In Lance Jost’s three previous stations the settings were in a garden or outdoors. To depict the scene of “Jesus is Judged by Pontius Pilate,” he needed to place Christ in the opposite; a richly appointed interior scene that would belie the wealth and power of Pilate. The restriction of Christ bound, and intimidated by the prefect of Judaea’s power was heavily amplified by being in his palace.
“Pilate was a wealthy guy,” said Jost. “His home was constructed with marble and the finest polished stone. It was necessary to portray this scenario so that the viewer could experience just what Jesus must have been feeling on deck, front and center while being scrutinized.”
Aside from the marble column and the high-quality stone to show Pilate’s wealth, Jost cast Jesus to show a man of poorer stature, while his use of gold glazed throughout Pilate’s laurel wreath and arm band was meant to imply his importance over Christ.
“Pontius Pilate was very curious to meet this Jesus “fellow” that he had heard so much about,” said Jost. “He had no personal grind with Him. His interest was in keeping the peace so that the taxes could keep flowing into Rome. That was his job.
However, when the rumble of Jesus being the Son of the Jews flew in the face of Pilate’s allegiance to Caesar, who was the ruler of the world, this was totally over the top. Caesar was revered as God, along with their pantheon of Gods.
Riding through Jerusalem’s gates on two white donkeys on Passover
was Christ’s ploy designed to enrage the temple priests with an auspicious display of public grandstanding. But Pilate saw no fault in Him. Christ had violated no Roman laws. To appease his own conscience for condemning an innocent man, Pilate offered to free Him in keeping with an annual tradition of amnesty.
The Jews were inflamed by this offering. Barabbas, a zealot who organized assassins against the Roman occupation of Israel, was more in keeping with their passion to liberate God’s people from Rome.
Although the Jews saw no value in Christ’s message of love, in the act of His giving up and offering Himself to be sacrificed, His message of kindness, and ultimately love, would be forever planted in the heart of Rome. Not to defeat it, but to fulfill it and thereby liberate the Jews.
It was like winning without firing a shot.”
Lance Jost is a Southern California-based artist whose public art pieces have beautified a number of locations throughout the region. Along with the commissions from the City of Dana Point, two installations adorn the California Baptist at Riverside campus; a large mosaic of the school mascot, The Lancer, and a four-foot wide open faced bronze bible inscribed with II Timothy 2:15. This series was written by his wife, Donna Jost. To read the first post in this series click here.