Shortly after Pilate was appointed procurator in Judea (26 CE), he introduced into Jerusalem by night “the busts of the emperor that were attached to the military standards,” which Jews regarded as idols and thus a desecration of the holy city.
Crowds of Jews rushed into Pilates’ headquarters in Caesarea to implore him to remove the standards. When he resued, they fell prostrate and remained there for five days and nights.
On the 6th day, Pilate summoned the multitude to the stadium on the pretext of giving them an answer. Instead, they found themselves surrounded by soldiers, three deep. Pilate, after threatening to cut them down – if they refused to admit Caesar’s images – signalled to the soldiers to draw their swords. Thereupon the Jews, as by concerted action, flung themselves on the ground, extended their necks, and exclaimed that they were ready rather to die than to transgress the law.
Overcome with astonishment at such intense religious zeal, Pilate gave orders for the immediate removal of the standards from Jerusalem.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
From Leaving Munster.