The People Got What They Asked For
Friday, April 11, 2014 9:48 AM
This is Easter Week; a time when Christians everywhere remember, and celebrate, their Savior being raised from the dead. It is through His death, burial, and resurrection, that all our beliefs are based. So appropriately, I want to share with you about the events leading up to Easter and how they impact us.
Let’s start with a story:
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
The governor answered and said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They said, "Barabbas!" Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!" Then the governor said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, saying, "Let Him be crucified!" When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a [riot] 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." And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and on our children." Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:15-26)
It was custom for the governor to release a prisoner to the multitude at the Feast of the Passover.
Pilate gave the people a choice: Barabbas, who was a "notorious prisoner" (meaning he was a repeat offender) or Jesus, who was called Christ (which meant Messiah, the Anointed One). But remember, Pilate wasn’t a dummy—he knew the Pharisees were envious of Jesus, so he fully expected them to choose Him to be put to death.
And he was right.
But, not only did the people cry out for Jesus to be crucified, they also said, “His blood be on us and on our children!
Unknowingly, they cried out for the Blood and a Substitute.
The significance of His blood:
1. It was always used as a sin offering. Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
2. The blood provided access to God and the priestly offering of blood foreshadowed what was to come. (Read Hebrews 9:7-26)
3. The high priest never entered the holy of holies without blood (even the first covenant was dedicated with blood).
4. The blood was symbolic—a constant reminder of sins. (Read Hebrews 10:1-4)
5. It wasn’t possible for the blood of animals to take away sins.
The people cried out for the blood of Jesus, which He was prepared to give. He knew it would accomplish the Father’s desire to save mankind, and fulfill all prophecy.
Hebrews 9:26 says, “…but now… He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Yes, with His own blood, Jesus obtained eternal redemption (which means: permanent deliverance). And this is why His blood is significant to us today. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off [lost and separated] have been brought near [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
But that’s not all… The people also cried out for a substitute. They were willing to let someone else die for Barabbas’ sin. If they only knew they were all Barabbas.
[...To be continued next week]