God, our judge and saviour,
teach us to be open to your truth
and to trust in your love,
that we may live each day
with confidence in the salvation which is given
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’ But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’ They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
God has taken his stand in the council of heaven;
in the midst of the gods he gives judgement:
‘How long will you judge unjustly
and show such favour to the wicked?
‘You were to judge the weak and the orphan;
defend the right of the humble and needy;
‘Rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
‘They have no knowledge or wisdom;
they walk on still in darkness:
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
‘Therefore I say that though you are gods
and all of you children of the Most High,
‘Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals
and fall like one of their princes.’
Arise, O God and judge the earth,
for it is you that shall take all nations for your possession.