Pontius Pilate - Easter Poem
by Joyce Carr Stedelbauer Share page


PONTIUS PILATE

Herod Agrippa I in a letter to the Emperor Caligula
spoke of Pilate “as naturally inflexible, a blend of self-will
and relentlessness.”

Early in the morning the chief priests, the elders and
teachers of religion, the entire Supreme Court, met to
discuss their next step, their decision was to send Jesus
under armed guard to Pilate, the Roman governor. Pilate
asked him: Are you the King of the Jews? Yes, Jesus
replied, it is as you say. Then the chief priests accused him
of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, why don’t you say
something? What about all these charges against you? But
Jesus said no more.
Mark 15

Pilate had a thankless job in Judea, far from the
authority and of the Roman Forum where the
real decisions were made. His only hope was to keep these
rabble-rousing crowds under control and then perhaps he
would be recalled to his beloved City on seven hills and
given a new toga. But first he had to deal with this
Jesus.
~~~~~~~~~~

Pilate, what did you do after you condemned Him?
Pools of blood marred the Praetorian stones; water spots
dripped from guilty hands, mute mockery in hours alone.
Soldiers hurried the raucous crowds away, murderous
shouts echoed in a throbbing head. Your wife
nowhere to be seen, since she warned of her dream.

The morning darkened like torturous thoughts.
Black gloom shrouded your soul.
Cursing Caesar for this outpost of fractious Jews,
you paced the halls, passing mirrors winking back
blood-shocked eyes in a haggard face.
Lighted torches needed now at mid-day?
Had the world gone mad? Suddenly –
the earth heaved – groaned – goblets shattered –
rocks split – the floor cracked – was deathly still.

Where is a servant?
Sending a message to Herod, (Once enemy, now accomplice),
lounging in Tiberius by the inland sea, asked privately,
What did you think of Him?

Perhaps after the Passover Plot, (as some called it),
you fled to Caesarea by the great sea – linking to Rome –
but there was no peace in the palace.
Wind moaned – waves thrashed – crashing
on the rocks below your window and
you were lonely in you bed.

Seeking distractions another day did you hurry to your
reserved seat in the amphitheater only to see specters stalk
upon that magnificent stage with the sea backdrop?

But the little white ball still mocks like a mirror,
and your theatre seat is empty in the British Museum’s
alls of ancient history.

The Gospels

~ ~ ~ ~

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Used with permission by Joyce Carr Stedelbauer from her book “WHO ROLLED THE STONE?

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