THE INNOCENT BLOOD
Matthew 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, 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. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Matthew 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Crucifixion was not unknown in the world prior to this event. It was used in ancient Japan in the Sengoku period. And prior to the usage of it in Rome, it was practiced by the Persians, Carthaginians, and Macedonians. The Athenians, who did not generally use this form of execution, crucified a Persian general in 479 BC. His crimes against Athens must have been particular offensive to them. The Romans crucified 6000 of the slave Spartacus’ followers in the Slave Rebellion in 73-71 BC.
But this single crucifixion stands out above all others for the condemned was the very Son of God! And his was the innocent blood!
You will take note in verses four and twenty four listed above, that both Judas and Pilate knew and spoke of this! And what is amazing is that Israel, having been trained in Moses’ law concerning this, and knowing of its dire consequence upon their entire nation if not handled properly, had such an unconcerned attitude regarding it. And that would be the downfall of national Israel with God! Let us read of the law of innocent blood.
Deuteronomy 19:9 If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three: 10 That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee. 11 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: 12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
The Lord is instructing Israel that he would provide cities of refuge to deal with the matter of bloodshed among them. For bloodshed had a great effect even upon the earth! Genesis 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength;
For the life is in the blood. And the blood, representing that life, is to make atonement for sinful souls! Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. And the Lord Jesus Christ, being God, and shedding his blood, shed the very life of God for poor sinners!
Deuteronomy 21:1 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him: 2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: 3 And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley: 5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried: 6 And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: 7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. 9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.
Pilate, a Gentile, untrained in the law of Moses, washed his hands and disavowed any responsibility of shedding the blood of this just man. Judas, after see that his love of money had led to the condemnation of his innocent master, returned the money. And though neither was devoid of responsibility, nor of God’s punishment, the Jews committed the greatest offense. John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
For the Jewish priesthood, upon hearing anyone bring up the subject of the innocent blood, should have immediately stopped every involvement to deal with this most serious matter! But what did they say to Judas? What is that to us? see thou to that! Amazing that this generation was so hardened in religious performance, mostly of their own invention, that they had no regard for the spirituality of the law!
They had regard to only the bare, literal, narrow application of the law. Whereas God, who is Spirit, means for it to be of a fuller, more spiritually encompassing meaning. Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore they brush aside Judas’ confession, which was so strong on him that he took his own life. And then we read of their most awesome words listed in Matthew 27:25 – His blood be on us, and on our children. And it was at this point that God broke his covenant with national Israel! Consider these following verses of prophesy, which cannot be denied.
Zechariah 11:7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. 8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. 12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
Here the Lord prophesies by the mouth of Zechariah that he has been watching over Israel as a shepherd. He was using the implements of the shepherd to guide and protect them. One staff was called Beauty, with which he protected them from all other nations. And the other was called Bands, with which he provided the internal unity and brotherhood of their nation. But look at what he says he will do with them! In verses ten and fourteen he tells of his breaking them both. He states that this is actually a breaking of his covenant with them! He will no longer be a shepherd to national Israel!
And when did he say that would happen? In verse eleven he states that it would be broken in that day. But what day was it? IT WAS THE DAY THAT ISRAEL THOUGHT HE WAS ONLY WORTH THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER! See verse twelve if that Zechariah passage. And what did he tell them they could do with their money? He cast it to the man who repaired their temple and its items. In other words, they could keep it and use it for their dead religion. And this is what the Jews did with their blood money that Judas returned. They, as spiritually dead, used it in their dead religion to bury the physically dead! Acts 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
It seems that very few of religions masses in our day realize just what a powerful effect the cross of the Lord Jesus had upon this world! Daniel says that when Messiah is cut off the nation shall be destroyed as in a flood. Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And he is echoed by the Prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel 24:21 Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.
But what of God’s promise that a son of David should sit on his throne forever? That is still in effect! For Jesus Christ, the son of David IS presently reigning at the right hand of the majesty on high at this very moment! Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Just ask among you fellow church members if they believe that Christ is the presently reigning Lord. Most, by far, will tell you that he isn’t reigning now; that he will begin to reign when they get to heaven! But what about Christ’s own words before he sent the church out to evangelize? It seems that no one reads this verse. They only want to quote the two following verses. Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
It is sad to see that the religion of our day is as far from the truth as were the Jews in the day that they ignored the shedding of the innocent blood! Our preachers press Matthew 28:19 & 20 upon their congregations, urging them to Go ye and bring in more warm bodies, making sure they bring in their wallets so we can pay the notes on the gigantic meeting hall they have built! But we do not hear of that verse 18 just prior to this, which gives the reason for our going! It is because he has all power and authority that we have hope of being able to carry out his commission!
And what of that covenant that God broke with Israel at the time of the cross? Consider these few verses: Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Nothing that God promised Israel shall be withheld! Every blessing in the covenant belongs to spiritual Israel! Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
But just who is a Jew? Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. A true Jew is a borned again believer!
And just who is Israel of Christ’s day? Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, The Israel of God is the church!
Pastor Gene Breed
May 23, 2015