in the home of Simon the Leper, where reporters fought through the crush of supporters.
The news came following an incident where a woman managed to get inside the house. She surprised Jesus by pouring expensive perfume on his head.
“She was just preparing me for my funeral,” Jesus was quoted by a pool reporter. Jesus did not indicate when or where he might die, but his closest companions said he seemed resolved that it would be within the next few days.
Pilot’s comments came in answer to questions about the purpose of his meeting with Temple High Priest Caiaphas, whose office is on Temple Mount, site of the original Temple of Solomon. Jews revere it as original location of the “Ark of the Covenant.”
“The Sanhedrin expressed concern,” Pilot said, “that they could not control what might happen if Jesus is allowed to continue preaching what they believe is often beyond the ancient scripture. I cautioned them not to overreact and reminded them it was not a government matter. They have the authority and capability of dealing with the young man.”
The Sanhedrin say Jesus has no credentials to make proclamations and perform religious rites. They are prepared to use their disciplinary authority to punish Jesus for “subversive” actions.
Jesus was challenged in the Temple to offer official authority for his ministry, it was learned. He was quoted as confounding the committee, which would not rule whether the unorthodox ministry of the late John the Baptist was “of man, or of God.”
The rabbis were cautious in their answer because John the Baptist is considered a martyr. He was executed by King Herod Antipas, who is allowed to rule as tetrarch. Like Jesus, John the Baptist drew huge crowds in defiance of traditional rules. Among those he baptized was Jesus.
“You don’t know where John’s authority came from and neither will I tell you the source of my authority,” Jesus is said to have retorted.
A person knowledgeable of Jesus’ whirlwind itinerary said it took on an international tone when he welcomed a delegation from Greece.
Jesus nodded in agreement, but warned that the city would suffer great devastation in the future.
“Wars will engulf the city,” he said, “and it will be surrounded by powerful enemies who will cause great suffering.”
He proclaimed, however, “the Son of Man will appear in the clouds with power and glory…and he will send out angels to gather his ‘elect’ from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of Heaven.”
It was announced that preparations for Jesus and his 12 disciples to celebrate their Passover Seder were incomplete. A source said Jesus sought an intimate location because his message would have great significance for the future of the ministry. The location is yet to be determined.