Matthew 27:24-25 - ... he (Pilate) took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to it yourselves." And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!"
The roar of a crowd in a blood frenzy is a terrible thing. Pilate was hearing it that Friday morning as he tried to find some way, any way, out of his dilemma. He was more and more convinced that Jesus was an innocent man. And though Pilate was a seasoned and brutal Roman governor, even he was not willing to execute an innocent man—particularly one who spoke and acted as Jesus did.
He tried everything. A referral to another jurisdiction—to King Herod. But Herod sent Him back. An offer to release one prisoner in honor of the Passover—with the only other choice a murderer. The crowd still chose the wrong man. In desperation, he had Jesus scourged and publicly displayed. Surely, that would satisfy the crowd's thirst for blood. To no avail. "Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!"
Finally, he took water and washed his hands publicly in front of the crowd, saying: "I am innocent of this Man's blood. See to it yourselves!" to which the crowd replied, "His blood be on us—and on our children!" Pilate was defeated. He handed Jesus over to their will.
The crowd could not be placated. They would even wish a curse on themselves—and on their children. Pilate couldn't do anything against such resolute, determined evil. He could find no way to change them.
Pilate couldn't—but Jesus did. Because that crowd of people screaming, "Crucify! Crucify!" were among the people He had come to earth to save. They, with us, were the reason He chose to suffer. They hated Him, but no matter. He still loved them.
And so the curse turned into a blessing—Jesus' blood became the bringer of salvation to everyone who came to trust in Him, even those who once screamed for His death. His blood made them clean—new creations, new children of God. His life-giving blood does the same for us who trust Him today. And so we can say with thankful, loving hearts: "May His blood be on us—and on our children."
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving us life through Your blood. Amen.
What do you think of when you see blood?
What is the connection between ordinary blood and life?
How does Jesus' blood give us new life?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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