The Shadow of Accusation

[positions: R3 R1 R4]
RF:   The Shadow of  Accusation 
R4:  Isaiah 53:7								
	"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; 
	he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, 
	and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, 
	so he did not open his mouth."
R1:  John 8:44-45
	"You belong to your father, the devil, 
	and you want to carry out your father's desire. 
	He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, 
	for there is no truth in him.  
	When he lies, he speaks his native language, 
	for he is a liar and the father of lies.
	Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!" 
R2:  Mark 14:53,55-64
	They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, 
	elders and teachers of the law came together.
	The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for 
	evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, 
	but they did not find any. 
	Many testified falsely against him, 
	but their statements did not agree. 
	Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 
R4:	"We heard him say, `I will destroy this man-made temple 
	and in three days will build another, not made by man.'" 
R2:	Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 
	Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, 	
[R3 and R1 face each other]
R3:	"Are you not going to answer? 
	What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" 
R2:	But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. 
	Again the high priest asked him, 
R3:	"Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 
R1:	"I am.  And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand 
	of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." 
R2:	The high priest tore his clothes. 	
[R3 pretend to tear clothes]
R3:	"Why do we need any more witnesses?
	"You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" 
R2:	They all condemned him as worthy of death. 
        (Mark 15:1-15)
	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.
R4:	"Are you the king of the Jews?"  	
[R4 face R1]
R1:	"Yes, it is as you say." 
R2:	The chief priests accused him of many things.   
	So again Pilate asked him:
R4:	"Aren't you going to answer?  
	See how many things they are accusing you of." 
R2:	But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. 
	Now it was the custom at the Feast 
	to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 
	A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists 
	who had committed murder in the uprising. 
	The crowd came up and asked Pilate 
	to do for them what he usually did.  
[R4 face R3]
R4:	"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"  
R2:	Pilate knew it was out of envy 
	that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 
	But the chief priests stirred up the crowd 
	to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 
R4:	"What shall I do, then, 
	with the one you call the king of the Jews?"
R3:	"Crucify him!" 
R4:	"Why? What crime has he committed?" 
R3:	But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" 
R2:	Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. 
	He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. 
	It's not fair!
	Jesus never sinned.
	He never did anything wrong.
	And yet He was being accused of doing terrible things,
	of doing the worst thing of all:  blasphemy.
	To blaspheme His loving Father 
	would be a horrifying thought to Jesus.
	He could never do such a thing!
	And He didn't.
	Their accusations were lies.
	Lies from the Father of lies.
	So how did Jesus respond? 
	He responded to lies with truth, to talk with silence.
	He could have argued His case, proved His innocence.
	But He knew that they didn't want to listen, 
	they just wanted to condemn.
	In what ways do we not listen and condemn others?

(extinguish candle)
Let us silently meditate in prayer on the accusations against Jesus.

Song: At The Cross
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