Matthew 27:11-2511 abNow Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you bthe King of the Jews?” Jesus said, c“You have said so.” 12 aBut when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, a“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. 15 aNow 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 aJesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out aof envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on athe judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with bthat righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today cin a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to aask 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?” aThey all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why, awhat evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” 24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that aa riot was beginning, he took water and bwashed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of cthis man’s blood;1 dsee to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, a“His blood be on us and bon our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having ascourged1 Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
Grace Mercy and Peace Be to You from God our Father and Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Now they have done it and so have you! Jesus, the Son of God was betrayed beaten and brought before trial out of envy, weighed measured, and the only thing to be found “wanting” of Him was He desired all of you. He is righteous and innocent and was even judiciously declared to be so. For even Pilate himself washed himself of Jesus Christ’s blood and declared that this man has done nothing wrong. But desiring His blood so much the people cried out “Let His blood be upon and on our children!” Saying, if this man is innocent, let his blood be upon us, let the blood guilt and penalties be upon us AND our children even. JUST KILL HIM! Truly, the people did not care about keeping the Law at that moment, though they feigned it. Jesus is the Son of God and He rightfully claimed to be, it was no blasphemy. He gave many signs and wonders proving who He was, and if they truly cared about the Law they would also have remembered from the very beginning the penalty for murdering the innocent and practiced caution, even more so for whom they were putting to death; for to kill the innocent bares the penalty of death. Or did they who ought to have been teachers of the Law not remember innocent Able whose blood cried out from the ground for justice after his brother Cain slew him in the field out of jealousy and envy to every murdered man in the land, and prophet or priest who was slain between the altar and the veil of the Most Holy Place of the temple. The blood of the innocent was ALWAYS upon the culprit. But this time, the guilt is not only upon them, who put innocent Jesus to death, it is to be upon their children, and upon you and me, and upon your children, and all people whoever was and is!
His blood is upon you and death is required according to Jewish law! No amount of animal sacrifice would account for such an intentional murder as this! His blood is upon you! There is no place to flee, no city of refuge to run to within a day’s journey as there were in Israel to hide out in and live out your days. The next of kin has every right to drag you out of those cities and kill you, your blood is demanded, your life for a life, and here you thought with those who foolishly said, “let His blood be upon us and our children” you’d be safe. So great was the mob rule and majority that it would surely overcome Jesus’ family and those who would seek your life. As though taunting Jesus’ family saying, let you all come, bring it on! Mary bring it on! All you brothers and sisters of Jesus, bring it on! Their Father Joseph was no doubt dead or else Jesus would not have left Mary in another’s charge to take over His place and obligation as a first-born son.
Do you see and feel the hatred, the envy, and the viciousness of it all here in the crowd? Do you see the irony? The mob murders the son of God and releases who? A murder that is no doubt sentenced or to be sentenced to die a death as this Jesus upon a cross! Trading Jesus’ life for His life and this Jesus of Nazareth is innocent! How foolish we are to think that His true Daddy wouldn’t be coming for us! For God the Father is truly the next of kin and He is able to Judge us all and rightfully so! Who could ever hope to flee! He who slays the unjust and the wicked, He who brought down plagues upon Egypt and so much more! His wrath is to be upon us all the more now! Are you not cut to the heart of what we have done! What shall we do? Jesus’ blood IS upon us and our children! OH NO!…. But OH YES!
For so it is and MUST BE! His blood is upon you. You are guilty! But God planned for this! For only in one exception does the murderer ever truly go free. Only one exception does Barabbas, them, you, your children, and I ever go free! And that is at the death of the High Priest. Only His death counts in place of the murder whether it is intentional or not. When He the High Priest dies you get to go free, back to the land of your inheritance! What looked like a trial and execution of a man who claimed to be King of Kings to you and I was indeed truly a High Priestly work of both Christ the perfect spotless innocent Lamb, and High Priest as one.
Here in the High Priests death you have a glorious exchange! You have His life for yours, and it keeps getting better! For His Priesthood is greater than Levi’s and He gets to remain in office forever! His one-time death counts forever, and the life He lives forever in that Resurrection Easter Sunday means He also continues to live, serve, and minister forever too! This sacrificial death and Priestly work allows us to draw near to God and the throne of Grace. It is why the curtain is ripped that Good Friday evening. It is good because His blood gets sprinkled throughout the true temple in heaven itself making a way “narrow way” before the High Priest, and behind Him as He walks in, and also for you. And in so doing, YOU get restored to the Father and YOU get to go back to the land of your inheritance walking restored once more with the Father as of days of old in the Garden of Eden forever. It is not just bodily Jesus does this, not just temporarily does Christ do this, but also in our hearts, in our souls, and in our consciences forever cleansed! So that when this sinful flesh is put away for good, we will remain and be without sin forever once more unable to fall again! (We are simul justus et peccator: simultaneously saint and sinner)
And this is the good news for us Christians! This is the good news that the disciples and all the apostles of Jesus MUST share and cannot stop sharing that His blood is upon you! (Acts 5:28) And it is glorious what the Lord has done here upon a criminal’s cross! Through it He brings atonement and not condemnation. He brings blessings and not a curse. He brings a new life-giving tree whose fruit is His righteous blood to cover you, be upon you, shed for you, and yes even IN you through the Lord’s Supper. For through it we have been justified, redeemed, forgiven of all our trespasses, and saved from the wrath of God against our sin by Jesus Christ who took our place and bore the Fathers wrath in our place! Or did He not cry out, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken ME!” Rather than pour out His wrath upon us rightfully, He allows Himself to be slain instead and take our deserved death. For He alone suffered outside the city gates for our sins in order to sanctify us all, and in so doing sets us apart forever as His chosen so that we might come Home to the City of God which is to come! Giving us Hope for tomorrow and every tomorrow after!
So Yes, indeed, MAY His blood be upon you, MAY His blood be upon your children! For His blood sprinkled upon you “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” and all the animal sacrifices in the world. May it speak a better word than all whom God sent to us prophets and priests that have ever died by our hands! May it cover the blood of every life snuffed out by our hands or even in our lands!
Yes, YOU killed the Son of God! But this was God’s plan all along. Not out of cruelty or trickery, but out of love and desire for YOU! The Scriptures declare, Jesus Christ is the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. Yes, God knew our fall would happen, and so He planned this moment upon that cross with His shed blood from the beginning. It was not plan B or C, but plan A all along and it was as good as done then as it is now! Truly, He has always loved you and forever will! So I leave you this evening with the words of Saint Peter in the upcoming days of Pentecost “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And He has called you! Happy Good Friday Indeed, Thanks be to God! Amen.
May the Peace of the Lord which passes all understanding be with you always. Amen.
Texts: Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22 or Psalm 31; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42 or John 19:17-30; Matthew 26:1-27:66 (Holy Saturday’s Gospel)
Sermon Theme: His Blood is Upon You and Your Children
Opening Hymn: LSB 449 O Sacred Head Now Wounded
Sermon Hymn: LSB 454 Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle
Offering Hymn: LSB 425 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Closing Hymn: LSB 451 Stricken Smitten and Afflicted