The Bible said that the Jews as a whole accepted the guilt of killing Jesus and declared guilty themselves and their descendants:

"When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, 'I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.' And all the people said, 'His blood shall be on us and on our children!'" -Matt. 27:24-25

It seems highly incredible that a single person (not to say the whole people) would take responsibility of the lawful execution of somebody they perceived as blasphemist, not to say accept responsibility to their own children.

Do Christians perceive this episode as a God's miracle?

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    When the Bible says "all the people," it usually doesn't mean absolutely all people, as you seem to be suggesting (i.e., every single Jewish person alive at that time). Obviously, Peter and the other apostles did not participate and say, "His blood shall be us and on our children." Neither did his mother Mary. Rather, "all people" means all those who chose to be hostile to Jesus, and were present at that time and at that particular place. Do you disagree?
    – user900
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 17:56
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    @H3br3wHamm3r81 It is difficult to say what the bible would like to say. My personal opinion is that the phrase was invented by the author of the text, but I would like to know how the Christians interpret it.
    – Anixx
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 18:17

3 Answers 3


This is not seen as a miracle - but rather an acceptance of the choice they were asked to make. The Torah specifically disallows children to be punished for the sins of the father - Dt 24:16, so this is nothing but bravado. In responding "his blood be upon us," they are, in actuality just saying, "there will be no consequence."

When he is being martyred (in Acts 7), however, Stephen picks up on the theme. He says:

You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

In other words, even if the vocalizations were not "His blood be upon our children," the sentiment is still the same - Everybody calling for Jesus' execution is acting the same from generation to generation. They didn't believe the prophets, they didn't believe Jesus. This is true in every generation, and the sentiment is that in calling for Jesus' death, they expected no different.


After the crowd had finally exhausted Pilate's attempts to free Christ, Pilate tries to separate himself from the guilt of what was about to occur in killing this innocent man. To ensure Pilate did not go back on his decision, a kind of agreed negotiation over the guilt occurred. The Jewish leaders and the people under their influence gladly accepted the potential guilt. They did not do so in sincerity, but in high confidence that there was no guilt to worry about. Therefore, they are so bold not only to call upon themselves a curse but even all their children.

That they would confess this guilt, while not believing they were guilty, does not seem so much as a miracle per se. Possibly more along the lines of God providential ordering an unwilling witness against themselves prior to the predicted destruction of their nation. For the curse they put upon themselves was later brought to pass in the actual destruction of their nation which occurred in 70 A.D. Their homeless position on the earth did not end until 1948 making the punishment so very great. Although there is what might be called poetic justice in the words, I would not call it a miracle. It simply expressed how confident they were in assuming potential guilt of the decision and how fearless of God they had truly become.

  • This explanation seems unconvincing. It is a natural position to assert that the guilt for the death of a lawly executed criminal lies with the criminal himself rather than the executioners however negligible it is, because the execution was a consequence of his actions. It is thus seems incredible that they at the same time believed that there was no guilt and took it on themselves.
    – Anixx
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 17:07
  • @Anixx - You seem to have a reversed understanding of my post. I am saying the Jews thought Chrirst was guilty, therefore there was no risk in assuming the supposed guilt of 'killing an innocent man', which Pilate was worried about. They thought he was not 'innocent' so there was no guilt in killing him. They were not worried like Pilate was, so they agreed to take Pilate's worry upon themselves. Cheers.
    – Mike
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 1:44
  • even if so it is usually presumed that the responsibility for killing a criminal lies with himself rather than the judges or prosecutors. It is meaningless to take guilt which is non-existent. This seems incredible to me. They rather more likely were persuading Pilate that Jesus himself bears the guilt by doing his actions and that his blood lies on himself.
    – Anixx
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 1:50
  • at best their words were highly perverted by the author of the text, or one has to assume a miracle.
    – Anixx
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 1:51

Israel, corporately as a nation, was held responsible for the actions and words of those spoken by the High Priest (as those present were in agreement with him), and was anxious to be rid of Jesus. Jesus declared that they knew who He was (John 7:28 "ye both know me and ye know whence I am, and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, who ye know not) and in John 11:49 Caiaphas, the High Priest said ..."it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not". After Christ's resurrection, they began to persecute the Apostles, and did not want them to declare openly that they were responsible for his death. But, I do believe that when Christ returns, all of Israel will be saved.

  • If they knew he was God's son or messiah and still supported killing him, then this is illogical. So, was it a miracle?
    – Anixx
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 18:59

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