Friday, April 14, 2006

Via Crucis Grid Blog: Stations XI & XII

The Via Crucis Grid Blog continues.

Station X: Jesus is Crucified

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." They divided his garments by casting lots. The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." -- Luke 23: 33-43
The man on the cross. The man nailed to the cross. Flesh pierced and tearing as the cross is raised. The battle of the lungs against the weight of his own body. The thirst. Gasping.

The mockery continues. Who mocks a dying man, even if he is a criminal?

Even a dying criminal taunts him.

But another speaks with faith. Condemned justly to death for his crimes, he alone seems to see a man who has a kingdom to come into. He asks the broken, dying man to remember him. Another of the first Christians.

We are near the end.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere

Daily Via Crucis bloggers: Renee, Mike, Argent, Best & Worst, Shawn, Joseph, Kat, Rick, Stephanie, Karen
Station XI bloggers: Mike, Jonathon, PmPilgrim, Kester, Jimmy

Station XII: Jesus Dies on the Cross
From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Some of the bystanders who heard it said, "This one is calling for Elijah." Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. But the rest said, "Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him." But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!" Matthew 27:45-54

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. John 19:30

When Jesus is about to die, the land is covered with darkness and after he dies, the earth shakes and the Temple veil is rent. What else could be expected, but the shudder of the world itself upon the death of the incarnated God? The darkest hour in the history of the universe.

The gospels provide different accounts of Christ's last words. I am sure at long last he commended his spirit to his Father. I am also sure he did cry out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" As a child I never understood that cry and in a way it frightened me, because I took it to be a momentary loss of faith, something I could not believe would occur to Jesus. That is because no one ever told me that Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, and in doing so made his final act of solidarity with his suffering people. The Psalms are great prayers of faith, mainly because so many times they approach the brink of despair and loneliness before re-affirming trust in God. They express unreservedly what is at stake. Psalm 22 details the worst of fear and defeat yet ends in confidence and hope. This is what the death of Jesus on Good Friday brings to us: an awareness of the proximity of the greatest of sorrows with the knowledge of the coming of the greatest of joys.

For the moment, the darkness, the quiet.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii

Daily Via Crucis bloggers: Renee, Mike, Argent, Best & Worst, Shawn, Joseph, Kat, Rick, Stephanie, Karen
Station XII bloggers: Mike, Jonathon, Jimmy

1 comment:

Paula said...

divine love was crucified by wordly power out of fear.This is what i see in the Crucifixion of Jesus. This is what i saw watching again, today, the Passions of Christ.When Love challenges the structures of Power it becomes a threat and it is eliminated.

I think that in that Friday there was no hope, only darkness for those who mourned the death of Christ.He was dead,he died in a most horrible way.
What was the incarnation of Love was destroyed.They were left alone in their pain, as He was alone on the Cross...the story was over.

Thank you for this post.