Tonight CNN aired the newest episode of “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Fiction”, “The Pilate Stone” (link).
In Judea, an archeologist has found the underground ruin of where Pilate lived during the time of Christ.
The episode explains how Pilate did not find Jesus guilty of a capital offense, and he tested the Saducees by offering Barrabus, who had apparently committed one of the two offenses that could lead to crucifixion (that is, sedition-treason, or leading a slave revolt).
But the “liberal” Saducees still wanted Jesus to pay the price, for threatening religious authority. Pilate was also angered when Jesus told him that Pilate’s authority came from God. Pilate was loyal to the Emperor in Rome and feared “losing his job”.
The whole episode reminds one of group or mob rule, the sort of mentality that enabled Donald Trump to conduct “Lock Her Up” chants in his followers.
Wikipedia attribution link for US public domain painting by Antonio Ceseri.
The series continued by examining the resurrection of Lazarus. (John 11:1-44). This was a challenge to whether Jesus would use his "powers" (which would remind one of Smallville's Clark Kent -- the show was careful to say that Clark doesn't heal people). The narrative helped convince authorities that Jesus was too dangerous to the status quo and help set up the Passion. At one point, Jesus orders Lazarus to "come out" (no pun intended).
The episode looked at the remains of the possible home site of Jesus in Nazareth. The Romans would be very brutal and enslave populations to retain control. The episode recounts how Jesus went off on his own once at age 12, but worked steadily until age 30.
An episode describes King Herod's desire to assassinate the child Jesus and shows Herod's own mountain, covering his possible sarcophagus. The mountain looks like an example of ancient "mountaintop removal".
The episode looks at Jesus's "best friend", Peter (like a kind of Marr Damon and Ben Affeck), and analyzes whether his remains really lie under the Vatican. It covers his upsidedown crucifixion, and examines the idea of his possible cowardice. It also explores his differences with Paul over Judaism.