“Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” 3 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
Jesus Before Herod
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.” (Luke 23:1-7)
“I find no guilt in this man.” Pilate does not want to have anything to do with this trial. Most likely he knows who Jesus is. Jesus attracted a lot of attention and was very popular throughout Galilee and Judea. Pilate, unless he was just the most incompetent governor ever to have lived, knew the name and knew what he taught. Pilate probably even heard Jesus had just days before said, “give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” He was aware that though Jesus stirred up a controversy from time to time, he did not motivate his followers to rebellion against Rome. He certainly did not want the man’s blood on his hands. Pilate knew that that might be popular with the leaders who had brought Jesus to him, but for the most part it would upset the people. He didn’t want to touch him. As governer he really didn’t need much reason if he wanted to put someone to death. This is a man who earlier had killed a whole group of Jews who were sacrificing only upon suspicion. But he had every reason to not kill Jesus. He found no guilt in the man. It was Pilate protesting and saying no to what these men were asking. The minute he learned he could throw it to Herod, he ditched it like a hot potato. Jesus was innocent, but he would die for it.