1. Jesus is condemned to death
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’
Then they all shouted out together, ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!’ (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.’ But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted.
He walked home from the shops to find the police waiting at his door. They arrested him, handcuffed him, took him first to the police station, then to the detention centre. There was no trial, no justice, just his girlfriend calling out: ‘Why do you chain him? He is good, my man. He has done nothing wrong.’
For the times we have watched injustice
and done nothing;
for the times we have seen the innocent suffer
and looked the other way;
for the times we have shouted with the crowd
because it was easier;
for the times we have washed our hands of our responsibilities;
Lord, have mercy.