“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.” (Matthew 27:24)
Pontius Pilate was a pitiful figure. He was pushed and shoved around on both sides by fear. While he feared Caesar so much as to always appease him, he also feared having to answer for the injustices he perpetrated in his appeasement of Caesar. Rather than doing the right thing and risking displeasing Caesar, Pilate wanted to appease Caesar without fear of divine retribution. This is why he practiced public hand washing.
Like Pilate, many a modern-day politician practices public hand washing. They attempt to publicly absolve themselves of responsibility for their unjust actions. For instance, how many times have you heard a present-day politician say, “I voted for it, before I voted against it”? Of course, this is nothing more than a feeble attempt to shield themselves from the consequences of their actions by covering the tracks of their objectionable votes.
It’s a good thing for today’s politicians that most Americans are too busy tracking the finalists on “American Idol” to pay any attention to the poorly covered tracks left by their elected officials on the treacherous trails they’re taking. However, like Moses, who “looked this way and that way,” but forgot to look up (Exodus 2:12), modern-day politicians appear oblivious to the fact that “nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). Somebody is always watching, and nothing escapes His all-seeing eye.
Like Pilate, their ancient counterpart, contemporary politicians are always trying to wash the innocent blood off of their hands. For example, we often hear speeches laced with pretentious piety, as politicians take to the stump to boldly declare their personal opposition to abortion. Still, they repeatedly refuse to do anything to protect the lives of the unborn, pretending that their hands are tied by the “law of the land” and a “woman’s right to choose.”
Using this pretense, the pretense of politically tied hands, today’s politicians attempt to wash their hands of the blood of millions of unborn children. Yet, they will be no more successful in doing so than Pontius Pilate was in washing his hands of the blood of Christ.
“Out, damned spot! out, I say!” (The words of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, who was unable to wash her hands of the blood of the murdered king Duncan)