I 'm not sure what I would have done had I been there, in the group that demanded blood. Perhaps I would have joined in for the same reasons, knowing deep down inside that he was really guilty. Sometimes, at just the right moment, with just the right circumstances, its possible to know-- no matter what others say. Sometimes you've just got to trust your gut. Sometimes you've just got to override the system, no matter how tried and true, no matter how long its been around.
A minor modification, a wee tweaking of the system to ensure his doom. He would be found guilty by the system--not by our hands. If by the system, the people would cheer his demise. And if in err, it would be the system's fault. Like a computer error, like corporate responsibility, like government--we would not be singled out.
That he could walk the streets, a pariah to his people, his name unutterable, was not enough. He had to be broken. And the possibility that the wrong man be set free, that the right man be wronged, the real criminal free to walk about--well. It had to be, for our sakes. He would be found guilty--had to be. If not, we could not go on.
And so it was
It was clear to Pilate that Jesus had done nothing worthy of death;
But the effort to set Him free failed. If any should go free it would not be Him. The
synagogue rulers made certain of that;
And it has come to pass that we now have Easter replacing the Old Testament observance of the Passover which commemorated the rescue of the Jews from Egypt by the smearing of the blood of a lamb over the door posts of all Israelite households (Luke 22:15). The blood protected the Israelites from God's plague which killed the first born of all households in the land of Egypt.
Unlike Christmas which has an established annual date of observance, Easter is a floating day of observance. It is generally the first Sunday after the first full moon of the year. (Observances are scheduled to ensure that Good Friday is devoted to the crucifixion and Easter Sunday is devoted to the resurrection.). The resurrection of Christ symbolizes His everlasting advocacy on our behalf. He will die no more and He is ever present with the Father presenting our case, reminding the Father that all who have acknowledged Him as Lord are free from the penalty of death, and have everlasting life in Him.
As a reminder to us, Jesus initiated the communion or the Eucharist;
And He instituted the foot washing as an indication of our service to one another (John 13:1-20). The foot washing would bring refreshing to those cleansed by His blood yet soiled by daily living. It would strengthen us with the encouragement to endure and not fall to temptation, or join the crowd for the wrong purpose, though it seem so right for the moment; the Godly counsel to stay the course, stand for what we know to be right, bite our tongue rather than speak ill against another; the reminder that Jesus is Lord, and is with us, and no army arrayed against us can prevail.
This foot washing--we must do. Christ had been attacked by the rulers of he synagogue who orchestrated His death for their benefit. They did not realize that He voluntarily lay down His life that He might take it up again (John 10:17). His followers would suffer similar and perhaps better orchestrated fates. In much the same manner, secular establishments and thoughts are arrayed against us, and will succeed in our demise by their mere preponderance if we forget to encourage and comfort one another or forget what has been done for us and who we are.
John 11:25 "... I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"