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I’ve read this verse many times before: “His blood be on us and on our children,” (Matthew 27:25).
This morning was one of those mornings. One of those mornings when I wake up, wander haplessly into the kitchen and make myself a cup of dark-roast coffee. It was one of those mornings when I grab by Bible, turn on the praise music and plop down at my desk. One of those mornings when I open up my Bible and seem unable to satisfy my longing for his voice to speak. Until he spoke this: “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Now, you might be thinking: “What’s all that about? Sounds kinda graphic, if you ask me.” And you’re right. The chief priests and religious leaders were shouting untrue accusations and insults at Jesus, trying to convince Pilate that he was worthy of death. Jesus answered Pilate’s question about his kingship, but he never responded to the accusations or insults of the priests and religious leaders. He didn’t refute their claims or speak truth into their falsehoods. Instead, “He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly,” (Matthew 27:14).
Later, in verse 24, we find Pilate doing everything in his power not to crucify Jesus. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent. He knew Jesus had done nothing to warrant the accusations and insults, much less death. He knew “that because of envy, they had delivered him,” (Matthew 27:18).
So the governor gave the people a final chance to take back this harsh, unjustified sentence of death: “ ‘What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ … ‘His blood be on us and on our children,’ ” (Matthew 27:22, 25).
And on one of those days? My heart screams with the accusers of Jesus, “Yes. Let his blood be on us and our children.” My cry, of course, is different than theirs but just as intense. Oh how my heart yearns and pleads for the blood of Christ to cover me — my sin, my guilt. For you see, I know that “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin,” (Hebrews 9:22).
Can you imagine? No forgiveness through Christ. No hope for any kind of future in a place other than this disease-ridden world. No peace. No joy. No rest. I can’t even begin to imagine. But then again, I don’t even want to try.
I realize it’s not Easter, but it is one of those day, at least for me, a day that I am so very thankful that Christ chose to not say a word; that he chose death so that I could have life; that his blood covers me and my children.
Today’s prayer: I praise you, Jesus, for your sacrifice at the hands of angry men, jealous men, men who had no idea what their hearts truly yearned for. I praise you that you chose me over you that day so that I can choose you over me every day. Thank you, Lord.”
Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and firstname.lastname@example.org.