So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. Matthew 27:26
It is hard to imagine being sentenced to death. The worst punishment that most of us have endured will have been whilst we were children. We may recall the feeling that something unpleasant was to happen to us, and that it was inescapable. Death is inescapable for Jesus, it was for this that he came into the world. That means that he, too, shared that dread, and that helplessness. “Hands that flung stars into space to cruel nails surrendered.” This is a total emptying of himself, absolute submission. The cause of this was the need of humanity to be restored to a “fullness of grace” – the goodwill of God towards us, the good will of God at work in us.
This is no abstract idea. This condemnation to death, and Jesus acceptance of it was for us – so that we may know and feel that God loves us, and can be at work in and through us.
Lord Jesus, you were condemned to death and became victim of total injustice: change our minds and motivations to your way of peace.
To you, Jesus, innocent though condemned, be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen
Revd Christopher Hartley, Assistant Curate, St Chrysostom’s
Move now to the Second Station.