Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
The crowd yelled out “Let him be crucified.” They just kept chanting it & yelling it, without logic or reasoning. They couldn’t help themselves.
Then they yelled, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Barrabas, was released instead of Jesus. Jesus died. Barabbas lived.
Man, what a passage. Every time I read this I think of that moment that the crowd, the crazy, riotous crowd is yelling “Crucify him!” Like a crowd of wild animals, furious. Blind to what it is right in front of them. Blind to the fact that standing before them is the King of the world, the Creator of the universe, the Author of love & mercy.
All the while, before creation, before coming to earth, Jesus was used to something quite different. He was used to a multitude of angels, angels that covered their eyes because they were too unworthy to even glance at Jesus chanting for all of forever…
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:3
He gave that up, to hear us, chanting, “Crucify him”. He gave it all up so that he could be killed like a common criminal. So that he could be traded for a criminal like Barrabas, to be traded for people like us.
Then, the most ironic and hysterical part. This riotous mob yells back to Pilate, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”
Sheesh, what irony!
Yes, yes, yes, that is the point, and they don’t even realize it. I can’t help but think that Jesus just hung his head when they said this and thought,
“Yes, that is exactly what I am doing. I will die instead of Barrabas, instead of you, instead of your children, so that my blood would be ‘on you’, would cover you, would be enough for you, so that you won’t have to die. I will stand in your place. I will exchange my glory for your shame. I will give up the chant of holy, holy, holy for crucify, crucify, crucify, even while you don’t get it.”
Man! What grace! We don’t have to get it first. Jesus didn’t wait until we understood it. Jesus didn’t wait until we grasped how great he was. He just did it. He went in the midst of all this and died for you and me. Let’s rejoice in that today. Let’s come to him all bent and broken and messy because he is a really good savior who loves to save us.
Jesus, thank you. Thank you for coming and dying and taking on this horrible shame and embarrassment, not because we deserved it, not because we got it, not because we understood it in the moment and not even to teach us about it first. You did it because you loved us. You did it because you are really good at saving us. Thank you for giving up your glory so that we could have life.