Rom. 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Paul included everyone in one huge sweep; all of us have sinned. The reason he could be so sure is that he understood the clear condition of man’s heart. All men are sinners. The scene before Pilate easily confirms this. You see the raucous crowd spurred on by the priests to demand the death of Christ. They chose Barrabas to go free rather than Christ. Barrabas obviously deserved death and Christ deserved freedom. Why did they choose Barrabas? It was obviously because of the condition of their hearts. They were wicked and their wickedness despised the righteousness of God seen in Christ. Their evil nature wanted to kill Jesus. Here are some thoughts from Jonathan Edwards on this dilemma.
“This wickedness that wrought these sufferings of Christ, was but a sample of that corruption and depravity that is naturally in all mankind. The corruption that was in the heart of Judas that betrayed Christ; and the Jews that apprehended him and cried, “Crucify him, crucify [him],” and preferred Barabbas before him; and of Pilate that condemned him; and the soldiers that mocked, and buffeted, and spit upon him; and in all that had a hand in crucifying of him, is the very same corruption that is naturally in the hearts of all mankind. ‘Tis the same wickedness. It all has just the same tendency, and under like circumstances, and without restraint, would act just so: “As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.” So that Christ therein had a view of the sin of his elect that he then died for. Such corruption, such sin and wickedness as this, that put Christ to such ignominy and torment, was that which suffered this ignominy and torment to make atonements for.”
If the truth were known, it was our own wickedness that demanded Christ’s death. So actually it was all of mankind crying out for the Lord’s death that day. We can’t blame the priests, the soldiers, the people, or even Pilate; it was our own guilt that cried for His death. It’s coming to that conclusion, our sinfulness killed Jesus, that is the beginning of our freedom.
In our seeker sensitive, I’m okay and you’re okay world, no one sees themselves as a sinner in need of a Savior. Actually that is the work of the Holy Spirit, He convicts us of our sins and brings us to the place of our cleansing, He brings us to cleansing found only in the blood of Jesus.