A Mysterious Event
The passage from the Gospel of Luke that's read on the Third Sunday of Lent has a very curious beginning. We hear about an episode involving Pontius Pilate that is not recounted in any of the other Gospels. It says Pontius Pilate mingled the blood of some Galileans with their sacrifices. (Luke 13:1-9) My initial thought was that Pilate had used the blood of Galilean criminals in an offering to the Roman gods, but this was not the case. We know very little about the story, but it would seem that it was an event which would share many similarities with a martyrdom that took place 1100 years later.
A Sympathetic Character?
Pontius Pilate is often looked on with some sympathy. In The Passion of the Christ Pilate is depicted as a man not grounded in principles. Quid est veritas? He is caught between warring factions and ultimately decides to keep his personal beliefs and opinions out of politics. But the reality of this situation probably speaks more to the power of being in Christ's presence than it does to his moral ambiguity.