“I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood … have nothing to do with that just man.” Matthew 27:4,19 KJV
“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man…” Matthew 27:4, 19 NASB
Friends were silent. Worse still, one of the inner circle even denied Him. When character witnesses and friends should have come to the fore, they all forsook Him and fled. There was no voice raised to proclaim the injustice of what was being done to God’s Son. And yet, God saw to it that there was. Not only did God bring witnesses to the scene to own His Son’s righteousness, but He brought them from the most unlikely places.
There was Judas the betrayer in whose heart had burned covetousness, which led to rage against Christ and finally betrayal. He said, “Innocent blood.” Pilate’s wife came forward: “that just Man.” On at least three occasions, Pilate Himself said, “I find no cause of death in Him.’ Even hardened Herod owned, nothing worthy of death in Him.” A thief on the cross, bitter and blasphemous at first, confessed, “This Man hath done not one thing out of place.” Finally, a veteran of many battles, murders, and crucifixions, standing by the cross said, “Certainly this was a righteous Man.”
Six of the most unlikely people to step forward and own the righteousness of Christ are compelled, perhaps propelled, by the hand of God to testify to His Son.
Questions to Consider
- What do you think turned the blasphemer into a believer? What did the thief mean when he said that the Lord Jesus had done “not one thing out of place (Newberry)?”
- Pilate’s wife had her rest disturbed by a dream. Matthew’s gospel began with dreams in chapter 1;20; 2:13, 19, 22. It concludes with another dream. Yet Mark, Luke, and John don’t speak of dreams in this way. Why do you think Matthew does?
- Why did Judas’ confession actually fall short of what the Lord Jesus was? Was He merely “innocent?”