Reading and re-reading this text made for a difficult topic choice. We could consider the situation with Judas Iscariot and his unrepentant regret. We could think about all the fulfillments of Old Testament texts (there are several even beside those enumerated texts, e.g., v 28, 57-60, cf Is 53:9). We could consider Pilate’s hand washing.
But I settled on the Jews’ response to Pilate’s declaration of his belief in Jesus’ innocence. Releasing Jesus to the Jews to satisfy their bloodlust, Pilate declared, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person. To this the Jews replied, “His blood be on us and on our children” (v 25).
This is the kind of statement made by people who really haven’t thought such things through. Turns out they really didn’t mean it. In Acts 5:28, just weeks after making this statement to Pilate, these same opponents of truth played the victim of the apostles’ preaching, crying, “You have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood on our heads.”
Wait what??? Isn’t this the very thing they claimed they wanted? What happened? They failed to consider what might happen if all that Jesus said about himself were actually true, which it was (cf Luke 24:44).
Now to the stark reality… Not only was Jesus blood on their hands, it is also on ours.
Oftentimes we focus on the actions of the Jews and Romans in regard to the death of Christ. Prophetic considerations aside, (please understand my point), it really didn’t matter WHO arrested Jesus and put him death, but WHY.
So why did Jesus have to die? Because of sin and my sinin particular. So far as I am concerned, Jesus didn’t die for your sins; he died for mine. His blood is on my hands. Without his blood I cannot be saved. God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). Thus, God sent Jesus to die for men universally and particularly.
Paul made Jesus’ sacrifice personal in Galatians 2:20 when he said Jesus “loved me and gave himself for me.”