Film buffs may recall that In the film The Greatest Story Ever Told, Pontius Pilate was played by the actor Telly Savalas who may better be remembered for his catchphrase "Who Loves Ya Baby", and lollypop sucking detective Kojak.
Pilate craftily washes his hands in deference to Jewish custom, to make sure he implicated the Jews in the death of Christ and absolve himself and the Romans, a move that was latched onto by so many others in our human history to justify horrific treatment of the Jews.
Maybe washing his hands was his own private insurance policy, against that sneaking feeling he had ( and alluded to by his wife's nagging warnings not to have anything to do with Jesus) that Jesus might be from a different world and would come back to judge him.
He is associated with that mesmorising phrase he put to Jesus at his trial :
"What is Truth?"
Yes, it's hardly a surprise that Pilate had difficulty with the truth as do all politicians.
He never got an answer from Jesus then, but there was one waiting for him at the empty tomb on the third day after Jesus died.
An interesting website called Women in The Scriptures has information on Pilate's wife Claudia and the part she played in Holy Week.Click for article here on the eternal dilemmas and the modern day Pontius Pilate.
Photo on left is from Saatchi Gallery : Pilate's Bucket and an edited description of the work from the artist Mia Orsag:
"Taking into account the Bible story of Pontius Pilate and his "deliberation" in deciding on the fate of another man, in this case of Jesus Christ, God's son, I decided to base the concept of this work beyond the real, in the realm of dreams.
In my opinion nightmare as such is one of the worst punishments, an omnipresent chase, one that is impossible to escape from.
In order to emphasize this subconscious, immaterial component, I have chosen a photograph as a medium to express my reasoning on Pilate's suffering.
The motive of the photograph is a view of Pilate's worst pains.
Pilate obviously suffered for the sin made by letting the people decide on Christ's fate. Failing to decide on his own and avoiding responsibility he committed the biggest sin towards himself.
He wanted to wash his hands of the consequences of his choice, let the choice to the people and thereby finally blotted his consciousness.
His nightmare is a paper bucket that does not hold water, and is even bottomless. It is empty inside, soiled with blood and hairballs, and tied up and caned from the outside.
This is a bucket intended for Pilate, whose biggest wish is to wash his hands."