Summary: You need to see that when you stand before the Lord, lost or saved, the blood of Christ will be on you.
A couple of weeks ago I showed you several pictures of Jesus throughout the Bible. Let’s have some fun and see if you can name them. There were nine: seven from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. Anyone remember? As I have been thinking about Easter and what the Lord might have me to preach, I turned to the account of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus with a desire to see the symbolism on and surrounding the events of the cross. Today I want us to read Matthew 27:24-26 and notice the first of these that I will share with you today and next Sunday.
You are familiar with the circumstances leading up to this event. Judas had betrayed Jesus into the hands of the mob, and then they brought Him before the Sanhedrin to be formally charged. The Sanhedrin led Him to Pilate and wanted him to take care of Jesus, but Pilate sent Him to Herod. Herod however sent Jesus back to Pilate, and this is where we find Him in our text. Pilate had examined Jesus, but had found no fault in Him. He most likely would have let Jesus go had it not been for his fear of the people who were crying out for the death of Christ. Even Pilate’s wife tried to get him to leave Jesus alone, but the people persisted. Let’s read our text now.
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
There are three thoughts in this account that I want to deal with this morning. As we consider them, we’re going to get an insider’s look at decisions that were made that day about Jesus, and here’s the good news, today you’ll have that same opportunity! That’s what makes the gospel so great! Nowhere are we allowed to sit by passively and give to the Lord our bodies without also giving Him our minds and wills also.
For the Word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Isn’t that wonderful? No matter who you are or why you came today, God wants to take His living, powerful Word and do soul surgery on you during this hour. He already knows your thoughts and motives and secret desires. He already knows whether Jesus is real in your life. He already knows what you’re thinking and whether or not you’re following Him like He desires for you to, but today He’s going to take His living Word and help you to know your thoughts, your motives, and desires and give you the opportunity to bring them into the light. God is calling you to know His Son. He is calling you to a life of consecration, to a life of service because you love Jesus and want to show Him that you love Him.
As you listen this morning, open your heart and mind to Jesus and allow Him to search out those dark corners in your life, in your mind, in your heart. Allow Him the room to take inventory and go to work on what needs worked on in you – be responsive to the Spirit’s leading as we consider these three thoughts:
It wouldn’t have mattered what Pilate said to these folk; Jesus was to be crucified. The Jews wanted Him dead and weren’t going to stop until it was done, so Pilate took a bowl of water and washed his hands in front of the people in plain sight to send a message to them. You see, this hand washing was a Jewish custom that dated back to the early days of the law. In Deuteronomy 21, the Lord instructed His people,
If a dead body is found on the ground, this ground that God, your God, has given you, lying out in the open, and no one knows who killed him, your leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the body to the nearest cities. The leaders and judges of the city that is nearest the corpse will then take a heifer that has never been used for work, never had a yoke on it. The leaders will take the heifer to a valley with a stream, a valley that has never been plowed or planted, and there break the neck of the heifer…Finally, all the leaders of that town that is nearest the body will wash their hands over the heifer that had its neck broken at the stream and say, We didn’t kill this man and we didn’t see who did it. Purify your people Israel whom you redeemed, O God. Clear your people Israel from any guilt in this murder. (The Message)