Summary: Sometimes its difficult to really realise the pain and the suffering that Jesus went through on the cross for US! There is art in the form of paintings and sculpture that depicts the crucifixion in some theological aspect rather than reality.
CROSS OF PAIN, CR0SS OF LIFE
During these 2 weeks leading up to Easter called passion tide we focus our thoughts and minds to Jesus’s life and in particular His Sufferings.
All too often we do not realise the dreadful suffering that Jesus went through on our behalf.
The film the Passion of Christ, for those who saw this film they certainly realised how much Jesus suffered for us.
There are many paintings, sculptures and scenes that depict the crucifixion of Jesus but not all are very realistic
Many have a theological interpretation and show the crucifixion in a totally different way to the brutal death that Jesus suffered.
Some crucifixion scenes are serene, even peaceful giving that theological interpretation rather than a factual picture of that dreadful scene on the first Good Friday.
Perhaps the cross depicted is living as the wood is green – Christ dying on the cross to give us access to life beyond death.
In dying He died to sin and in living He has destroyed death forever.
The scene shows no horror, no pain not even tears from Mary and John.
There are angels around the cross to help carry Jesus through this terrible way to die– one even catches His sacred blood in a chalice symbolic of the Eucharist – do this in remembrance of me.
But never forget the real picture of that first Good Friday – the pain and suffering that Jesus went through willingly for you and for me.
The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – slaughtered by one of the most cruel forms of death known at that time.
Close your eyes- transfix your minds on the real scene and focus there for a moment – Christ the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
In his pain and fatigue, His body sagged, its weight hung on the nails in his wrists and his knees bent forward.
His arms in the form of a Vee, the pain in His wrists was beyond bearing and the muscles of his chest were momentarily paralysed so He couldn’t breath properly.
So He had to lift Himself up on the nail through his bleeding feet so that He could breathe.
Until the pain in His feet was unbearable, He would let his torso sag lower and lower until He was again hanging by his wrists.
And so his agony would alternate from his wrists to his feet let alone his bloody sweat, the tears in his flesh from the flogging and the crown of thorns.
A meal indeed for the flies and the knats in the scorching midday sun.
A horrendous scene indeed and so the theological and real are very different with a different story to tell but we should realise them both and know what Jesus went through on our behalf.
There is a poem which is part of Stainer’s Crucifixion – its called the appeal of the crucified - and for me it brings together both of these scenes and drives home their meaning.
‘From the throne of His cross the King of grief cries out to a world of unbelief:
O men and women afar and nigh, Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?
I laid my eternal power aside, I came from the home of the glorified, a babe in the lowly cave to lie – is it nothing to you all ye that pass by?
I wept for the sorrows and pains of men, I healed them and helped them and loved them – but then, but then:
They shouted against Me: Crucify; Crucify – is it nothing to you?
Behold Me and see; pierced through and through with countless sorrows – and all is for YOU.
For YOU I suffer, for YOU I die – is it nothing to YOU all ye that pass by?
Oh men and women your deeds of shame, Your sins without reason and number and name – I bear them all on the cross on high.
Is it nothing to you that I bow my head? And nothing to you that my blood is shed?