Matthew 27:24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves." 25 And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.
We can learn two things not to do from Pilot and the Jews in our text today. Our not doing what is in our power to do, because it may cause "a riot type event" and upset people, causes innocent people to die. Our willful sin affects the generation to come. We cannot serve God when we seek to please people or do what goes against God's Word to benefit ourselves.
Pilot had the knowledge that Jesus was innocent and the power to keep him from being crucified (Luke 23:15,24; John 19:10-11; Romans 13:1-5). He chose to wash his hands in innocence because he wanted to please the people and avoid the hassle of a riot. As American Christians we have the power to vote for those who lead us and make the laws. If we choose not to exercise our power and authority by voting against abortion, then we can't wash our hands in innocence concerning the aborted babies. If we choose not to warn a person that he will die eternally because of his sin, because we want to avoid the "hassle of a riot", then we are guilty of his blood (Ezekiel 33:8-9; Acts 26:25-27) and cannot wash our hands in innocence.
The Jews trumped up false charges (Matthew 26:59) against Jesus because of envy (Matthew 27:18) and acted according to their own will and not the will of God given in His word. They took responsibility for Jesus' death and according to Genesis 9:6 they agreed they deserved to die. These Jews knew their actions affected the next generation when they said, "His blood be on us and on our children." If we choose to act sinfully for supposed personal gain, we affect the next generation.
We are to do God's will using the power and authority He has given us even if it means upsetting people. We are to protect the next generation by not willfully sinning because of supposed personal gain.