The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, by Levi H. Dowling, , at sacred-texts.com
Pilate's final effort to release Jesus fails. He washes his hands in feigned innocence. Delivers Jesus to the Jews for execution. The Jewish soldiers drive him to Calvary.
1. A Superstitious people are the Jews. They have a faith that they have borrowed from the idol worshippers of other lands, that at the end of every year,
2. They may heap all their sins upon the head of some man set apart to bear their sins.
3. The man becomes a scapegoat for the multitudes; and they believe that when they drive him forth into the wilds, or into foreign lands, they are released from sin.
4. So every spring before the feast they chose a prisoner from the prisons of the land, and by a form their own, they fain would make him bear their sins away.
5. Among the Jewish prisoners in Jerusalem were three who were the leaders of a vile, seditious band, who had engages in thefts and murders and rapine, and had been sentenced to be crucified.
6. Barabbas bar Jezia was among the men who were to die; but he was rich and he had bought of priests the boon to be scapegoat for the people at the coming feast, and he was anxiously in waiting for his hour to come.
7. Now, Pilate thought to turn this superstition to account to save the Lord, and so he went again before the Jews and said,
8. You men of Israel, according to my custom I will release to you to-day a prisoner who shall bear you sins away.
9. This man you drive into the wilds or into foreign lands, and you have asked me to release Barabbas, who has been proven guilty of the murder of a score of men.
10. Now, hear me men, Let Jesus be released and let Barabbas pay his debt upon the cross; then you can send this Jesus to the wilds and hear no more of him.
11. At what the ruler said the people were enraged, and they began to plot to tear the Roman palace down and drive in exile Pilate, and his household and his guards.
12. When Pilate was assured that civil war would follow if he heeded not the wishes of the mob, he took a bowl of water and in the presence of the multitude he washed hid hands and said,
13. This man whom you accuse is son of the most holy Gods, and I proclaim my innocence.
14. If you would shed his blood, his blood is on your hands and not on mine.
15. And then the Jews exclaimed, And let his blood be on our hands and on our children's hands.
16. And Pilate trembled like a leaf, in fear. Barabbas he released and as the Lord stood forth before the mob the ruler said, Behold your king! And would you put to death your king?
17. The Jews replied, He is no king; we have no king but great Tiberius.
18. Now, Pilate would not give consent that Roman soldiers should imbue their hands in blood of innocence, and so the chief priests and the Pharisees took counsel what to do with Jesus, who was called the Christ.
19. Caiaphas said, We cannot crucify this man; he must be stoned to death and nothing more.
20. And then the rabble said, Make haste! let him be stoned. And then they led him forth toward the hill beyond the city's gates, where criminals were put to death.
21. The rabble could not wait until they reached the place of skulls. As soon as they had passed the city's gate, they rushed upon him, smote him with their hands, they spit upon him, stoned and he fell upon the ground.
22. And one, a man of God, stood forth and said, Isaiah said, He shall be bruised for our transgressions and by his stripes we shall be healed.
23. As Jesus lay all bruised and mangled on the ground a Pharisee called out, Stay, stay you men! behold, the guards of Herod come and they will crucify this man.
24. And there beside the city's gate they found Barabbas's cross; and then the frenzied mob cried out, Let him be crucified.
25. Caiaphas and the other ruling Jews came forth and gave consent.
26. And then they lifted Jesus from the ground, and at the point of swords they drove him on.
27. A man named Simon, a friend of Jesus, was a-near the scene and since the bruised and wounded Jesus could not bear his cross, they laid it on the shoulders of this man and made him bear it on to Calvary.