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Stations of the Cross: Pilate Condemns Jesus to Die

27 1 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor…

22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” 24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood;[a] see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[b] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. – Matthew 27:1-2, 22-26

The fifth station of the cross is Pilate condemning Jesus to die via crucifixion. Jesus is brought before Pilate because at this time it was unlawful for the Jewish rulers to condemn someone to death, especially the death of crucifixion. Pilate questioned Jesus regarding the charges against Him and Jesus remained mostly silent. Pilate’s wife sent word that she had dreamed that Jesus was innocent and for Pilate to have nothing to do with the death of this man. The innocence of Christ was known by Pilate, but the people shouted for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate used the ceremony to wash his hands and declare himself innocent of placing an innocent man to death. In a final attempt, Pilate offered to release either Jesus, or Barabbas, a murderer, and thief, yet the people shouted for the true criminal to be released to them and for Jesus to be crucified.

Crucifixion is considered one of the worse forms of torture and execution. It was reserved during Roman times for the worst of criminals. In Jewish law, it stated that any person that died on a tree (crucified) was cursed. Not only did this method of death involve the most extreme pain but it had spiritual significance in Jewish law as well. Pilate questioned Jesus yet Jesus stayed mostly silent. He could have called angels to deliver Him from this at any time, He could have defended Himself to Pilate, but He remained silent in submission to the will of the Father. This was the path that must be walked. This was the will of the Father. Instead of acknowledging Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, the savior that Israel had been waiting on for so many years, the Jewish people condemned their savior to death and traded Him for a criminal.

I can’t help but see this reflected even today in our own personal lives and walks. How often do we fail to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ in our lives and instead search after sinful abominations to feed our flesh? How often do we fail in submitting ourselves to God’s will and argue and shout to receive what our wicked hearts desire? How often does Jesus stand silent as we accuse Him? Yet, He loves us and waits for us, and forgives us our failures and shortcomings. How great is the love of Christ for us!

Father, Your son was rejected and condemned to die a horrible death by the very people that He came to save. By the very ones that You chose to call Your own. Father work in our hearts. Turn our hearts of stone into hearts that are tender to Your Spirit’s words. That we do not seek after our own desires and our own wicked ways but that we cry out for Christ and Him alone. Lord let our hearts cry always be for Christ and Your Word, that we never reject the truths You have revealed to us and that we never reject the calling and promises You have made for us. Let us cling to You and You alone in all things. In the saving name of Jesus. Amen