The point John seems to want to make is that both Pilate (the Romans) and the Jewish religious leaders are responcible for killing Jesus.
He has the religious leaders say … “We do not have the right to execute anyone,” … the NAB says The Jewish punishment for blasphemy was stoning (⇒ Lev 24:16). In coming to the Romans to ensure that Jesus would be crucified, the Jewish authorities fulfilled his prophecy that he would be exalted (⇒ John 3:14; ⇒ 12:32-33). There is some historical evidence, however, for Jews crucifying Jews.
John also had Pilate be almost synpathetic to Jesus and he gives the religious leaders many chances to change their mind about killing Jesus. But according to an article,
Who Killed Jesus?, … Although the Gospels present Pilate as indecisive and somewhat concerned for justice in Jesus’ case, the Alexandrian Jewish writer Philo (a contemporary of Jesus) described him as “inflexible, merciless, and obstinate.”
I hadn’t noticed before what Jesus said to Pilate … For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. … I like that.
truth and implications–
I know many people shy away from this (and the next) part of the gospels as being too upsetting … Jesus is dragged around, slapped, ridiculed, flogged, etc … and this is one reason people so disliked Mel Gibson’s movie, but I think we shouldn’t turn away from it. You can’t pull out and discard this thread from the tapistry of Jesus’ life without unraveling the whole thing and I think this is true for all of our lives as well.
the problem for me … this scriptural passage is so familiar, it’s almost lost the ability to touch me. I try to remind myself that when I let it be real to me, and it then upsets me, that it should upset me.