When I read of the events that led up to Jesus’ death on the cross I am overcome with emotion. In great detail the writers of each Gospel paint a master portrait that leaves its spectators in utter dismay and awe.
In the book of Luke, as these events unfolded before Pilate he found himself overcome, and in an act of desperation the following event took place:
“When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was starting instead, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood. See to it yourselves!’ All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.”
Overcome with a wide spectrum of emotions Pilate attempted to leave his position of authority, if only for a moment. By washing his hands, he made a statement that he hoped would release him of the guilt that was quickly pursuing him. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” Pilate quivering lip spoke “See to it yourselves.” After finding no fault in Jesus, being warned by his wife, and offering the release of a barbaric criminal in Jesus’ place, Pilate was at the end of his rope. Pilate had exhausted plans A-Z, and wished to removed as far from the situation as possible. He washed his hands.
Here’s the problem.
Innocence is never provided by self-proclamation. Pilate couldn’t reconcile the death of Jesus by washing his hands in water. Its strange how we use the same strategy as Pilate.
Instead of making difficult righteous decisions we make the easy decisions and try to pass the guilt to someone else.
The following statement by the blood-thirsty spectators rung true for Pilate, for themselves, and even to us: “His blood be on us and on our children!”
The punishment of the execution of Jesus does not lie merely on the people that were present for the occasion. It’s guilt doesn’t only haunt Pilate, but it convicts all of humanity for breaking God’s laws. John 3:19 states “This, then, is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.”
None of us can be clear from this guilt unless we accept the Holy Sacrifice. Unless we repent of our sins and have faith(Acts 20:20-21), believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, and confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-13). Our sins can be forgiven through this perfect sacrifice.
Washing ourselves with water and excuses doesn’t work, but the blood of Jesus Christ washes all sins away!