HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

6. YOU CAN’T WASH YOUR HANDS OF HIM (Matthew 27:24).

Pilate saw that he was not prevailing with the crowd. Instead, he began to see that a tumult was rising. He didn’t wish to put Jesus to death; because Jesus was a man with whom he could find no fault. And yet, he saw that the crowd was dangerously determined to see Jesus dead.

And so, Pilate lost his nerve as a governor. He resorted to a pathetic act of avoidance. He called for water, washed his hands before the multitude as a symbolic act of disassociating himself from the crucifixion, and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it” (Matthew 27:24).

But it didn’t work. No amount of water would ever wash away his association with Jesus. Later on, after Jesus was raised from the dead, the gathered Christians would pray to God and say, “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27-28). And throughout the following centuries, countless numbers of Christians have taken the Apostolic Creed as their confession of faith—which says, among other things, that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate”.

If what the Bible says of Jesus is true, then He’s not Someone that anyone can simply wash their hands off. Each of us must make a decision of what we will do with Him. We may try to wash our hands of Him now—but we will not be able to avoid Him on the day of judgment.

This leads us to a final thing this passage illustrates for us, and that is that you cannot wash your hands after you receive the witness of the word.


Author: Godfrey Gregg