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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.



I

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.

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