Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blood Stained

"Then the people as a whole answered, 'His blood be on us and our children!'"
(Matthew 27:25)

Okay, so Jesus is under arrest.  He's in "not-so-protective custody" with Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in the Jerusalem region.  He was brought there by the Jewish religious leaders (though Matthew tells us that Pilate knew it was only out of jealousy that Jesus was turned over to him - see v.18!).  Pilate reminds the people of the tradition of releasing any one prisoner during Passover.  Pilate gives them 2 options: Jesus, or a criminal named Barabbas.  The people opt for the latter.  Repeatedly.  When Pilate presses their intentions for Jesus, they shout, "CRUCIFY HIM!"  Wow.  Pilate announces his "innocence" in the whole affair, and literally washes his hands in front of them, symbolizing his guilt-free conscience.  That's wen the crowd utters that fateful line: "His blood be on us and our children!"

Never have more ironic words been spoken.  The crowds are telling Pilate they'll be responsible for the blood of Jesus that's shed.  But they don't realize that spiritually, his blood WILL be upon them - in the sense that because of his blood, they (& their children) can be forgiven!

Isn't that how God often works?  With our petty, vindictive, small-minded natures, we often lash out at God & others when emotions & feelings run high.  We say & do things that are not Christ-like.  We make a mess of things regularly.  But through it all, the blood of Jesus falls upon us and our children.  Forgiveness.  Healing.  Cleansing.  Restoration.  We may not even ask for it - but it's there.  If only we'll accept it.

If only...

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