My current theory based on my reading of the histories and my political background follows more along the lines of the famous quote by Deep Throat -
"Follow the money".
Jesus was a threat to the power and wealth of the Temple leadership (note that I did NOT say the "Jewish leadership"). The Temple at that time had
developed a rather cozy relationship with the occupying forces. The Roman occupiers were happy to have the Temple helping to keep the peace and they
saw it as "mostly harmless" and probably (I have no sources on this) as revenue stream - I think the Romans were squeezing the Temple or the Temple
was greasing Pilate. One way or another, the Temple was good business for Pilate. At the very least, it made him look good because the "natives"
were placated and peaceful so there was no trouble for him and that made him look like a good leader to Rome. Yes, i am saying that I think there was
a good bit of corruption in the Temple when it came to financial dealings with the Roman occupiers.
Along comes Jesus and he's plenty PO'd about what he sees as a relationship between the Temple and the Romans - he thinks the Temple has bent and
compromised too much of their mission just to keep the Romans off their backs. He is spoiling for a fight! Jesus had committed enough heresies to
qualify for execution by the Temple - which would have been stoning.
Now here's where it gets really fuzzy for me because it gets all tangled up in whether or not there really was a crucifixion (which I happen to
believe is unlikely but, let's say that there was). It's Passover, according to the story, so there won't be any stonings scheduled. In fact,
the Sanhedran, technically, cannot even convene until after Passover - they can't really act on their own at all. But, they've got Jesus in town
and now would be a good time to get rid of him because he's just a damn nuisance and he might cause the other Jews to start looking too closely at
what's going on between Pilate and the Temple "bag-men". So, going back to the cozy relationship between the Temple and the Roman authorities,
they can get these Gentiles to take care of it for them (which was actually a pretty common way of dealing with any kind of physical or unclean work
on Shabbat or religious holidays).
Now, how in the world they got Pilate to use that particular form of execution is beyond me! Other than, as Shonet stated, to portray Jesus an enemy
of the state since he had been reported to say (or others said it of him) as a king. That's the best explaination I've heard for the crucifixion
part since it seems more likely that the Romans would have just run a sword through him and that would be that.
All-in-all, the whole thing seems to have been very much contrived by Jesus and his followers to get himself martyred on Passover - it was like a
suicide-by-cop sort of thing, IMO. And then, we kick in with the whole idea that this thing was faked and Joseph of Aramathea was in on it from the
I still say "follow the money"...not that Jesus was hoping to get rich. In fact, "true believerism" is quite often a more powerful motivator.
It's just that getting the Romans to cooperate in all of this - which they clearly didn't actually care about one way or another - is deeply
And that's my current POV...without having cited any sources (and probably without having correctly spelled a few things) so, if you disagree then
you have the right. Surely my ideas here are no sillier than the way this thread started off, right?