April 6, 2012
April 6, 2012
Pilate saw that he wasn't getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. The responsibility is yours!" -- Matthew 27: 24 (NLT)
Passing the buck. A human tradition that goes back to the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake. As the journey to the cross is now over we see Pontius Pilate trying to minimize the role he plays in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Through the Gospel accounts we know that Pilate actually found Christ to be innocent of the charges brought against him yet in the end he turns him over to death anyway. Why? Within the answers lie some truths for us in how we tend to minimize sin in our own lives as well.
Pilate gave in to the pressures around him. Faced with a near riot on his hands he simply gave in to the pressures he faced that day. Similarly, we too tend to give in to the pressures in our lives when we find ourselves in sin. Even though "peer pressure" is often associated with teens it is a phenomena that carries no age limit. We are creatures that tend to want acceptance from others and hate rejection. Too often we can sacrifice what we know is better for the sake of giving in to those around us. Pilate knew better here. He knew this man was innocent yet he was more concerned about the pressures of those around him. Likewise, we tend to know better when we sin but we too give in to the pressures we find ourselves in.
Pilate put his career before what
he knew was right. Pilate counted the cost of one crucifixion that no one in
Pilate was too casual about what was right and wrong and justified the sin in his own mind. Clearly he knew what he was doing was wrong yet he did it anyway. In his own mind he felt like he had tried his best. He had argued for merely flogging the innocent Christ but the Jews said no. He had offered to release Him as per custom but the Jews demanded the murderer Barabbas be released unto them instead. In the end he simply felt like he tried enough and then tried to wash himself of the sin he was committing. Likewise, we too can resist a little bit before giving in. we feel like we have tried our level best but the temptation was just too strong. Like Pilate blamed the Jews we can blame the devil, the world, or someone else; anyone else, to avoid having to look in the mirror.
Realize today that it doesn't matter what grand ceremony we perform to try and wash the blood of sin from our hands. We can tell our version of the story. We can pretend that we tried to do everything we could. We can claim the self-righteous high ground. None of it impresses God. The blood is still dripping from our hands. Until we recognize our part in what we do and truly repent from it, the blood will remain and stain of sin will stay. The frightening part of repentance is that you must actually believe you have done something wrong in order to believe you need to repent. It is a truly dangerous place to be when you have confused your own darkness for light.