St Paul's Chichester

Morning

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Bible Reading – Mark 15. 1-5, 11-15

 

Jesus was taken in chains to Pilate.  The chief priests were accusing Jesus of many things, so Pilate questioned him.  ‘Aren’t you going to answer?’ he said.  ‘Listen to all their accusations.’  Jesus refused to say a word and Pilate was amazed.

Pilate spoke to the crowd.  ‘What do you want me to do with this one you call King of the Jews?’  They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’

But what crime has he committed?’ Pilate asked.

They shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him!’

Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them.  Then he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be crucified.

 

Meditation

 

Pilate asked what crime Jesus had committed.

It was a good question.

Jesus had annoyed the religious leaders, of that there was no doubt.

He had been critical of social and religious structures.

He had healed the villagers;

he had told stories to the crowds;

he was probably a threat to public law and order;

but was that enough to condemn him, to end his life?

But he would not defend himself –

the storyteller was silent now

and the  crowd was noisy,

and Pilate handed him over to be crucified.

 

Prayer

 

For those who are frightened and lonely and silent;

for all who bear the burden of political leadership and decision-making:

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.