Summary: This is a message about Pilate and his work at the wash basin.


TEXT: Matthew 27:22-24

Matthew 27:22-24 -- Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 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.


Though time and space have carried me many years from the place, it still lives on in memory. I can still hear the hiss of the water in the old pipes, I still remember drinking from the old dipper on the back porch, I can still remember how cool the water was out of the spigot, with the mind’s eye I can still see the old towel hanging on the peg on the wall, I remember that the only kind of soap was Dial soap, and most of all, I remember the silver wash pan in the bottom of the sink. That was how you washed your hands at my Granny’s house. Run some water (or draw as she would say) into the pan and fill it and then wash your hands in the basin. Little boys hands seem to get cleaner in a basin of water rather than under the running water.

I can remember how that she would scrub our hands before going into the kitchen to eat. Under the observing eye of my Papa, my Granny would relentlessly scrub away all of the grime of little boys business and rinse away all of the cooties that little girls are so careful about. There in that wash basin nothing stood a chance at resisting cleanliness. If it was dirty, exposure to my Granny=s wash pan would eradicate any sort of even the most resistant of grime.

On the other hand, out in the barn there were some old wash basins that had been retired. Having been used so much, time had worn them down. Holes appeared in the lining of some, rusted away areas were now present, and those made of porcelain had so many chips that water now leaked from them. These wash pans were no longer effective in their struggle against dirt and grime. No longer any good for anything except laying about the barn. Perhaps good for table scraps for the dog or corn for the chickens, but their usefulness for their purpose had been destroyed.

-That was Pilate’s trouble on that Passover morning, he was trying to use a wash basin that wasn’t effective.

ll. MATTHEW 27

A. Jesus and Pilate

-The contrasts between Jesus and Pilate on that Passover morning are striking:

Pain vs. Luxury

Selfishness vs. Generosity

Arrogance vs. Humility

Sin vs. Holiness

Power vs. Weakness

-There stands Jesus in front of Pilate. Even though Pilate is the man whom controls the country, he appears confused. Confused that a King would attempt to set up a kingdom in the manner that Jesus has pursued. Confused that the religious leaders are still fighting against their prophets. Confused about the religious leaders who make long speeches about the sovereignty of God and then beg for tax breaks.

-He notices the mob that seems to be restless on that morning. They are howling about something and they are quite serious about their requests. Again, Pilate retreats to the recesses of his mind and tries to recall what he knows about this up-country preacher.

-Of all the problems and perplexing issues that have come to him during his tenure in Jerusalem, none are so troubling as his review of this hoax of a trial. Pilate is taken out of his element in trying to understand what it is that began with John of Jerusalem and now has progressed to Jesus of Nazareth.

-The words in the heart are as of yet unspoken, "I find no fault in this man." But before he states the objective, he again reviews the last three years:

A widow’s son is miraculously called from the casket.

The bride whose wedding almost went bad had more wine than she bargained for.

The cripple who walked out of the house with his bed.

The parents who rejoiced over their daughter’s restoration to life.

The thousands who were fed with just a small amount of fish and bread.

The sermons, the parables, and the teaching that flowed was cut of such wisdom.

-All of this Pilate remembers. Yet, he recalls hearing of how this country prophet had entertained some midnight guests. Some of the upper echelon in the religious world had been curious but embarrassed to approach so under the cover of night Pilate had knowledge that Nicodemus had come to Jesus. That was what he remembered most.

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