“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!’ All the people answered, ‘His blood is on us and on our children.’” (Matthew 27:24-25)
Pilate wished to distance himself from the actual crucifixion of Jesus by trying to wash away his guilt. But, innocent, he was not. It was only by his authority that Jesus would be crucified. That is serious enough but what of the people? The Jewish people wished to take upon themselves the responsibility of his order. It was a statement that has hounded and affected the Jewish population down through the ages. Thus, there has been a tension between some Christians and Jews.
How much do we hold the Jews responsible for crucifying the Savior of the world? Some take their actions as independent of God’s will. Yet, it was God who brought Jesus to the Cross. This is all of God. Pilate and the Jewish leaders and people just played their part. Are they to blame? No. It was God’s own work to save them and us. In that thought, it is absolutely true, that Jesus’ blood is on the Jews and us. It is that blood that convicts of sin and saves those who confess Him. God’s will was done on the Cross. That is why we call it Good Friday.
Heavenly Father, it is easy to pass the blame around for Jesus’ death. We forget how necessary it was. You brought about Your saving of us through this mysterious set of circumstances. They are circumstances that we must embrace. They are part of Your Amazing Grace, and we thank You.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.