12 June 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 27:15-26 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.” 20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!” 22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:15–22 NLT)
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, had a practice of releasing one prisoner to the crowd each year at Passover. This year, he offered Barabbas, a notorious revolutionary, or Jesus of Nazareth, who called himself the King of the Jews. He had every reason not to release Barabbas, who was a real and actual threat to peace, and he knew Jesus was innocent of any legitimate criminal charge.
The crowd, whipped into a frenzy by the leading priests and elders of the people shouted out for the release of Barabbas. Pilate wanted to release Jesus instead. His wife told him of a dream warning him to not be involved in the plot to kill Jesus, but he feared the crowd would riot, so he “washed his hands of Jesus’ blood” and turned him over to be crucified (after unjustly having him whipped.)
Pilate thought he could be clear of Jesus’ blood by washing his hands, and the Jews said “let his blood be on us and on our children!” What none of them knew is that the guilt of Jesus’ blood was on all mankind and no one was innocent. And none of them knew that Jesus’ blood was a sacrifice for the sin of every person who ever lived, and was given to restore innocence to us all. This is the Gospel Message!
Father, Thanks for reminding my friends and me that none of us is innocent OF Jesus’ blood and that all of us become innocent BY Jesus’ blood. May we again know to the core of our being, the simplicity and the glory of the Gospel Truth!