Washing Our Hands of Jesus

Pilate’s wife warned him to have nothing to do with that righteous man, Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:19). The Jewish leaders were demanding that Jesus be put to death, since they had no king but Caesar, and Jesus was claiming to be king. Pilate knew that the Jews had turned Jesus over out of envy (27:18). More than once Pilate had proclaimed that he had found no fault in Jesus. He had even tried to get Jesus off by offering to release him, but the Jews chose Barabbas (27:15-17,21).
Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified. (27:24-26).
Pilate sought to release his responsibility in the death of Jesus by washing his hands in front of the crowd. The crowd eagerly accepted responsibility. In the end, however, it was still Pilate who gave Jesus to be crucified (John 19:17).
Adam blamed Eve, Saul blamed the people, and Pilate washed his hands — all to relieve themselves of responsibility for their actions. We can’t stop others from their sinful behavior, but we must be responsible for our own choices.
Others wash their hands of Jesus by forsaking him. For some, it is by quitting church; for others, it is by remaining silent in the face of those who oppose Jesus Christ; and for still others, it is by doing nothing while others serve.
If we love the Lord, we can never wash our hands of him. Rather than leave him to the thoughtless crowd, let us embrace and serve him. Let us exalt him as our Lord and King. We cannot ignore the One we love; we cannot dismiss him to those who seek to end his influence in this world. Let us hold up his hands for all to see that we are his servants.

One thought on “Washing Our Hands of Jesus

  1. Bro. Phil,
    Thank you for emphasizing in the last paragraph of your article the fact that, “If we love the Lord, we can never wash our hands of Him.” As you stated, “Let us hold up His hands for all to see that we are His servants.”
    To which I can only add, “Amen and Amen!”
    El Paso

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