“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.”
King James Version (KJV)
18:28 They went not into the palace themselves, lest they should be defiled - By going into a house which was not purged from leaven, #Deut 16:4|. #Mt 27:2|; Mr 15:1; Lu 23:1.
Joh 18:28-40 For notes on the trial before Pilate, see Mt 27:1-25. Compare Mr 15:1-15 Lu 23:1-25. The first examination was at the house of Annas (Joh 18:13), where an officer had smitten Jesus (Joh 18:22). Then Annas sent him to Caiaphas (Joh 18:24). Still later he was tried before the Sanhedrin (Mt 27:1,2) and condemned. Then he was led from Caiaphas to Pilate's judgment hall (Joh 18:28). The judgment hall. The praetorium, or official hall of the Roman governor. Lest they should be defiled. These Jewish leaders, filled with the hate of Christ, and ready to secure his judicial murder by the foulest means, were yet so scrupulous that they would not enter the house of a Gentile lest "they should be defiled" (see De 16:4), so that they would not be able to eat the passover. The Pharisees held that contact with a Gentile, or to enter his house was a source of defilement. Hence, this deputation of the Sanhedrin waited without, and Pilate "went out unto them" to ascertain their business. Men can be very religious and yet great sinners.