I remember thinking how awful it was for the crowds to be calling out to crucify Jesus, and God revealing to me that I was them.
11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 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!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
I remember the first time, (in full knowledge of what I was doing and who I was betraying), that I said ‘Crucify him.’ It was about 3 months after I’d given my life to the Lord, I hadn’t seen my old friends at all in that time. I was invited to an 18th birthday party and I decided I’d go. I got a message that night asking, ‘You coming tonight? You got the goods?’ (As in, ‘Are you bringing drugs?’). I said ‘Nah, I’m sober, I don’t do that stuff anymore.’ And when the friend asked me ‘Why?’ I said, ‘I guess I just got over it.’
How could I do that? How could I say something that implied that I was responsible for the complete change in my life – from walking in darkness to walking in light? I had the perfect opportunity to tell someone about Jesus – to give an answer for the hope that I have and I didn’t. I said, ‘Crucify Him’, and chose myself.
There have been many times since then. The more I learn about Jesus, the more aware of those times I become. And graciously – by the Spirit – the sorrier I become. And, praise God that I am not the one who changes hearts.
I am reminded of this, of my failings, and how greatly I need God’s grace that we can see in this passage. I see the crowds call out ‘Crucify Him’ to the one who would die for them, to save them. And I am reminded of me and of this song:
‘I take comfort in the hope
Of the thief upon the cross
For I am worthy of as little love as he’
- Grace Awaiting Me
All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” (v25) His blood is on me. It’s on you. It’s on all of us ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ Romans 3:23.
And in all of this, Jesus stood there and took it. Not once did he fight back. And then he died…for us. And because he is the promised one, he rose again. By this we are saved.
Head: Are you crucifying Jesus in your life? When have you said, ‘Crucify Him?’
Heart: How does it make you feel that despite that, you are clean, forgiven and new through the cross? How does it make you feel that you were accepted by God from the day you accepted Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of your life?
Hands: How are you going to respond? Pray and speak to the God who loves you, and sent his son Jesus to die for you.
Prayer: Father thank you for the cross. Thank you that Jesus did not fight back. Thank you that ‘this is how we know what love is’, that you are love, and that you save us through Jesus’ death. Lord please forgive me for the times I call out to crucify your only Son, I am sorry. Please help me live a life that shows people Jesus in all I do. I love you. Amen
A song to listen to: How Deep the Father’s Love https://open.spotify.com/track/1DdYWvSA2lJbYqzpm3moC6