The Last Supper has just occurred and Jesus Christ (JAMES CAVIEZEL) is in the Garden of Olives praying and trying to resist the temptations offered Him by Satan (ROSALINDA CELANTANO). He succeeds at that, but one of His apostles, Judas Iscariot (LUCA LIONELLO), betrays his location to Caiphas (MATTIA SBRAGIA) and other Jewish high priests who promptly have him arrested.
Accusing him of heresy and other religious crimes, Caiphas wants Jesus executed, but lacks the authority to make or carry out such an order. Accordingly, he brings his demand to Roman Governor Pontius Pilate (HRISTO NAUMOV SPOPOV) as he's the only one with authority to call for a crucifixion.
Initially not swayed by Caiphas' accusations and heeding the suggestion of his wife, Claudia Procles (CLAUDIA GERINI), to spare Jesus, Pilate orders that Herod Antipas determine Jesus' fate, but the Judean leader sees no threat posed by the Prophet.
Thus, he's returned to Pilate who allows the Jews to decide whether Jesus or a convicted murderer should be set free. They choose the criminal and thus Pilate orders that Jesus be scourged, but allowed to live. To the horror of his mother, Mary (MAIA MORGENSTERN) and the healed Mary Magdalene (MONICA BELLUCCI), the Roman guards flog Jesus within an inch of his life.
When Jesus is returned to Pilate, the Governor asks the people one last time what should be done with the Messiah and they call for his crucifixion. He orders it to be and Jesus is then forced to carry his own cross to his point of execution.