In this extremely heated and polarizing presidential race, a very difficult question was posed to the candidates on their final debate. Name something you respect about your opponent. They both grasped at straws.
But despite their almost hatred for each other, they came up with something. Have you ever been listening to someone whom you totally disagree with… and suddenly they say something you actually agree with? It can be a surprising moment and in order to draw sides together, it’s moments like that you need to seize.
Reading the Easter story today (yes I know it’s Christmas season but it was the next chapter in my reading plan), I caught a moment when the people calling for Jesus to be crucified, actually spoke prophetically about His death (although I’m sure they didn’t realize it). But here I was, reading the words of the people seeking to kill Jesus… and I agreed with them… well at least agreed with their words, not their actions.
As Pilot was attempting to come up with some way to release Jesus and the crowd chose Barabbas instead, Pilot decided to wash his hands of this innocent blood. But the crowds response was amazingly prophetic (although I’m sure they missed it themselves).
“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.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”” (Matt 27:24-25) Little did they know that their statement actually summed up the entire gospel message. His blood would in fact cover them and their children… but not in the way they meant.
The Jews were still a sacrificial system and it always took the spilling of innocent blood to cover the sins. The blood that was always used was the blood of an innocent animal, usually a young lamb. By sacrificing this little lamb on the alter, the spilling of that blood would somehow atone for their sins for that year. But they’d be back the next year to repeat the same process.
But not until that lamb was the Lamb of God, did His blood finally atone for ALL sins of ALL who confess and believe. Every soul is guilty, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) And every soul must pay for that sin, “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23) This death is not a physical death, but a spiritual one, eternal separation from God. But thanks to that amazing sacrifice 2 millennia ago, His blood has in fact covered them and their children for all generations through eternity. What does it take to have His blood cover our sins too? Simple, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9)
The book of Romans clarifies what that crowd was shouting before they crucified Jesus. If in fact we confess and believe, then His blood does cover us.
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