Weekly Liturgy : March 27-April 2
Jesus is Tried, Beaten, and Crucified
New Revised Standard Version
Pilate Questions Jesus
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.”
12-14 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
The Crowd Chooses
15-16 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Jesus Barabbas.
17-18 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Who do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.
19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.”
20-23 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
Pilate Hands Jesus Over to Be Crucified
24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”
25-26 Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them, and after flogging Jesus he handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27-29 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
30-31 They spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32-34 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
35 -36 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
37-43 Then two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to, for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’ ”
44 The rebels who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
45-46 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
47-49 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”
50-52 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
53-54 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
One of the reasons I find the Christian tradition compelling is that it approaches the reality of death differently than I expect. It certainly handles it differently than I want to. Without being glorified or dismissed, death is accepted exactly as it is: as a wrenching, ugly, painful part of existing.
And then what this tradition does, is say that the God of the Universe, who has no beginning or end, knows exactly what death is and what it means to experience it. The God revealed by Jesus is a God who suffers.
May we so find the freedom to sit in our pains, our sufferings, and our experiences of death for as long as we need. May we find permission to be fully human in our darkest moments. And in this grace, may we discover the miracle of being made fully alive.
Outward Mindset Application
Compliment at least one co-worker each day this week.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Traditionalism (loving the world through Ritual and Symbol): Some people find it helpful to have a ritual for the end of every work shift. It helps our brains close the work day and leave behind the stress we encountered. Try developing a short practice for yourself this week. See if it’s meaningful to you!
Questions for Reflection
How have you been taught to think about suffering and death in your life? Are you compelled to integrate it into your reality? Or run from it? What is one thing you are looking forward to right now?
One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We’d love to see you there! The Open Table (@ The old DMV) 2640 N Portland Rd Salem, OR 97301
“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.
Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.