Sunday, March 22, 2015

For Love

Matthew 27: 24-25
24When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this Just Person. You see to it." 25And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and our children."
Holy week is not far away at all. And there have been some battles and close calls during these 40 days for those who hold Jesus near. Some of the toughest battles come just before dawn. For believers in Christ, our dawn occurs Resurrection Sunday, the day that Jesus arose. But before that day, there were many battles. The toughest were in the final weeks. Many assume that Jesus had no choice in going to His death. But there is always a choice.  The choice is to obey or not obey. It was for love, that Jesus obeyed. It was for love though He was hated intensely that He quietly accepted a punishment and took someone else's place in death.
Pilate was in the middle of the feast of the governor as the word says and the custom was to release a prisoner. Pilate offered up Jesus the Christ and Barabbas as choices. The word says that Barabbas was a notorious prisoner. The crowd chose to release Barabbas. Pilate couldn't understand it. He knew Jesus had done no wrong. And he thought for sure that up against a notorious prisoner, Jesus would've been easily seen as the clear choice for release. But as the NKJV Study Bible translation says, "Pilate underestimated their hatred."  When Pilate saw he could not reason with the crowd, he didn't use his authority to override them though he could. He was not popular with them as the NKJV Study Bible translation indicates. So instead, he washed his hands and proclaimed his innocence putting the blood on the hands of those who shouted for Jesus' crucifixion. They happily accepted and also put the blood on their own children. Both parties took a very bold stance. Nonetheless, Jesus did it for love. Yes, his blood was on their hands. But He still covered their sins by shedding His own blood. For love, Jesus took the place of a man who was worthy of death. You and I are no better than Barabbas. For love, Jesus took the place of you and I on that cross. He committed no crime, no sin. Yet each of you and I, have. The people who desire to see you and I destroyed in every day life, are no different than that crowd. But for Love, Jesus shed His blood for everyone. A big battle before the dawn won at a great price. For love, His blood was shed but the victory is everlasting. If only everyone would see it.