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Jesus is condemned to death

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Jesus is condemned to death

First Station

The whispers and the dealing, the cajoling and the coercing have brought Jesus to this place; to Pilate’s ‘court’ and to judgement. The crowds that cheered and waved at the expectant king arriving in his city on a donkey have now turned against him like a reed in the breeze. ‘Behold the man’ Pilate intones, and as they gaze at the beaten, whipped and broken figure before them, they call for his blood with shouts of ‘crucify!’ Pilate’s weakness allows him to give in to their cries and he hands Jesus over to his death. The gentle hands of compassion that washed the feet of his friends in the Upper Room only hours before, find themselves bound unable to give freely as he was used. The example of his gentle hands is overshadowed by fingers that point in judgement and condemnation, and hands that wash themselves of him before the crowd.

‘Like a lamb led to the slaughter, he never opens his mouth’. The Word that was present as divine hands fashioned from the dust of the earth at the very dawn of time must now look on as a word is spoken that creates only a certain fate, and hands that were created for good, now gesture to take him away. Even the witness and the word of those closest to him is not enough to speak up for him who is now silent. What is their word and their voice over the screams of the crowd wanting his blood and his end?

Lord, it is so easy for us to point a finger; so easy for us to condemn; so easy for us to go with the flow rather than speak out against what is wrong. There are times when I, too, wash my hands of others, frightened, maybe, to get involved, or to seek out the good in others. May I remember that you never wash your hands of me, but seek only to restore and renew me in your likeness, for you are love and in love you have given yourself for me.

 

 
I love Thee, Jesus; my love above all things;
I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee.
Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again.
Grant that I may love Thee always,
and then do with me what Thou wilt.

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