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First Station of the Cross

Jesus is condemned to death by Pilate

There are a series of pictures representing certain aspects in the Passion of Christ, and each one corresponds to a particular incident.

This series is known as The Way of the Cross and this page introduces the First Station.

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First Station

Station 1
Pilate washes his hands

In the Old City of Jerusalem, the First Station is located in the el-Omariye college courtyard near the Flagellation Friary. It was here that Pontius Pilate tried and condemned Jesus (John 19:1-16). The Crusaders built the monastery on the site of the Antonia Fortress, and the current chapel was erected in the 1920s. It is now home for Franciscan monks who traditionally follow the Way every Friday. It is common for pilgrims to carry a wooden cross from here to Calvary.

What is it like to be 'condemned'? Condemnation is a living death. It is being alive, yet knowing death is just a few accelerating moments away. It is horror.

How did Jesus feel when he was being so unjustly tried? It was clear the charges were trumped up and that Pilate was just making a political decision to condemn Jesus.

Why did Jesus not protest? Surely he could have argued his way out of the predicament and lived to continue preaching, performing miracles, and spreading love for many more years. Jesus knew, however, that this was part of God's plan.

We can learn so much from this lesson of profound meekness.

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