While our chapel services and many other public worship gatherings are temporarily canceled, we invite you to gather with those in your home or small communities, similar to the early church. We will be providing liturgies to guide your worship gatherings centered on Mark 14-16 written by Cornerstone University staff and students. We will post a new one each week as well as one for Good Friday.
Though we may not be gathered together physically, the Campus Ministries team anticipates seeing how the Spirit will convict, encourage and guide us, through the illumination of the Scriptures, as we journey to the cross during this season of Lent.
This week’s liturgy is written by CU student Stephane Keo.
JESUS BEFORE PILATE: A LITURGY FOR MARK 15:1-20
This week we pick up right after the betrayal and the condemnation of Jesus in Gethsemane. In chapter 14, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin (Jewish council) and falsely accused (Mark 14:53-59). At the beginning of chapter 15, the council decided to bring Him to Pilate to be judged and crucified. It is sad to see how the high priests were so blinded by their self-interest that they could not see who was in front of them. The religious leaders of Israel knew the Scripture and knew about God’s promise to send a Savior to deliver them. But when He came, they rejected Him because He did not fit the description of the savior they had in mind, and worse, He undermined their authority and made them look like fools upon multiple occasions.
Song: “Creo en Ti”
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 15:1-5
The Sanhedrin, could not agree on why Jesus had to be condemned (Mark 14:56, 59). The only reason why they needed Jesus gone was that they feared losing their power over the people of Israel. So they brought Jesus to Pilate.
Unlike the priests, Jesus was not concerned with earthly titles (being king). When the Sanhedrin asked Him if He was the son of God, He gave them a clear answer, but to Pilate’s question, He just replied: “You have said so.” Jesus knew what was coming for Him—His death on the cross. But even then, He humbled himself and remained under the authority of God.
O Holy One, who is seated at the right of the Most High God,
You, the king who did not come to be served but to serve and lay your life for us,
Please teach us to be like you,
To live a life of sacrifice where our identity is found in you and not in our titles or possessions,
Please teach us to be like you,
To be humble in the face of opposition and oppression and to surrender to your will regardless of the cost,
Please teach us to be like you, Lord Jesus.
Song: “Lord, I Need You”
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 15:6-15
The religious leaders planned to ask Pilate to release a criminal and have Jesus crucified instead. Pilate heard the accusations against Jesus, but when the people asked him to crucify Jesus, he said, “Why? What crime has he committed?” Pilate did not see why Jesus needed to be crucified.
When we read this passage, we are often quick to judge the priest, the people and Pilate in this story, but to be truthful, we are no different from either priest, the people or Pilate. We know the Word and the commandments, but we still put our self-interest before God. We often chose to conform to earthly authorities and worldly tendencies even when we know it is displeasing to God. We often prefer to be liked by others even when it means that we have to put our beliefs aside.
Scripture Reading: Mark 15:6-15
Let’s spend some time in individual prayer and confess our disobedience to God and surrender ourselves to God’s will.
Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:9
Song: “Before the Throne of God Above”
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 15:16-20
I hope that after you read this passage, you are reminded of Jesus’ love for you. Jesus suffered emotionally after being betrayed by His disciple and being falsely accused and physically to the point of dying on the cross. So that through His suffering, death and resurrection, we may find freedom, peace and harmony with the Father.
Scripture Reading: Mark 15:16-20
From the “Worship Sourcebook”: “O God, you pour out the spirit of grace and love. Deliver us from cold hearts and wandering thoughts, that with steady minds and burning zeal we may worship you in spirit and truth. Amen.”
Song: “Good and Loved“