Today we recognize that Jesus, after being arrested and detained overnight, went to the officials and, by the demands of the people, was sentenced to crucifixion. This is a most horrible form of death and torture. Our word excruciating, as used in describing pain, comes from the same Latin root. Today, because it is such a solemn day, I am posting only one short post, with pictures, to help you meditate on what Jesus did for us. Remember that on Holy Thursday, after celebrating the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane where He was betrayed and arrested and taken in to custody. That evening was spent in the holding pit in Jerusalem, with other criminals. I visited that pit and it is deep, hollowed out from rock, and has only one hole that Jesus had to be let down in by ropes. Here is a picture that I took of it:
While we were there, we read Psalm 88 which says:
LORD, the God of my salvation, I call out by day;
at night I cry aloud in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry.
For my soul is filled with troubles;
my life draws near to Sheol.
I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit;
I am like a warrior without strength.
My couch is among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave.
You remember them no more;
they are cut off from your influence.
You plunge me into the bottom of the pit,
into the darkness of the abyss.
In the morning, Jesus was led to the officials traveling over these steps:
Before His crucifixion, He was scourged while tied to this pillar:
He was forced to carry His cross to Golgotha, and the stone it was placed in can be seen through the plexiglass at this altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher:
His Mother, Mary, was present for the crucifixion and truly her heart was pierced by a sword as predicted. Here is a statue showing this. This statue is right next to the place of crucifixion:
When Jesus was taken off the cross, his body was anointed for burial. Here is a picture of the anointing stone:
Jesus was then laid in the empty tomb. Here is a picture of where He was laid. The marble was placed on top of the actual place to protect it.
Mary and the disciples were devastated. The church today waits anxiously for the Easter Vigil mass when we celebrate His resurrection. The altars are bare and the tabernacles are empty until then. We too are in sorrow.