Fourth Sunday in Lent – Saturday

His blood be on us and on our children! – Matthew 27:25.

Pilate, indeed, sought to release Jesus. But the Jews cried out: “If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar” (John 19:12). When Pilate heard that, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in a place that is called “The Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha” (v. 13). And Pilate said to the Jews: “Behold your King!” (v.14). But they cried out: “Away with Him, away with Him; crucify Him!” (v. 15a). Pilate said to them: “Shall I crucify your King?” (v. 15b). The chief priests answered: “We have no king but Caesar” (v. 15c). But when Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he, wanting to content the people, gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying: “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person; see ye to it” (Matthew 27:24; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:24). Then answered all the people and said: “His blood be on us, and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25). Then released he Barabbas unto them, who for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they desired; but Jesus, scourged and mocked, he delivered unto their will to be crucified (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:25; John 19:16).

A terrible thing to say: “His blood be on us and on our children!” Feeling so justified in their actions, they take full responsibility for the shedding of Jesus’ blood. And God has certainly punished them for it! Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jews were dispersed among all nations, and they have ceased to be God’s people. We Christians want the blood of Christ to be upon us in an entirely different way, because the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all our sins and iniquities (I John 1:7).

Ah yes, Lord Jesus, Thy blood, the blood of atonement, be on us, and on our children! Amen.

PRAYER. – I thank Thee, my dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that, by Thy blood and death, Thou hast made amends for the sins of the whole world and, likewise, for mine, and that Thou hast brought about a full reconciliation with God, and thus didst present all the world righteous and good in the sight of God. I pray Thee, my Lord and Savior, continue to strengthen and preserve the true faith within me, so that I may always have Thy cleansing blood upon me, and thus be saved. Amen.

Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,

which at the mercy seat of God;

forever doth for sinners plead,

for me – e’en for my soul – was shed.

Lord, I believe were sinners more,

than sands upon the ocean shore;

Thou hast for all a ransom paid,

for all a full atonement made.

(Hymn 371, st. 4 and 5; TLH)

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