What Jesus Did! 'We Take Responsibility' — Matthew 27:22-26

Monday, December 13, 2021

[When the crowd asked for Barabbas to be released,] Pilate responded, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?"

They shouted back, "Crucify him!"

"Why?" Pilate demanded. "What crime has he committed?"

But the mob roared even louder, "Crucify him!"

Pilate saw that he wasn't getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. The responsibility is yours!"

And all the people yelled back, "We will take responsibility for his death — we and our children!"

So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

— Matthew 27:22-26 NLT

Key Thought

"We will take responsibility for his death." Can you imagine anyone saying such a thing? Jesus' enemies are so intent on getting him crucified that they are willing to take full responsibility for rejecting and murdering him. Of course, no matter what Pilate did, he could not absolve himself of guilt in this matter. But even so, the incited crowd is only too glad to accept the responsibility of Jesus' blood themselves.

Incredibly, Jesus' death on the cross was his way of taking our sin, our shame, and our guilt by shedding his blood to pay for them. Some of those who were calling for this horrible crucifixion would one day find forgiveness because this very blood was shed for them, too.

Today's Prayer

Father, please forgive me; I often don't know what I'm doing. It's not always that I'm ignorant, but that I am sometimes weak and selfish, looking out only for my own interest. Please forgive me. I want to stand firm for my faith and be courageous in the face of bitter criticism. Thank you that Jesus died for my sin, and help me to live victoriously acknowledging that Jesus saved me by his sacrifice. In his name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Corinthians 5:19-21
  • John 19:1-5
  • John 18:29, 33-37


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Illustration of Matthew 27:22-26 NLT — "We will take responsibility for his death — we and our children!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.