Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
22. They Cursed Themselves and Their Children
(Matthew 27:24-26)
24When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult 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.”25And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”26Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. (Deuteronomy21:6, Acts5:28)


Pilate knew that Jesus was just and had professed His innocence several times. He was not willing to sentence Him to crucifixion and washed his hands with water publicly to symbolize his innocence of the blood of Christ. He laid all of the guilt on the people and testified of Christ’s innocence. Even so, he did great injustice to Jesus because he did not release Him.
After Pilate washed his hands of Jesus’ situation, the people brought a curse on themselves as they cried together, “His blood be on us and on our children.” If they had spoken the same words in the context of believing in His atonement, they would have been saved. But they cried these words to curse themselves. God will take account of every injustice, if a sentence of death be decided by the court without clear evidence. The curse that the Jews put upon themselves and their children is one of the secrets of their history. Anyone who wants to understand the Jews must recognize God’s curse on Abraham’s seed that came about by their own request. The bitter history of the Jews is proof of God’s righteousness and justice.
The Jews brought down the punishment of this sin upon themselves and their children, even those that were yet unborn. They didn’t limit the extent of the curse, as God had, to the third and fourth generation. It was madness to put this open-ended curse upon themselves.
Pilate was afraid that the Jews might raise a complaint against him to the Roman authorities, so he sentenced Jesus to be crucified. All the people took part in his injustice. Similarly, we occasionally consider our comfort and food more important than defending the rights of others. For the sake of our own rights, we defend and struggle to the last spark of life. But concerning the darkness that falls upon others, we wash our hands with false innocence. If Jesus were condemned today, would you stand against the multitude and approach the governor to seek His release?
Before Jesus was taken to the soldiers to be crucified, He endured Roman scourging. In this procedure, they would fit iron or bony pieces into the thongs of the whips so as to tear flesh from the bones. The innocent Son of God became a substitute for us. In Him, Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled, “Surely He had borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, You are my King and my Lord, and I am Yours. I put myself at Your disposal. Forgive me if I have tried to take my soul out of Your hand. Forgive me every injustice in thought, word, and deed. Forgive me if I have neglected the rights of my brothers at home, at school, or in business. Train my conscience to live in the uprightness and obedience of Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for sinning against You, our living Lord who died for us on the cross.
Question
Why did Pilate sentence Jesus to be crucified?