Matthew 27:24–26 (ESV)
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”
25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
Pilate condemns Jesus to death while he seeks to absolve himself of responsibility for it. No matter how a sinner tries to evade responsibility for sin, he cannot wash himself
of it. Thanks be to God that Christ took responsibility for the sins of the whole world and let Himself be crucified for our sakes.
I pray: I am guilty,
Lord; grant me Your forgiveness and a new heart. Amen.
Matthew 27:15–23 (ESV)
The Crowd Chooses Barabbas
15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So
when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides,
while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders
persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate
said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let
him be crucified!”
The crowd chooses to release Barabbas instead of Jesus. They prefer the sinful ways of Barabbas and seek to crucify their true Lord. Just
as the Lord’s ways disturbed and threatened the people of Jerusalem, His ways disrupt our self-security. The silent Lamb of God would lead us away from the ways of the world to walk in His ways. He was condemned to death, that we might go freely into
I pray: Thank You, Lord, that You did not choose freedom for Yourself but life for me. Amen.
Matthew 27:11–14 (ESV)
Jesus Before Pilate
Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer.
13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly
Jesus silently listens to His accusers. His silence leads to His condemnation, but also to our forgiveness. When foes accuse you, curb your tongue. Loose
your tongue in prayer to the One who takes away your sin.
I pray: Thank You, dearest Jesus, for Your silence before Your accusers and Your sacrifice for
Matthew 27:3–10 (ESV)
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty
pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And
throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is
blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and
they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
denial is followed closely by Judas’s suicide. The two commit similar sins in betraying Christ, but things turn out differently for each. Both are sorry for their misdeeds—perhaps Judas is even sorrier in that he tries to undo the damage. But Judas
ends his life in despair, while Peter ultimately trusts in Christ, who alone can save us from guilt and despair.
I pray: Oh, let us ever flee to You, Christ, when overwhelmed by our sin! Let us not despair but know the depth of Your mercy. Amen.
Matthew 27:1–2 (ESV)
Jesus Delivered to Pilate
27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And
they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.
Christ is handed over to Pilate. When others betray you or falsely speak
evil against you, take counsel with Jesus. He knows your sorrows and has borne your sins. He will sustain you in the hour of trial.
I pray: Lord Jesus
Christ, let us die to sin and live to You. Lift up our hearts. Amen.