28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
Jewish leaders now brought Jesus to the Roman government for execution.
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas
Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, but John does not record that trial. Since the Lord did not relent from His claim to be the Messiah, the Jews sentenced Him to death. But because they did not have the authority to execute Jesus, they sent Him to Pilate to carry out this sentence.
to the Praetorium,
The Praetorium was the governor’s residence in Jerusalem, which may have been the former palace of Herod the Great. The governor stayed there during the Passover season as his temporary residence. This was located at the western end of Jerusalem at Jaffa Gate. It was the command center and judgment seat for Rome in the city. The regional base for the Roman Empire was in Caesarea by the Mediterranean.
and it was early morning.
The Sanhedrin held a consultation to put Jesus to death in the morning (Mt 27:1; Mk 15:1). This was to avoid letting the crowds know what they were doing with Jesus.
But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium,
Jews were not permitted to enter a Gentile’s house during Passover. They could enter the courtyard or go under the colonnades.
lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
Being defiled means ceremonially defiled. If a person was defiled, then he would not be able to participate in the Passover meal. The Passover was the principal part of the feast.
Legalism distorts what is true.
Religion is often obsessed with ceremony over substance. The Jews were scrupulous about ceremonial cleanness while putting Jesus to death. Ironic. Empty ritual is legalistic. Legalism is operation bootstraps and denies the grace of God in one’s life.