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Church of St. John 5: Now we see a follower of Jesus

Hamburg, Hotel Atlantic
Hamburg, Hotel Atlantic

in the rank of a councilor, Joseph of Arimathea, who confesses Jesus and requests Jesus’ body, 15:42-43.

Now Pilate comes into the picture, again higher in rank, who contrary to custom releases Jesus’ body for burial, 15:44-45.

Pilate’s character here is quite different from that of the Jewish-Christian Passion tradition. He is no longer the fickle despot dependent on the moods of the unpredictable and easily influenced mob.

Pilate is here a sovereign ruler who makes an appropriate and reverent decision.