When 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.
Matthew 27, 24
This expression is derived from the trial of Jesus Christ. Accused by His compatriots, Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea. Pilate was convinced of the accused’s innocence, but under the pressure of the people who were crying out for His death, he delivered Jesus to their hatred. Then he washed his hands before them all, expressing thereby that he took no responsibility for this matter.
Perhaps you find the governor’s attitude somewhat lax or, on the other hand, artful. Whatever the case, the role he played in Jesus’ death cannot be effaced by his gesture. One day Pilate will have to give account to God for knowingly having a righteous Man executed.
But take care! We can all be accused of nonchalance if we remain indifferent to this historical fact: about 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ was crucified. His perfect, pure life, His unlimited dedication to the task of revealing the love of God, His countless miracles had proved that He was the Son of God. But He allowed all to take its course to reconcile us with our holy God. He paid the debt for the sins of all who confess them to Him and submit to their judgment. He died willingly so as to give us eternal life.
Who would dare to say that Jesus’ death matters little to him, or that it is not his problem? His crucifixion affects us all. Whoever washes his hands of it must realize that “the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3, 36).