FOR PONTIUS PILATE, the day began as just another day of ruling. It was the same in Jerusalem as it had been in Caesarea, only slightly worse. It seemed there were more cases to hear in Jerusalem than in Caesarea, and more tedious ones at that. These Jews could really cause a lot of trouble with their strange religious rules.
Then it happened. All of a sudden, people began raising weapons in the air and yelling slogans like, “Down with injustice!” and “We want real justice!” Then they began marching toward the praetorium.
He saw that there was a big brawny man out in front, who seemed to be leading the crowd. There were also several others who seemed to be leading at various points in the crowd, but the one figure at the center stood out. With sword held high, he urged the crowd forward toward the praetorium.
Surprised and frightened, Pilate called for the guard. But it took a few minutes for them to assemble. In the meantime, the crowd had reached the praetorium. The husky man motioned to them and they stopped. With a mighty bound, the man was up on the praetorium, waving his sword in the face of the terrified governor and yelling, “Give up your tyrannical rule at once! Surrender or die!”
Just then, the guard was arriving from the rear of the praetorium. Catching sight of them, Barabbas turned and jumped down off of the praetorium. The guard began descending the steps of the praetorium and soon reached the crowd. The fight began.
Now many of the people, realizing the danger they were in, began to flee. Only a handful stayed to help Barabbas and his men. It was a bitter battle as swords clashed and screams were heard throughout the praetorium.
One of the guards challenged Barabbas. In the fight that ensued, the guard, with his superior training, appeared to be getting the best of Barabbas. But then, the latter, spying a chink in the guard’s armor, took his sword, and with a mighty blow, plunged it deep into the guard’s chest, killing him instantly.
By this time, Portia, hearing the yelling of the crowd, came out to see what was the matter. “It’s just a small disturbance, my dear. It’ll be over in a moment,” Pilate told her.
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