Summary: The crowd called for the blood of an innocent man to be upon them and their children... what were they thinking?
INTERESTING ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGES:
* Hello, you are talking to a machine... I am capable of receiving messages... My owners do not need siding, windows or a hot tub, and their carpets are clean. They give to charity at the office and don’t need their picture taken. If you’re still with me, leave your name and home phone number and they will get back to you
* Hi. This is John: If you are the phone company, I already sent the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you are my bank, you didn’t lend me enough money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a female, don’t worry, I have LOTS of money.
* Hi. I’m probably home, I’m just avoiding someone I don’t like. Leave me a message, and if I don’t call back, it’s you.
APPLY: What I found interesting about all those messages was they were all saying the same thing. They are all saying: I have decided what to do with certain people.
* If you’re selling something, if I owe you something, or if you’re someone I don’t like - don’t expect to get a call back
* But if you’re someone I like, or someone I need - I’ll get back with you.
They all answered the question: "What am I going to do with the person who is trying to call me?"
2000 years ago, Pilate asked a question: "What shall I do... with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22) And everybody that day had to make a decision. What were they going to do with Jesus?
I. What’s interesting, is how the Jews responded.
"Crucify Him..." they cried, "Let His blood be upon us and our children."
As I read that, I thought to myself: "What in the world were they thinking?"
You need to realize that God didn’t smile on the shedding of innocent blood. In fact, if an innocent person was killed, Israel was expected to put the murderer to death so that they would be able to "purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood...." (Deuteronomy 19:13)
This was so critical that: If a person was murdered near a Jewish town, and no one knew who had murdered that individual, the Law declared that the elders of the city nearest crime scene had to "wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall declare: ’Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O LORD, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent man.’ And the bloodshed will be atoned for. So you will purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the LORD." Deuteronomy 21:6-9
So, I repeat - what in the world were these people thinking?
II. Well, perhaps they had come to the conclusion that Jesus’ blood wasn’t innocent.
Yes, Pilate had proclaimed Him innocent (3 times in fact). Each time Pilate said something to the effect of "I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty." Luke 23:22
But Pilate was a Gentile. He was a Pagan - a Roman for pity’s sake. What did he know? It was the opinion of the chief priests that the crowd looked to.
"Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
’Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?’ asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead" (Mark 15:6-11)
The chief priests knew the law.
The chief priests knew the charges against Jesus.
And (as far as the crowd was concerned) if the chief priests felt Jesus was guilty of death...then this was a righteous condemnation.
It would be an honor to be among those called for Jesus’ death
It would be an honor for the blood of a blasphemer to be on their hands and on the hands of their children
That is (pause) if Jesus was guilty.
That is (pause) if Jesus were NOT God¡K
...but He was
* The prophecy from Isaiah proclaimed that the Messiah (Jesus) would be called:
"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
* Before Jesus was born the angel declared Jesus would be called "’Immanuel’ which means, ’God with us.’" (Matthew 1:2:3)