Alinari/Art Resource, NY

On this fourth-century sarcophagus from the Vatican’s Lateran Museums, a scene of Jesus before Pilate (far right) is positioned opposite a scene of Abraham and Isaac (far left). Again, this pairing highlighted the similarity between two virtuous biblical figures: this time, Pilate and Abraham. According to the Bible, both men were required, against their own wishes, to preside at the sacrifice of an innocent—Jesus in Pilate’s case, Isaac in Abraham’s.