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"Taking the Responsibility for Us"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer
Lenten Devotion 2016
So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He
released the man who had been thrown into prison for
insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he
delivered Jesus over to their will (Luke 23:24-25).
Read Luke 23:24-25.
Pilate weighs out his options. He could defy the Jewish leaders
and the crowd, which grows more and more agitated every
moment. He could bring in his Roman troops to quell the rising
protest, but what would that mean for his career?
Then he looks at Jesus, standing silently by his side. No one
steps forward to defend Him and Jesus doesn't do anything to
defend Himself. If Pilate wants to save his career, he has to
sacrifice Jesus.
Luke tells us that Pilate "delivered Jesus over," using the exact
words he used of Judas' action. Both betrayed Jesus to those
Jewish authorities who sought His life. According to
Matthew 27:24, Pilate takes water, and in the sight of all the
court washes his hands and says, "I am innocent of this man's
blood. See to it yourselves."
But Pilate can't simply hand over his responsibility and shift the
blame for this miscarriage of justice. He will go down in history
as the one under whose authority God's innocent Son was
But Jesus was no helpless victim in this whole process. He didn't
need Pilate's troops to protect Him. If He wanted, He could have
called upon His Father and He would have had vast angel armies
at His disposal (see Matthew 26:53). But He permitted this to
happen-even taking Pilate's guilt upon Himself and suffering God's
wrath in His place-as well as yours and mine.
Lord Jesus, like Pilate I often try to shift the blame for my sins to
someone else, or find excuses for what I've done. Through Your
sacrifice I can stop and confess my guilt-knowing You already
paid the full price in my place. Receive my heartfelt thanks. Amen.
(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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