Matthew 27:24-25 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 manís blood; see to it yourselves." And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!"

Jesus died for our sins. That is the plain and simple truth. So if someone would ask the question, who is responsible, the answer is simple, we all are. We all sin, and fall short of the glory of God, there is no one, who is righteous, no not one, except Jesus, of course. Jesus is righteous and without sin, and yet he dies for sinners. Jesus dies, innocent blood is shed and we are responsible, his blood is upon us, and upon our children, for all time.

Pilate knew it was innocent blood, and he tried to wash his hands of it, but the blood wouldnít come off, the guilt remained. And all the people, they were the ones who said, his blood be upon us, and upon our children. And to this day people keep trying to say, I am not responsible, but there is the blood, and the guilt and the shame; and it remains.

Perhaps thatís one reason why people keep saying there is power in the blood. And in that way it is rather like the Word of God, which, when it goes forth, it does not go forth without purpose, and when it goes forth it does not return without accomplishing its purpose. So then, while we may note that while there is power in the blood, the larger question is, what is its purpose?

And this is how in many ways the blood of Jesus is very much like the Word of God, for the first thing it does is convict people of sin. Everyone wants to say, Iím not responsible, but they look at their hands, and there is the blood, and they remember their sin. And many are afraid, because they know that God will hold them responsible, they know they will have to give an account before God, they know that there is nothing they can do to remove the blood which speaks out against them, or to in any way pay this debt. The only thing left is to confess our sin, and throw ourselves on the mercy of God.

Its amazing what happens at that point, for the Blood of Jesus speaks graciously to penitent sinners, one of Jesus last words from the cross, was Father, Forgive them. Jesus not only dies for our sins, but dies that he might be his sacrifice give to us forgiveness. To penitent sinners, the blood of Jesus does not speak out for judgement and vengeance, but speaks of love, mercy and forgiveness.

And so it is that we tell one another the great words of promise, The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. The Blood of Jesus, speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel. For the promise is that through the blood of Jesus we have confidence to enter into the very presence of God, knowing that in the blood of Jesus we have peace with God, and that in the blood of Jesus we have become the very children of God; for the blood of Jesus has made us a new creation. His blood is upon us, and it has opened for us the gates of heaven.

The blood of Jesus is then poured out upon all, and they difference is not in who we are by our deeds, for we are all sinners; rather the difference is in how this gift of God is received. And so it is that the scriptures teach us that we ought to examine ourselves, so that we might receive the blood of Jesus in a worthy manner. For those who will not examine themselves, find that they are receiving judgement and condemnation, because they will neither confess their sins, nor will they repent, nor will they ask God for mercy. But to all who confess and repent and believe Ė on all these God pours out his mercy and grace and takes away all their sin and forgives all their trespasses, and remembers them no more.

And we who believe and have been brought near in the blood of Jesus, have been called to tell the story, and to tell of the power of the blood, and to tell of how Jesus came to bring forgiveness, peace and reconciliation, all in the power of the blood. And while all this may seem foolish to the world, it is the wisdom of God, seen in the cross of Christ, which has brought this great gift to us, and for all, in Jesus name.