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

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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.

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