On the eve of Easter Sunday, I began to think about Pontius Pilate, the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea (26-36 CE).
Was he bamboozled into trying, convicting and crucifying Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Maryam?
Could he be excused? Was his symbolic washing of hands following the dreadful inquisition a true measure of his reluctance and self-proclaimed innocence in this matter?
A person in authority represents an institution. Such jobs are taken willingly, knowingly, eagerly and sanely, and without duress. There are rewards attached, fame, power and wealth. With such positions come duty and responsibility. None can be forced to be a leader.
So, NO, regardless of the circumstances, Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of the Holy Land cannot be excused for this crime against a righteous man. He cannot act in hindsight and claim abjuration of a significant crime and sin while still far short of having abdicated from his prized position as an official standard bearer of peace and justice.
Now, passing through the middle of the 20th century and rolling through the first decade of the new millennium, I find the ominous shadow of Prefect Pontius Pilate alive and well not only in the mind of the Christendom but also in reincarnated practical presence in the Times.
Who has condemned the Palestinians and who is facilitating its ensuing demise? Are the Palestinians not Christians, or one-time Jews and Christians who are now Muslims? Is their heritage so different than that of the Man-who-walked-on-water?
Who condemned the Iraqis and left one million dead or injured and left thousands of others suffocating from cancerous rays of three hundred tons of spent fuel rod shells, the same waste that Nevada would not accept?
Who is now condemning Iran? And who has tried, convicted and is continuing with execution of the sentence? Is that not the new Prefect Perfect Pontius Pilate?
Is it the UN, the EU, the UK, or the US?
People seem never to learn; least of all, in this case, the people who ostensibly commemorate the predicament of Jesus, the son of Maryam. Has fame, power, wealth overtaken their sanity, judgment and a sense of fair play?
Was Pontius Pilate full of himself? Was he incompetent? I wonder! He was certainly fatal to one of the most honored men God sent as a Massiah to the world.
History repeats itself, this time with a twist. The wrong people are playing in the Prefect's role!
Dr. Shafi A. Khaled is a freelance writer. He teaches and does research in Business & Economics.
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