† The First Station
I Jesus Is condemned to Death
“Why? What evil has he done?”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.” And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified. Mt 27:20-26
The gift of this first station is innocence. Pilate says he is innocent, but is not. Jesus says nothing, but is in fact innocent of the crimes of which he is accused. In one of the Eucharistic prayers, we say “Jesus, your Son, innocent and without sin, gave himself into our hands and was nailed to a cross,” and through that selfless, sinless act, we are saved.
Save us, Savior of the world, for by your cross and resurrection,
You have set us free.