We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Everything in Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free. “I find no case against him” – “If he were not a criminal we’d not be handing him over to you”. “I will let him go but have him punished first” “If you let him go, you are no friend of Caesar’s” “Here is your king” “We have no King …..” “Shall I release for you the King of the Jews?” “Not this man Barrabbas” “I wash my hands of this man’s blood” “Let his blood be on us and our children” There was no winning over of this crowd and it was somewhere in the crowd that Pilate lost his nerve. The deed was done – an innocent man condemned. Pilate asked for a bowl and a towel and washed his hands of the decision but he had to live with its reality. The mob ruled the day.
The “mob” is dangerous. Many good people get condemned in its glare and many “pilates” allow the wrong decision to be made. There are people we don’t talk to and who don’t talk to us. Why? Is it that they’ve done anything to us or vice versa? Many times it’s neither. We get caught up in someone else’s row and their hostility becomes ours.
There are many ways of condemning someone to death and few of them involve coffins or graveyards. The death of isolation is a slow death and many are condemned to it by an unjust and uncertain judge – that judge can all too easily be me! I find myself passing sentence on someone because of who he is or isn’t. what he does or doesn’t do, where he lives, the colour of skin, religious views and no more than Pilate, deep down I know this should not be happening. People that we’ve convinced ourselves are right (who most likely are wrong) sway our views and weaken our nerve. We pass sentence.
There’s something in this Station, calling us to get a backbone of our own and to make decisions about people and situations that are based on fact and personal reflection rather than the roar of careless and bloodthirsty crowd.
“I find no case against him”. He or she has done nothing to me to make me ignore or mistreat in any way. Then why does it happen.
At this First Station Lord, deliver us from the mob ……
Oh that today we would listen to his voice. Let us harden not our hearts.