Good Friday – John 19:12-13

12 And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. . . .

Augustine: Pilate had sought from the first to release: so we must understand, from thence, to mean from this cause, i.e. lest he should incur guilt by putting to death an innocent person.

12 . . . But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.

Augustine: They thought they could alarm Pilate more by the mention of Caesar, than by telling him of their law, as they had done above.

13 Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha.

Augustine: Pilate was before afraid not of violating their law by sparing Him, but of killing the Son of God. . . . But he could not treat his master Caesar with the same contempt with which he treated the law of a foreign nation.

Chrysostom: He went out to examine into the matter: his sitting down on the judgment seat shows this.

Gloss: The tribunal is the seat of the judge, as the throne is the seat of the king, and the chair the seat of the doctor.

Bede: Lithostraton, i.e. laid with stone; the word signifies pavement. It was an elevated place.

Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. IV (London: Rivington, 1845).

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