Station 1 Devotional
For the next fourteen days I will be posting short devotionals on the Stations of the Cross. The posts contain an image from the banner relating to the station, the corresponding stanza of the poem, “Oración del Vía Crucis, San Juan 1763,”reflecting that Station, a short explanation of the Station, a reflection question, and a prayer.
The cottonwoods enveloping
My path to hear the river sing
You held the guilt that Pilate washed away
I hold the river’s offering
At the first Station of the Cross Jesus is condemned to death.
“Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the
king of the Jews?’ ‘You have said so,’ Jesus replied. When he was accused by the chief
priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the
testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single
charge—to the great amazement of the governor. Now it was the governor’s custom at
the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known
prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate
asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus
who is called the Messiah?’For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed
Jesus over to him. While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this
message: ‘Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great
deal today in a dream because of him.’ But the chief priests and the elders persuaded
the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. ‘Which of the two do you
want me to release to you?’ asked the governor. ‘Barabbas,’ they answered. ‘What shall I
do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify
him!’ ‘Why? What crime has he committed?’ asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder,
‘Crucify him!’ When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar
was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of
this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’ All the people answered, ‘His blood is
on us and on our children!’ Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus
flogged, and handed him over to be crucified” (Matthew 27: 20-26).
Reflection Question: Have you ever felt like you just wanted to wash your hands of someone or something?
Prayer: God, who gathered all the waters under heaven together in one place with one word and promised to put within us a spring of water welling up to eternal life, thank you for holding the guilt that Pilate tried to wash away. In the name of Jesus, who satisfies our thirsts and forgives our sins.