March 24 – Palm Sunday: Lead us…guide us…so we’ll be safe

Scripture Reading (The Message) Mark 15:1-20

At dawn’s first light, the high priests, with the religious leaders and scholars, arranged a conference with the entire Jewish Council. After tying Jesus securely, they took him out and presented him to Pilate. 2-3 Pilate asked him, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?” He answered, “If you say so.” The high priests let loose a barrage of accusations. 4-5 Pilate asked again, “Aren’t you going to answer anything? That’s quite a list of accusations.” Still, he said nothing. Pilate was impressed, really impressed. 6-10 It was a custom at the Feast to release a prisoner, anyone the people asked for. There was one prisoner called Barabbas, locked up with the insurrectionists who had committed murder during the uprising against Rome. As the crowd came up and began to present its petition for him to release a prisoner, Pilate anticipated them: “Do you want me to release the King of the Jews to you?” Pilate knew by this time that it was through sheer spite that the high priests had turned Jesus over to him.

11-12 But the high priests by then had worked up the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas. Pilate came back, “So what do I do with this man you call King of the Jews?” 13 They yelled, “Nail him to a cross!” 14 Pilate objected, “But for what crime?” But they yelled all the louder, “Nail him to a cross!” 15 Pilate gave the crowd what it wanted, set Barabbas free and turned Jesus over for whipping and crucifixion. 16-20 The soldiers took Jesus into the palace (called Praetorium) and called together the entire brigade. They dressed him up in purple and put a crown plaited from a thornbush on his head. Then they began their mockery: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” They banged on his head with a club, spit on him, and knelt down in mock worship. After they had had their fun, they took off the purple cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they marched out to nail him to the cross.

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