First Station : Jesus is condemned to death
Pilate went out again, and said to them: “Behold I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. Pilate said to them : “Here is the man!” When the chief priests, and the officers saw him, they cried out: “Crucify him, crucify him! We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.”
Pilate said to the Jews : “Here is your king!”
The chief priests answered : “We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. (John 19, 4-16)
Jesus himself knew the inner recesses of the human heart. He created all men as intelligent; capable of pronouncing judgements. He created them as autonomous human beings, with the capacity to love, but also to sin. He watched as Judas' heart hardened and the pharisees in their pride, and jealousy sought an opportune moment in which to eliminate him. He witnessed the cowardice of Pilate when threatened; he heard the awful affirmation: “We have no king but Caesar! ” an heinous insult to his Father, and the denial of their entire heritage by his people Israel. The age-old covenant resounded: “I will be your God, you will be my people… my people what have i done to you, answer me.”
He knew that his fate would be that of supreme injustice… and lo...the sentence is passed!
Across every century, and generation, beginning with the age of the apostles, is it not Jesus Christ himself who has so many times gone before tribunals side by side with those on whom judgement is passed; who has been put to death together with those condemned on account of the Truth? (John-Paul II, Redemptor hominis, 12)
sentenced to death by men,
do not allow us to condemn you anew by our sins,
and strengthen those who are judged
unjustly on your account.