We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was starting. So he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I’m innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It’s your problem.” All the people replied, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 26:24-26; context)
This Holy Week (and today and tomorrow leading up to it), we will be meditating on the fourteen “Stations of the Cross.” The Opening and Sending sections of this week’s Devos, as well as the italicized verses at the end of each station come from the Episcopal “Way of the Cross” service found in the Book of Occasional Services. My take on the Stations is not just poetic, it’s musical. So you can listen to an acoustic version using the music players. I hope these pieces deepen your Holy Week experience as writing and performing them has deepened mine.
Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death
And Jesus stands condemned to die;
With thorns adorning
His bloody face and piercing eye.
The crowd is jeering:
“Away with him and crucify.”
And Pilate fearing,
Hands him over in reply.
“God did not spare his own Son:
But delivered him up for us all.”
Station 2: Jesus takes up his Cross
His cross alone the way he treads;
While he is sharing
Our suffering, sorrow, pain, and dread.
The world is violent,
A place where sin and shame are bred;
And he is silent,
Like a lamb to slaughter he is led
“The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all:
For the transgression of my people was he stricken.”
Dear God, your holy Son suffered unjust condemnation and bore the staggering weight of the cross on his back. Help me to accept the overwhelming love that Jesus showed in these humbling acts. In his name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, glorying in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, our life, and resurrection.