“Then answered all the people, and said; His blood be on us, and on our children.”
The last attempt, Pilate made to clear Jesus was to put Him on an ignoble duo: Jesus or Bar-Abbas! Whom do you desire?
Ignoble? Beloved reader, I do not know what word to use to adequately express the horror of that duo: Jesus or Bar-Abbas! Principally the people are to choose between God and the devil!
And if that duo is horrible, what shall I say of the people’s decision? They say: Give us the devil, and kill God? That’s the truth.
And those people are horrible, are they not?
Yes, oh, yes, they are horrible. And the whole world will today say: Yes, they are horrible.
But attend to this: those people are you and I.
That action shows you in a measure to what depths the human nature has sunk.
But there are more horrors.
Pilate is set at nought. He has two more words.
First: But, ye poor deluded souls, what shall I then do with this Jesus? But the people are not in a mood to reason about what is right and wrong. They have but one answer: They all say unto him: Let Him be crucified!
Second: Why, what evil hath He done?
And the answer? It’s the same as before. They are in a blind stupor of the very hatred of God. Again they say: Let Him be crucified!
Pilate is at his wits’ end: watch him! He is afraid of a tumult. He is afraid that a tumult will ensue.
And now watch him. He will employ a Jewish custom: he took water; washed his hands, and he will speak his last words: I am innocent of the blood of this just Person: see ye to it!
Now read Deuteronomy 21:1-6. There you find the same ceremony. All the elders of a city near which a slain man is found will wash their hands in water, and say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it!”
Yes, I know it: Pilate is nevertheless guilty. I know that if he was not converted before his death, he will be damned in the righteous judgment of God in the day of Christ. But listen to this: He will furiously condemn this multitude in God’s judgment. He will remind them of these last words of his: he called Jesus a just Person. He did not want to kill Him. He wanted to set Jesus free. All the water of the oceans cannot obliterate these facts.
The eternal burden of Jesus’ blood does not fall centrally on Pilate. He is guilty incidentally. But the central burden belongs on this multitude, and especially on the Pharisees, the elders of the people, the lawyers, the judges, the priests, the leaders of the people!
Two persons vocally assert the innocence of Jesus: the thief on the cross, and this Pilate. You know, sometimes I wish that Pilate were converted before his death. Just because he wanted to set Jesus free, and just because he openly asserted the innocence of our beloved Savior.
But enough of that. Let’s go on.
Here is the answer of the multitude when they see Pilate wash his hands in vain: Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children!
Oh the horror of that statement. A thousand times it is realized throughout all the New Testament history.
They assume the whole of the burden of Jesus’ blood.
Essentially it is the life of a living creature. If your blood flows away, your life is gone. The blood is the bearer of your life. A heart empty of blood is a dead heart.
All blood is precious. Remember your blood banks, your transfusions, the haste of them.
Some cannot see blood. They faint. That’s very natural. Blood should never be seen, except in the rosy glow on a healthy face.
But this is the Blood of Jesus. This is the blood of the innocent Lamb of God.
This is the Blood of God (Acts 20:28).
And this innocent, beautiful Blood of Jesus is shed!
Of course! It should be shed. It is the Blood of Him who is declared guilty by God Himself.
Jesus, standing there in the judgment hall of Pilate is carrying all the burden of the guilt of His sheep, given Him by His Father. He must be slain. As He is hurried to Golgotha, you may say: and it pleased the Lord to bruise Him!
There is a figure used by the Holy Ghost in Isa. 53:6which is lost in our English translation. In our English Bible we read: “and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” But in the Holland version we read: “but the Lord hath caused all our unrighteousness to walk toward Him.”
What a figure! Look at Jesus: all our sins are running toward Him, until they all rest on Him. And God is just and righteous.
His Blood must be shed. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die!” That’s the law of God which altereth not.
Christ is innocently put to death by the Sanhedrin, the people of Israel, Judas, Pilate, Herod, the soldiers.
But looked at from the viewpoint of God: Jesus is put to death according to strictest justice of God. All His pangs, and sorrows of death are meted out to Him. There is not one ounce of suffering but it is deserved. All the eternity of death He suffers, He should suffer. It is beautifully just!
The Blood of God was shed at Golgotha.
Justly, according to God.
But there is another side to this terrible Drama. From the viewpoint of all whom I enumerated above, He is the Innocent Lamb of God. From the viewpoint of Pilate and the Jews, Jesus is Innocent.
And they shed the Innocent Blood.
They shed His blood for they hated Him. They hated Him exactly because of His great Innocency. And that calls for wrath.
I ask you, if God is incensed with eternal wrath when you slay a man in wickedness, what shall God say when you shed the Blood of God?
As soon as the innocent blood paints the earth, it cried to God for vengeance. Abel’s blood cried to God and it was heard.
And there at Golgotha lies the Blood of Jesus, and it has cried to God for almost two thousand years.
And the world continues to crucify the Lord afresh. The guilt and the wrath accumulate.
But this Blood of God?
The Jews have an answer: Let that Blood come upon us and upon our children.
Thirty years later on this very spot, judgment was given again 3600 for insurrection. And a few years later there was a forest of crosses around Jerusalem when Titus warred against it.
And all the ages God has set all nations and tribes against the Jews. They are still paying for this cry. The Blood of God is upon the Jews and upon their children indeed.
And not alone upon the Jews. They are the main culprits. And God never forgets.
But it is true also against all the wicked world of every age. The whole world is always arrayed against God and His Anointed Son.
God asks a simple question of every man, woman, and child: What think ye of My Jesus? And their answer is always: We think Him a curse! And the result is that Jesus’ Blood is upon the wicked world. And on their children.
Oh, but that Judgment Day will be terrible! The world has counted the Blood of the New Testament an impure thing, and they have done despite unto the Son of God. They have trampled Him under foot. It shall be terrible to fall into the hand of the living God, for our God is a consuming fire!
Come, beloved, let us look again at our text. But let us read it in another way, and then we will have most wondrous salvation.
This text is our prayer very often. “His blood be upon us, and upon our children!”
Is there ever a day, beloved, when you do not crave this blood upon you, to wash you, and to make you clean? Do you not cry daily unto God and say: O God, wash my children and their children in that precious Blood?
Of course you do.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!
O the voice of that blood of Jesus! It damns Pilate, Herod, the soldiers, the multitude, Judas!
In the Judgment Day that Blood shall be required of millions. And that Blood shall damn them unto all eternity in hell, where their worm shall not die and their fire shall not be quenched!
But that same Blood shall liberate you, exalt you to the highest heavens, put you into the very Bosom of God with Christ.
On that Blood of God is built the new Jerusalem with all its glittering beauty.
On that Blood sparkles the diamond, the jasper stone and the ruby, and the rainbow above the Godhead, green as the emerald.
That Blood of Jesus makes you clean, so clean and pure as though you in your own person had fulfilled all the law of God.
That Blood makes you sing, shout for joy in heavenly hallelujah’s.
That Blood shed in the judgment hall of Pilate, on the Via Doloros’a, on the hill called Golgotha, the Place of a Skull, tells the sweet story of the Love of God.
O that love of God in the Blood of Jesus! Imagine if you can: He loved us so much that He went to hell for us, and was tortured with all the tortures the damned endure, and much more, for He bled as the Beautiful, as the most Beautiful Thing God ever showed to the world!
Blessed Blood of Jesus!