John’s Gospel says that Pilate was fearful. Why? Pilate’s association with Sejanus, who Tiberius executed 31 A.D., explains Pilate’s dilemma. Gary DeLashmutt’s article linked below is a ‘must read’ for those interested in the broader historical context surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion.
“Sejanus and the Chronology of Christ’s Death”
by DeLashmutt, Gary
“During the trial of Jesus by Pilate, Pilate several times tells the Jewish leaders that Jesus is innocent. On his final attempt, John records:”…Pilate made efforts to release him (Jesus), but the Jews cried out, saying ‘If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.’ When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat…And so he then delivered him up to them to be crucified.” (italics mine)
“The term “friend of Caesar” (Latin: amicus Caesaris) is a technical term reserved for senators, knights and administrators who were meritorious and thus favored by the emperor.68 To lose this title was to lose not only one’s post, but also to possibly complete ostracism from Roman life, as illustrated by Gallus in 26 BCE under Augustus. Therefore, the Jews were uttering a threat to Pilate.”