(For those of you who read my blog on a daily basis each weekday, I apologize for yesterday's omission. I was out of the office all day and unable to submit a devotional. God Bless You.)
The first fifteen verses of Mark chapter fifteen tell us about Jesus' trial before Pilate. Each Gospel account makes additions to the information that Mark provides. One of the most interesting additions is found in the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew 27:24, we find these words: "So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, 'I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.'"
According to Matthew, Pilate wanted nothing to do with the death of Jesus. While he held power over Jesus and handed him over to be flogged and crucified, Pilate wanted to make it clear that it wasn't his idea or desire to crucify Jesus. Furthermore, when it came to an accounting of the blood of Jesus, Pilate wanted to remain innocent.
In one sense, all of humanity is like Pilate in his desire to be innocent. We hear from Scripture that "he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:7)," and yet, we want to proclaim our innocence. We argue with ourselves and with God that we have only broken the minor laws of the Ten Commandments. We work hard at times to justify our sins and provide good reasons for the times we turn away from God to follow our own desires. Essentially, we - like Pilate - want to wash our hands of having any part of Jesus dying on the cross.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not trying to riddle you with guilt as you read this devotional and make you feel that Jesus' death is all your fault. The truth is that each one of us, myself included, had a part in sending Jesus to the cross. My point is this: we cannot wash our hands of Jesus. We can justify our sins, we can proclaim our innocence, and we can even say we want nothing of Jesus, but the living Christ will whisper to our hearts that He went to the cross for each of us and desires to lead us into true wholeness and innocence through His forgiveness, grace, and salvation.