Matt. 27:24 - 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,… NASU
He was trying to say, "I am washing my hands from my responsibility."
Pilate was the Governor of Judea at this time. Jesus was brought to Pilate by the Jewish elders and all the chief priests (Matt.27:1-2) because they wanted Pilate to be the one to hand down the death sentence against Jesus.
When a new person became the dealer a knife was passed to him and this showed it was his responsibility to deal.
The knife handles in those days were made from deer antlers, hence the name "buck" was derived. When the "buck knife" stopped in front of you it was your responsibility to deal out the cards.
The word "knife" was later dropped and it simply became "passing the buck".
Pilate tried desperately to escape from this enormous responsibility. He learned Jesus had taught in Galilee so he had Jesus sent to Herod because Herod was in charge of this area (Luke 23:6).
Pilate was "passing the buck" on to Herod, but Herod wanted nothing to do with condemning Jesus to death so he sends him back to Pilate.
When Pilate gives them a choice between Barabbas and Jesus the people gathered had been instructed by the elders and chief priests to ask for Barabbas and that is what they did.
Pilate receives a message from his wife and it says this: "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him."
Oh, Pilate is going to be in so much trouble. He is not able to free himself from this horrible situation, the condemning of an innocent man, Jesus, and putting to death the Son of God, also Jesus.
President Harry S. Truman made famous the slogan "the buck stops here". In other words, what he was saying is "I am the President, and I am the one responsible for making the final decisions."
If you are a leader then you are the one responsible to make the final decisions. Accept your responsibility and please do not try and "pass the buck".
Think About These:
Responsibility makes just as many cowards out of men as it does successes.
Those who shrink from responsibilities keep on shrinking in other ways too.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.