This phrase first led me to the text in the Bible found in Matthew 27:24, which says: “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, 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!’” Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, and was giving the Jews an opportunity to fix their mistake and release Jesus. But the people were so angry with Jesus that they couldn’t think straight, and they wanted to crucify Jesus. So Pilate does what he was legally bound to do, and releases the criminal Barabbas instead of Jesus. To show that Pilate didn’t agree with their decision, he washed his hands. In essence trying to cleanse himself from this wrongdoing.
We, in essence, try and “wash our hands” every day when it comes to wrongdoing. We think that we can sin and not be held accountable for it by putting it out of our minds, or believing it when others say, ‘God wouldn’t hold that against you,’ or pretending that it isn’t wrong in the first place (relativism). The truth is, avoidance of sin doesn’t make the sin go away. Not even showering regularly will wash it away (although it is good and healthy and helpful for your friends and family for you to shower every day).
Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” But the book of Romans also gives us good news in 6:23: “For the penalty of sin is death (eternal separation from God), but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In the end, Jesus being crucified is what allows us to “wash our hands” of our sin, because Jesus removes it and makes us clean!
So don’t forget to wash your hands and keep the germs away. Don’t forget to shower and keep your body clean. But even more, don’t forget to confess your sin to God, and know that through Jesus’ sacrifice, you will be clean! Blessings.