Todays readings.. Genesis 41, Psalm 45, Matthew 27
If anyone dies an unnatural death, there is always an effort to find whether anyone is to blame. As we read the trial of Jesus Christ we see the determination of his enemies to have him put to death. “They all said, ‘let him be crucified’” to which Pilate responded, “Why, what evil has he done?” [Matt. 27 v.22,23]
They never answered his question, because there was no answer they could give! By combining the different Gospel records we see the weakness of Pilate. He gave up trying to administer justice and “took water and washed his hands before the crowds, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ And all the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’” [v.24,25]
At that point they were willing to take all the blame for rejecting Jesus! Now we move the scene of events forward a few months; Jesus had risen from the dead and for 40 days appeared to and consorts with those who believe in him, on one occasion to “more than 500 brothers at one time” [1 Cor.15 v.6] These believers, especially the immediate disciples, become a powerful influence in Jerusalem with their bold preaching – further empowered by the Holy Spirit the 12 had been given after his ascension.
The Jewish leaders and their supporters are powerless – they forget what they had told Pilate about Christ’s blood being upon them and their children and they arrest the disciples and “set them before the council” saying, “you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” [Acts 5 v.28]
But the decision was made, the deed was done, Jerusalem is doomed – remember how Jesus wept over it. Today we are surrounded by people who are determined to believe there is no God, or who, recognising the need for some spiritual influence in their lives, do little more than preach the second commandment that ‘you should love your neighbour as yourself.’ For them Jesus will have died in vain, his blood is upon them.
Is it clear to God what you believe? It is vital we live in a way that shows we believe that Jesus died for us that we might have eternal life. This world is doomed, like Jerusalem was doomed, we cannot avoid making a decision as to where we stand; no decision means we stand with those who said, “His blood be upon us.”