The leaders at that time were threatened by Jesus’ message and wrongfully accused Him of crimes that caused Him to receive a “death sentence”. So, Jesus was bound to be executed and during this time the way that they executed many people was by death on the cross – crucifixion. The Bible tells us that Jesus was crucified at a place called Calvary which was on a hill outside of the city. Jesus accepted His death penalty without complaint (Mark 15:5). And this is the fulfillment of prophecy”
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7.
Gleaning from Jeff Bulgrin’s Imaginative Reflection on the Crucifixion let us journey along as Jesus makes the long climb up to Golgotha with his cross. He looks so frail and weak now! He will never make it. The Roman soldiers finally realize this and force someone from the crowd to help Jesus carry the cross. Each time Jesus falls, I hear a groan from the crowd. There are a few hecklers, but mostly it’s silent.
Some men are making fun of Jesus and encouraging the crowd. Jesus says, “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.” Jesus continues to teach and bless, even from the cross as he is dying.
Then one of the condemned criminals starts in on Jesus: “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” Jesus stays silent, but the second criminal tells the first to be quiet and says: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
What can he mean by that? But Jesus replies, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” I want to thank this man for defending Christ; it seems to have quieted the hecklers.
Suddenly we notice that it’s getting very dark, almost as if the sun has set, even though it’s around noon. People are getting nervous. Jesus continues to suffer in silence, but he is laboring to breathe.
At one point, Jesus looks at Mary, and He nods to his disciple John, and tells Mary, “Woman, behold your son.” And to John he says, “Behold your mother.”
Time seems to stand still. Suddenly, Jesus cries out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!” And then he is gone. The ground is shaking. I hear the centurion exclaim, “Surely, this man was the Son of God!”
The Way of the Cross to Golgotha happens over and over again in astonishing ordinariness. It is the crucified people who make Christ’s passion present every day.
Lord that I may see and be there for others who are carrying heavy burdens.