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    The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem - Reflection
    The 2nd Preliminary Station: Jesus is led to Caiaphas

    This was a very important matter and they had to find a solution as soon as possible. They had to get rid of him. He was too much to bear. His words made them feel uneasy. They were the teachers and no one can take their place. They were the righteous ones and they cannot afford to lose face in front of their people. They were very cosy in their seats of power. They had learned how to make compromises to save face.

    Now they were pacing the room and waiting to face this terrible evil-doer who has been preaching and who had even dared to get into their Temple and overturn the tables of the money changers. How dare he do such a thing? Doesn't he know that they make a living out of these taxes? Now they had their chance.

    He is led in front of them. They don't realize what their Scripture said: "I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, "Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more." (Jer. 11:19). Their eyes where blind with hate and their hearts far from the Lord.

    "They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together."(Mk 14,53). It only took them a few questions, some bribed witnesses and it was all done: "Many testified falsely against him"(Mk 14,16). They passed judgement. They agreed, of course, that he had to die! "They all condemned him as worthy of death" (Mk 14:64).

    How could they, the learned few, forget the words of their law? "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly"(Lev. 19,15). They even closed their ears to the words which their ancestors, the Prophets had proclaimed: "I am about to pour out my wrath on you and spend my anger against you; I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices" (Ezek. 7,8). "...the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire - they all conspire together" (Mic 7:3).

    But they were not satisfied with their vengeance. They spat at him and mocked him. And during that night He, the Lord of Light, was led into darkness. He, the Lord of Love, was beaten by the guards. The guards enjoyed their treatment of the victim and forgot the words "...so I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me" (Is 66,4).

    But the elders spent all night talking. They had to find a solution. He had to be put to death. But how? How can they face the people? How can they get rid of him in a hush? How can they execute the sentence? They could not stone him to death. They will be risking too much. A thousand questions and a thousand answers.

    Then at last it dawned on them. Pilate, the hated Roman Procurator can help them. Of course he can! He knows that they have power over the people. How dare he not listen to them? And he will be the one who will execute the already condemned victim. He will be the one who will spare them any feeling of guilt for the death of this self-proclaimed Messiah.

    The hours had passed and on the horizon, behind the Mount of Olives the sun was rising and the city was going to get busy again. They had to hurry!

    They have to cross the city from one end to another leading their precious prisoner: "Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate" (Mk 15,1).

    A Prayer

    Dear Jesus, what happened to these people? Why were they so stubborn with you? Why? They read the scriptures, they knew the promises, they were waiting for your arrival as their Messiah. But no, Lord!

    They wanted a different Messiah. They wanted a political Messiah. You were too weak and compromising to be accepted by them. How true are the words "They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets." (Zech 7,12).

    Dear Jesus, help me open up my heart and help me change it to live up to your comandments."Yes, do give me an undivided heart and put a new spirit in me; do remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh." (Ezek. 11:19).

    The Site

    The site where the House of Caiaphas stood

    It stood on the higher part of the city of Jerusalem toward Mount Zion, as all other aristocratic houses. Herod's Palace stood nearby, towards today's Jaffa Gate, at David's Tower.


    Church of Saint Saviour

    This church belongs to the Armenian Orthodox Community and was built in the XV century. Tradition identifies this area as being the site of the house of Caiaphas.


    Reflections and Prayers by John Abela ofm
    Descriptive text by John Abela, ofm and Michael Olteanu based on research by Albert Storm (SBF - Jerusalem)
    Hi-Res pictures prepared by Michael Olteanu
    Display pictures prepared by John Abela ofm

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