THE TRIAL OF JESUS
BY JOHN MASEFIELD
John Masefield, Poet Laureate of Great Britain from 1930-1967, depicts in The Trial of Jesus what may have happened in Judea under the rule of Pontius Pilate as Jesus Christ is tried by both the Jewish and the Roman courts. Using what is recorded in the bible (and then taking some liberties) Masefield posits that this trial, now famous, may have been at that time just another case before the courts. He imagines that there is little or no thought to what the future ramifications may be in condemning this man who claims to be the Son of God. While the people of Jerusalem are agitated, there is no clear villain, and many are torn by admiration of Jesus and fear of his challenging a system of belief that had been theirs for centuries. Politics and danger surround the courts, and ultimately we know the end result, but Masefield adds some interesting characters and insight to the telling of this well-known story.