When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water…
Observe the resemblance in his evasive pleas.
1. Assuming that the matter presented had no claims on him — "Take ye Him."
2. Substituting a favourable opinion of Christ for a decision — "I find in Him no fault at all." "I have the highest regard for the Christian religion," say some.
3. Assmning that it was out of his power to decide — "And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction he sent Him to Herod" (Luke 23:7). A law is in the way, perhaps the Divine decree: the law of inherited corruption.
4. Proposing a compromise — "I will therefore chastise Him and release Him." With Christ in some things quiets conscience.
5. Surrendering the rights of judgment "What shall I do with Jesus?" I submit the case to your decision.
6. Turning censor — "Why, what evil hath He done?"
(S. V. McCorkle.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
WEB: So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."