In the account of the passion in Matthew, the crowd responds to Pilate’s declaration of innocence with the cry “His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matt 27:25). A curious irony is found here. In that the people here are taking on the responsibility for Christ’s death but do so in language that seems utterly Passoverish. And indeed, as it turns out Christ’s blood will be “on” them and their children. Just as the blood of the Passover lamb protected the families of Israel in Egypt from the angel of death, so also Christ’s blood will protect and save the very ones who shed it without regard for him.
But it doesn’t stop there. With the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost and the attending proclamation of the gospel of the resurrection, Peter claims that “This promise is for you and your children” (Acts 2:39).
Here we see the ironic and futile nature of our resistance to Christ and the radical superabundance of God’s self-giving in response to our hatred and violence. We go out for blood, thoughtlessly throwing our children in with us. God responds to us by coming to us again, as our victim, with words of forgiveness and promise. Where we would condemn ourselves and our children, God continues to come again to us with promise, with the Spirit, with new, vivifying life.