When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water…
I. Whoever does wickedness through others is not less wicked than they, but more. Pilate was no less guilty because the Jews hated and condemned Christ first. As soon as he said to them, "Take Him; see ye to it," he did all that was necessary to make him a partaker in their villainy..
II. Evil which many men commit is not distributively borne. If a thousand men commit a murder, each man is not guilty of one thousandth part of that murder; but of the whole.
III. Evil actions are not less guilty because they are done for reasons of state. Pilate sacrificed Christ from political considerations.
IV. Wickedness which a man can prevent, and which he does not prevent, inculpates him.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."