Ever wondered why the crowd standing before Pilate said, "His (Yeshua’s) blood is on us and on our children" and why Christians would have twisted that phrase into a “blood curse” against the Jews?
Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, "My hands are clean of this man's blood; it's your responsibility." 25 All the people answered, "His blood is on us and on our children!" 26 Then he released to them Bar-Abba; but Yeshua, after having him whipped, he handed over to be executed on a stake. (CJB)
Digging into this a little further, one can begin to see that Exodus 20:4 is being referenced here, which suggests YHWH visits sins up to the fourth generation. You see, in Matthew 27:25, above, some of the Sanhedrin were concerned that if Yeshua was innocent; the “worst case scenario” would bring a curse on them that would last for four generations.
However, if he was guilty and if the Romans were angered, the fear was that Israel would be completely wiped off the face of the earth - hence, not just four generations but ALL future generations would be affected (an idea, by the way, that was also echoed by the high priest in John 11:47-53, as you will see below.)
So, Matthew 27:25 has ended up being perhaps the most famous "anti-Semitic" line in the entire New Testament, because it appears that "all the crowd" is said to have invoked an eternal curse upon all the Jewish people.
But, let’s get real: Matthew was certainly NOT pronouncing a curse upon himself and his own people! The problem was simply that the religious elite feared for the entire destruction of Israel at the hands of the Romans; and not just their own personal loss of power.
John 11 provides insight:
John 11: 47 So the head cohanim and the P'rushim called a meeting of the Sanhedrin and said, "What are we going to do? -- for this man is performing many miracles. 48 If we let him keep going on this way, everyone will trust in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both the Temple and the nation." 49 But one of them, Kayafa, who was cohen gadol that year, said to them, "You people don't know anything!
50 You don't see that it's better for you if one man dies on behalf of the people, so that the whole nation won't be destroyed." 51 Now he didn't speak this way on his own initiative; rather, since he was cohen gadol that year, he was prophesying that Yeshua was about to die on behalf of the nation, 52 and not for the nation alone, but so that he might gather into one the scattered children of God. 53 From that day on, they made plans to have him put to death. (CJB)
As you can see, in reality, they were trying to deal with two Scriptural possibilities:
Since they recognized that Yeshua was performing miracles, they obviously knew it was possible that he just MIGHT be the Messiah! And if that were true, then the Messiah’s main purpose was to die for Israel and be a substitutionary sacrifice for the nation (Isaiah 53:1-12)….
That could very well be why Kayafa (Caiphas) even said that Yeshua would die either way! If Yeshua was indeed the Messiah, then he was supposed to die; and if he wasn't, then his death might still prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of others should Rome decide to destroy Israel (which they ultimately did, anyway – just as Yeshua had predicted). On the other hand, if they were to kill an innocent man to save the nation, Kayafa still believed Israel would benefit.
You see, if they made this horrible mistake, the worst that would have happened is that their sin would be carried to the fourth generation (Exodus 20:5, 34:7; Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9), but Israel, as a whole, would survive. Yet, if they did NOT act, the fear was that there would be no Israel ever again, for hundreds of generations.
So, the bottom line was, Yeshua HAD to die (which, was his mission, as he well knew). YHWH’s Will was accomplished and, ironically, His Son’s blood IS upon us!