Pilate Washes His Hands of Jesus
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 18; Psalm 56; Matthew 27
Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 27:11-26
In 1818, Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis was born into a world of dying women. The finest hospitals in the world lost one out of six young mothers to the scourge of “childbed fever.” A doctor’s daily routine began in the dissecting room where he performed autopsies. From there, he made his way to the hospital to examine expectant mothers without ever pausing to wash his hands. Dr. Semmelweis was the first man in history to associate such examinations with the resultant infection and death of the new mothers. His own practice was to wash with a chlorine solution, and after eleven years and the delivery of 8,537 babies, he lost only 184 mothers–about one in fifty. Though none of his colleagues believed him at the time, we know today about the importance of washing our hands. In today’s key passage however, we see a different kind of hand washing. The religious leaders were calling for Jesus execution, and Pilate was feeling the pressure. He knew what he should do. His own conscience told him that Jesus was not guilty of anything, and his wife confirmed his suspicions, but Pilate knew that if he released Jesus he would have a possible revolt on his hands that could cost him his job. Since he could not come up with a solution that would make everyone happy, he decided to make no decision at all. We read in verse 24, “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘“It is your responsibility!'” Pilate wanted to simply walk away from the decision and not take responsibility for the outcome, but in the end, he still allowed Jesus to be crucified. In the end, he was still guilty.
There are many times when we can all feel tempted to simply “wash our hands” of a situation. When we see people who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, we may be tempted to not deal with the question of who He is. When we see temptations in our lives that may lead us to sin, it is often too difficult to cut those temptations out of our lives completely. When we see other believers sinning, it is often easier to stay quiet instead of correcting them in love. When we see someone in need, it is often easier to walk by him instead of stopping to help. I could fill this page and probably a couple more simply listing out examples of when we might be tempted to “wash our hands” of a situation instead of dealing with it, but the point is that in each of these examples there is one common truth – washing our hands does not make us innocent. Walking away and choosing not to deal with a problem does not solve it, and in the eyes of God, we will still be found guilty. When you are tempted to wash your hands of a situation, instead ask God for His guidance. Allow Him to lead you to the right answer. Allow Him to lead you down the right path.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on May 10, 2014, in 01 - Matthew and tagged Bible, Christian, Conflict, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Money, Pontius Pilate, Religion, Service, Sin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.