Rev. Joel Haak, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 27:11-26.
As Jesus goes on trial before Pontius Pilate, the question of who is to blame for Jesus’ death takes center stage. As governor, Pilate recognizes that Jesus has committed no crime, yet he releases the guilty Barabbas in place of the Innocent One. Though Pilate washes his hands in an attempt to ease his conscience, his guilt remains. The chief priests and elders act only out of envy, persuading the crowd to join them in their demand for Jesus’ crucifixion. They proclaim a willingness to accept responsibility for Jesus’ death. Ultimately, the blame lies not just with Pilate or Jesus’ generation; all sinners bear the responsibility. In this fact, the gracious truth of what Jesus is doing shines forth. Jesus has come to die for all sinners. He reigns as King precisely by allowing Himself to be declared guilty, so that sinners can be declared innocent. He directs events toward the shedding of His own blood, so that His blood can be placed upon sinners in order to forgive their sins. Jesus allows the injustice to Himself in order to give justification to sinners.
“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Jesus Before Pilate
11 Now 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 amazed.
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!”
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;[a] 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[b] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
- Matthew 27:24 Some manuscripts this righteous blood, or this righteous man’s blood
- Matthew 27:26 A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing embedded pieces of bone and metal
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.