Stations of the Cross at Elon

1st Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

"Condemned to death"... probably for most of us words we could not believe; words that take some time to sink in.

Jesus is condemned to death. Can you imagine the thoughts that must have been running through his mind? The very people he came to save, to care for, to nourish, have rejected him, and now sentenced him to death as a criminal!

Can people's hearts be so hard? What about Judas? So long with Jesus, his trusted friend, betrayed for a mere 30 pieces of silver.

What about the Scribes, the chief priests, the Pharisees, Ciaphas? They saw Jesus as a threat to their power, to their way of doing things; Jesus was outside the law. They've got the law on their side; in the name of justice Jesus can be condemned to death.

What about Pontius Pilate, Herod? Pilate didn't want to be bothered; Herod wanted to see miracles, to be impressed.

Jesus is condemned to death because Judas is unfaithful...but then, so are we at times.

Have we given in to greed too? The Scribes, the Pharisees and chief priests don't want their security tampered with. Have we acted that way too? Refusing to budge from our own point of view? Feeling ourselves superior to others less fortunate.

Pilate and Herod would rather not get involved. Have we acted the same way? Refusing to get involved with our family members, with friends, with someone in need, when we could have?

Because Jesus' Kingdom isn't of this world, he stands a condemned man, rejected by the very people he loves. He's scourged and crowned with thorns; the soldiers mock him.

Do we mock Jesus too in our ridicule of others? Do we condemn others in bad jokes? Do we voice our prejudice in sarcasm or unchristian speech?

Jesus is condemned to death. Perhaps we too feel condemned by situations in our own lives: by insensitive members of our own family, by our words falling on deaf ears, by unfair competition at work, or unfeeling classmates at school. Perhaps the pressures or daily monotony of our lives tempt us to escape.

Jesus could have escaped his condemnation, but for our sake chose not to escape. People could have set him free, but they chose Barabbas. Our days are filled with choices too. How do we choose?