Jews, Church, & Civilization II



The Arrest of Jesus

Pontius Pilate, the Roman Empire’s enforcer in Judea, most certainly knew quite, quite precisely where the messianic Jesus was, and most certainly Pilate didn’t need any mysterious back–channel from one of Jesus’ disciples to ascertain his whereabouts. On the contrary, the whole point of the Jesus processional into Jerusalem was to win the hearts and minds of those in Jerusalem, not to scurry in the shadows. By Gospel accounts, Jesus was, after all, dead center in the Temple Courtyard, preaching and debating – and, last but not least, creating significant uproar there, at “Ground Zero” of the nexus of Roman power, probably for up to three days running.

Note that the (walled) city of Jerusalem is not particularly large. It is approximately the same square–meter size as Manhattan’s Central Park (which is 3 extra–long Manhattan ‘avenue blocks’ wide, by 51 street blocks long). And all entry and exit into the walled city of Jerusalem was quite easily monitored via its eight medium–sized stone gates (now there are 7). And while Central Park has trees and foliage, the city of Jerusalem does not, making anonymity even further difficult.

Jerusalem has and had many very low–lying structures. Foliage, no. Additionally aiding Roman monitoring of the Old City, ramparts (raised stone walkways running along the Old City’s outer walls) – walkable then and now – surround the city, greatly facilitating observation and communication.

Jesus’s trumpeted processional into the city leading–into the Passover holiday, as conveyed in the Gospels, had to be quite well–known within the walls of Jerusalem – to even the blind and deaf. His whereabouts, by definition, could not be “betrayed” per se, as it was Jesus and his disciples who had trumpeted his precise whereabouts to all to begin with.

Jesus was on ‘center stage’, basically telegraphing his dynamic presence and aura to the entire city and beyond….. This was very ‘high drama’ and very public drama under the very eyes of the Roman garrison headquartered at the edge of the same Temple colonnades.

Jesus is quite ‘Front–and–Center.’


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