Station 1 – Jesus is condemned to death

TEXTS

Galatians 3:13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished….”Which one do you want me to release to you, [Jesus] Barabbas or Jesus called Messiah?”  while he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man.  I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”

When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  Look to it yourselves.”  (Matt 27:15, 17, 19, 24)

REFLECTION

Paul never names Pontius Pilate, who condemned Jesus, but he understood the role Pilate played. Pilate did not comprehend the One who stood before him. Even less did he understand the mysterious divine plan that was at work in Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus, scourged and chastised like a common criminal, is presented to the people for possible mercy, but none is forthcoming. He is condemned to crucifixion, “cursed,” according to Jewish tradition, to “hang on a tree.”

Meditations from our Preachers

From Fr. Andrew Manning

Listen to “Jesus is Condemned to Death” on Spreaker.

At the Passover it was the Priests job to declare that the lamb was with out defect ad therefore it could be presented as a Sacrifice. Note how it is Pilot who declares Jesus to be  – without defect – John 18: 38 : I find no case against him” says Pilot. While the Jews falsely accuse him and have him sentenced. Pilots task in Jerusalem was to prevent an uprising and that’s what he stuck to. Strange how he applied Caiaphas’ words “it is better for one man to die…Pilot wasn’t going to let the City of Jerusalem being thrown into a riot over a Jewish dispute over one man. 

We must not only think about how we are guilty of sacrificing Jesus to save our own status, pride, position. We must look at how it is our expectations our desires for things to be done our way that lead to condemnation.  It is possible to see the error of our ways and we see this because Judas does repent of his betrayal and even returns the coins. Perhaps he expected Jesus to overthrow Pilot and win Jerusalem back and he didn’t expect things to turn out like this. In our betrayal’s we never expect the outcomes that we then have to live with.

Pontius Pilot reminds us of the injustice and prejudice to which innocent people are sometimes subjected. Jesus once said – what you did unto them you do unto me. (Matthew 25:40)

When we unjustly treat others, when we think less of others than of our own objectives then we too condemn.

We have those plotting against Jesus.

We have those just doing their jobs.

We have those like Pilate washing his hands.

And we have the servant facilitating that washing.

And Jesus bearing the pain of those treated with indifference and injustice.

Almighty Father Your Son came in humility as our saviour and at the last day he will come again in glory as our judge: Give us grace to turn away form darkness to the light of Christ that we may be ready to welcome him into his Kingdom; Where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. One God, for ever and ever.

Rector.

Prayer

Jesus, like Pilate, we too can resist the voice the God that comes to us from so many sources, including other people, events, and even dreams.  May human respect, fear of failure, or the clamor of the mob never overpower the quiet voice of our conscience.  Amen

Lord, in the face of rejection or when I feel misunderstood or not accepted, keep me humble. Do not let fear take hold of me, but bolster me with your strength. Amen.