STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death
Location: Corner of E. Washington St. and S. Henry St., beside Stations of the Cross Park
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke
The assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. They began to accuse Jesus, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.’ Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’ Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. He has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’ But the crowd kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that Jesus should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.
(Luke 23, selected verses)
Jesus was condemned for challenging the political and religious leaders and systems of his time. He saw clearly what those in power did not: that leaders must care first for the poor and the oppressed, for sinners and outcasts. Jesus understood that God’s love and justice were for everyone, and particularly for the most vulnerable. Those in power were threatened by his message and condemned him to die. Today, we continue to struggle to make our justice system fair and effective. We continue to struggle to protect the vulnerable. We continue to struggle against those who abuse their power, using it to condemn those who threaten them, or worse: withholding their power so that nothing changes.
Prayer for Those in Authority
(Book of Common Prayer p. 820)
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor and Legislature of this State, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Holy and mighty,
Holy immortal one,
have mercy upon us.