Summary: How the Jews asked for Jesus’ blood to be on them and their children, and how their wish came true in more ways than one.
March 24, 2004 Matthew 27:24-26
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The first physical murder ever recorded in the Scriptures is in the story of Cain and Abel. Both had brought offerings to the Lord. Chapter 4 of Genesis says that, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil and Abel brought fat portions from some of the first born of the flock. Notice the difference between the two. When Cain just brought “some of the fruits” but Abel brought the FAT portions of the FIRST born - God looked with favor on Abel’s, but not on Cain’s. This didn’t sit well with Cain - God could see that his face was downcast, and warned him that sin was crouching at his door - it needed to be mastered. Cain didn’t master it. Instead, since Cain couldn’t vent his anger on God, he did it on God’s child. Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Ge 4:8-9) Cain tried to cover up his murder with denial - as if he didn’t know or didn’t have the responsibility of taking care of his brother. But what did God say to him? What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. (Ge 4:10) It’s with this story that we sing, “Abel’s blood for vengeance, pleaded to the skies.” It’s quite a vivid picture isn’t it? Imagine hearing blood from the ground screaming out, “avenge me! I’ve been innocently shed!” In the same way, even Moses tried to cover up his murder by burying an Egyptian in the ground. Yet his murder also did not go unnoticed.
God’s Word says, There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Pr 6:16-19) One of the most detestable things to God are hands that shed innocent blood. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us when He doesn’t allow murderers to get away with murder even in this life. One of the hardest things to cover up, actually - is spilt blood. For instance, I have seen many documentaries on how murderers were caught because of that fact. Even when you wash blood up with soap and water and think that an area is completely cleansed to the naked eye, there is a special spray and light that can be used to determine exactly where the blood was shed. These methods have been used to convict many a murderer. Blood also contains DNA that can link victims to murderers and bring convictions that are deserved. No matter how hard they may try to cover it up, you can’t do that with blood.
In today’s text, blood was about to be shed. This wasn’t the blood of a criminal or the blood of a mere man. This was the blood of God Himself. If God saw to it that Abel’s blood would not be covered up, there would be no way His blood could be covered either. Pilate knew this blood was innocent. He didn’t want responsibility for it. So he tried to put it on the Jews. Having been worked up into such a frenzy by their leaders, the Jewish people were willing to take the responsibility. The phrase that they speak has caused quite a stir throughout the ages - even in our society today. But today we’ll take a close look at what they said, and see how they ended up -
Speaking the Bloody Truth
I. It’s my fault
When Jesus was brought before Pilate - the Jews brought several accusations before Him. One was that He was leading a rebellion, claiming to be the King of the Jews. Another was that He didn’t pay taxes to Caesar. Another was that he was stirring up the people. Another was that He threatened to tear the temple down and rebuild it in three days. After Pilate questioned Jesus, time and again he found that these charges were NOT true. For instance Matthew 27 says that Pilate -