TUESDAY, MAY 2
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27
In this chapter we are introduced to a character named Pilate. He was the man that the Roman government had installed (at that moment) to govern Judea and the surrounding territory. He was not a good man. He was, in fact, a bad man who was not above killing people to secure his power. The Jewish people including the Jewish leaders really did not like him.
But it was to Pilate that the Jewish leaders took Jesus. One of the reasons that they took Jesus to Pilate is that the Roman government had basically stripped the Jewish people of their right to carry out any sort of death penalty. Along that line, if the Jewish people had carried out that penalty they would have done that by stoning Jesus today not by crucifying Him. The reason that is important is that the crucifixion was prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus walked on the earth. (The crazy thing about that is those prophesies that describe in intricate detail the process of crucifixion were written hundreds of hears before the Romans ever “invented” crucifixion.)
But I have digressed. The Jewish leaders took Jesus to Pilate because it was a convenient way to get what they wanted. As you read the story about Pilate it might appear that Pilate was trying to save Jesus, to keep Jesus from going to the cross. But instead Pilate was nothing more than a wimp. At any moment He could have sent the Jews away and released Jesus. But he refused to make a decision.
It even got to the point in verse 24 where Pilate tried to wash his hands of the whole thing. He went so far as to claim His innocence in the whole matter. Before we go further, let me add here that it is impossible to wash your hands of Jesus. And you cannot be innocent in the matter. Jesus is the Savior of the World, the only begotten Son of God. We either accept Him for who He is or we reject Him at our own peril. But there is no such thing as washing Jesus off your hands. There is not enough water in this world to wash Jesus away.
Verse 25 contains one of the scariest statement in the Bible. The Jewish leaders said, “His (Jesus’) blood be on us.” In other words, they thought they were willing to take full responsibility for this as well as the brunt of any consequences that might come their way because of it. But that is not the scariest.
The scariest is when the included their children in that. These folks were so crazed with anger they were willing to bring down a curse on their own children to get what they thought they wanted.
As you know the people asked for Barabbas, a real bad guy, to be released and for Jesus to crucified in his place. I guess it goes without saying that in this instance I am Barabbas. Jesus was crucified in my place. By the way, you are Barabbas as well. Jesus took your place.
Oh what a Savior! What a glorious Savior!