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Rinse your heart and not your hands

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | September 29, 2023 | Matthew 27:24-26


… He took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. I am innocent of this man’s blood he said. It is your responsibility!” Matt 27:24b (NIV)


A story is told of a young student who was so stubborn that he refused to obey the instructions of the teacher when he was directed to. He often obeyed after much persuasion from the teacher and did so amidst much resentment and much reluctance. On one such occasion when everyone was asked to stand, this young man was sitting and would not budge. But after much persuasion and threatening, he reluctantly stood up with all the other students. However, this is what he said to the teacher; “even though I am standing now with everybody else, in my heart, I am still sitting down.”

In our text today we see Pilate washing his hands in the clear view of the crowds and making his speech to them about his innocence of the blood of Jesus. Even though this act was significant, it was only halfway through doing what was required. The action was not complete even though Pilate had the power to set Jesus free, he chose to please the crowds and displease God.

Many times, we tend to want to please people and do what they see, so that we will be accepted by then. But we fail to do what is really in our hearts which we know will please the one who sees our hearts. The scripture puts it profoundly in Isa 29:13 and Matt 15:8; that “these people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

We have a lot of lip service these days. We can also call it ‘showmanship’ or stage performances in the church today. So, the shepherds seek to please the sheep than to please the one who ordained them as shepherds. The prophets mount the pulpits as performers to entertain the congregation who are their expectant audience, rather than speak the mind of God to His people. Our repentance is superficial because we rend our clothes and not our hearts.


Our true innocence is only declared when we accept in our hearts and confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus. It starts from our Hearts and comes out through our mouths - Inward outward process. Speaking with our mouths and not repenting in our hearts is reversing the process, this does not lead to true salvation. Let us wash our hearts, then our hands will comply.


Lord Jesus, create in me a clean heart. And purify me by your spirit, so I may walk in your word. For your dear name’s sake. Amen.


SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ___________ DAILY word study: INNOCENT The word "innocent" in our key verse today is translated from the following Greek word:

"δίκαιος" (dikaios): This Greek adjective means "righteous," "just," or "innocent." It is used to describe someone who is morally upright, fair, or guiltless.

In the context of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor taking a decision regarding Jesus, the word '"innocent carries several important implications and lessons:

  1. Moral Accountability: Pilate's declaration of innocence underscores the concept of moral accountability. While he may not have wanted to condemn Jesus, he was swayed by the crowd's pressure. This highlights the responsibility that comes with positions of authority and the consequences of moral compromise.

  2. Symbol of Reluctance: Pilate's act of washing his hands serves as a symbolic gesture of his reluctance to condemn Jesus. It signifies his internal conflict and desire to distance himself from the decision. This illustrates the tension between personal convictions and external pressures.

  3. Human Responsibility: Pilate's statement places responsibility on the crowd, emphasizing their role in the crucifixion of Jesus. This highlights the collective nature of moral responsibility and the impact of group dynamics on decision-making.

We are encouraged in this word study of "innocent" to consider the importance of moral accountability and the challenges of maintaining one's convictions in challenging circumstances. It prompts us to think about the ethical choices we make and the responsibility we bear for our decisions, urging us to strive for righteousness and justice in our actions and choices.

Reflections: How does the concept of moral accountability and the tension between personal convictions and external pressures resonate in your own life? In what ways can we maintain our moral integrity in the face of difficult decisions and societal pressures?

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Kwabina Nyarko
Kwabina Nyarko
29 Eyl 2023

God continue to bless you and inspire you for this daily Word. Amen



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