With great pomp Pilate entered the stage set up for the ceremony. His legion stood framing the stage in a perfect formation, their red cloaks and armor shining and plumes on their helmets stiff in the heat of the noon sun. The prisoners, Jesus and Barabbas, were led onto the rug laid before Pilate. He seemed to hesitate, rubbing his
hands, his prominent Roman nose and narrowed eyes stabbing with distaste at the unruly crowd milling before him. Finally, the Praefectus breathed deeply and stood up.
Ezra was pushing his way through the mass of people. He was frantically shouting: "Crucify Jesus, give us Barabbas! Crucify Jesus, give us Barabbas!" His brother stood before Pilate and his countrymen with an expression of defiant horror on his face. Jesus was, obviously, heavily beaten the night before. He could hardly stand. His face showed nothing of the emotion, only his eyes were looking for someone among the swarm of men.
"What should I do with the King of the Jews?" - Pilate shouted. Ezra shouted back: "Crucify Jesus, give us Barabbas!" He was
surprised to hear many people pick up his chant. The rabbis' striped head dresses dotted the throng of Israelites. They seemed to be bent on the same task as Ezra: to get Jesus sentenced to death.
Pilate's heavily accented voice was filled with hatred: "But if I release Barabbas, what should I do with the King of the Jews?" "Crucify him! Crucify him!" - Ezra shouted again and again, his own voice now drowning in the thunder of other voices. He was thrilled by this hope of reprieve for his brother. "Crucify him!"