Listen to the Audio version of Station 3
Jesus is condemned by the sanherin
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
Jesus had spent the night in agony and prayer, sweating drops of blood. He was abandoned by his disciples and betrayed by his friend. An angry mob brought him to the courtyard of the high priest where he was beaten and mocked. At dawn, Jesus was taken to court.
The Jewish rulers believed they had divine authority over the people of Israel. Notice the contrast of power at play between the courtroom of man and the throneroom of God in the story.
Imagine Jesus standing before his accusers. How do you see him? Is he the omniscient God who knows what is about to happen and stands with divine courage? Or do you think of him as a man enduring the throbbing pangs of broken flesh and the deep emotional sting of abandonment? How difficult is it to hold both of these realities together?
Condemnation by Lynn Staggs
While working on this piece, I realized that it is fairly easy for me to recognize my voice of self-condemnation and the condemnation in the voices of others towards me. Yet, I am still surprised at the compassion in others. And I continue to need to be intentional in being compassionate towards my self.
I find it to be much easier to be compassionate towards others. Yet, we love because He first loved us! (1 John 4:19) Jesus first loved me and as I continue to grow in my love for others, I am growing in my love for me.
Materials: Assorted papers and adhesives, acrylic paint sponged over plastic produce packaging.
What do you notice?
What thoughts or feelings does it stir?
What does this reveal to you about the passion of Jesus?
As you consider Jesus facing condemnation before his accusers, think about the voices of condemnation in your own life. Are they the voices of others? Are they voices of self-condemnation?
What are the voices of compassion in your life? Are you compassionate with yourself?
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. . . Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? - Romans 8
Spend a few minutes pondering the love of Christ that releases you from condemnation and intercedes for you. How would you like Jesus to be interceding for you now?
There are many in this world who face condemnation. Who will you intercede for now?
O God, you forgive when we deserve punishment, and in your wrath you remember mercy: We humbly ask you, of your goodness, to comfort all prisoners and especially those who are condemned to die. Give them a right understanding of themselves, and of your promises, that trusting wholly in your mercy, they may not place their confidence anywhere but in you.
Relieve the distressed; deliver the innocent; bring the guilty to repentance; and as you alone bring light out of darkness, and good out of evil, grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit they may be set free from the chains of sin, and brought to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.