“Greater love than this no man hath,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
The Crucifixion is one of the most popularly depicted historical events in art. Every Catholic home should have a crucifix to remind them of what Jesus suffered in order to redeem them and all mankind.
It is helpful to look at a crucifix or a picture of Jesus on the cross while meditating on the final of the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. Even listening to some uplifting music during your meditations on the rosary will help you become part of this intense event.
Keep the following story, the saddest in the life of Jesus in mind while praying this mystery of the Rosary.
When meditating on this last of the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, keep in mind that the fruit of the mystery is perseverence.
After the miserable carriage of the cross, Jesus finally arrived, exhausted to the place where He was to be crucified, Golgatha.
The executioners offered Him wine mixed with a sedative, but when Jesus tasted it, He refused to drink.
Between the hours of 9 and 12 o’clock, Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one on His right and the other on His left.
“And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” -Luke 23:34
An inscription was posted above Jesus on the cross. It was written in three languages, Hebrew, Latin and Greek.
It read, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. -John 19:19
The chief priests were very disturbed by this inscription. They did not want people to think Jesus was their king, for that is the reason they wanted Him put to death.
So they went to Pilate and said, “Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews.
“Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.” -John 19:21-22
The soldiers took clothes of Jesus and divided them amongst themselves. His tunic was made of one piece so rather than dividing it they said to one another, “Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be.” -John 19:24
Many people were passing by on their way into the city for the Passover. They ridiculed Jesus as He hung there on the cross, saying things such as…
“Thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” -Matthew 27:40
The chief priests and scribes also ridiculed Him saying, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” -Matthew 27:42
The soldiers, giving Him sour wine taunted, “If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.” -Luke 23:37
One of the thieves that was crucified with Jesus also ridiculed Him. He dared to say, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”
The Good Thief reproached the other for his blasphemy. He defended Jesus as he rebuked the other saying, “Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil.”
“And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.
“And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” -Luke 23:39-43
Mary mother of Jesus, was standing near the cross along with John and Mary Magdalene and the other Holy Women.
When Jesus looked down upon His sorrowing mother, He said to her, “Woman, behold thy son.” Then looking at St. John, Jesus said, “Behold thy mother.” -John 19:26-27.
Jesus was not only asking St. John to care for Mary, which he did, but Jesus was also giving Mary to be the mother of all.
From about noon until 3 o’clock the sky became dreadfully dark.
This fearsome occurrence terrified many of the onlookers and their demeanor changed from mockery to that of dread and repentance.
Then at 3 o’clock, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” -Matthew 27:46 those near the cross thought Jesus was calling out to Elijah.
Then Jesus said, “I thirst.”
The executioners filled a sponge with vinegar and put it up to the mouth of Jesus. Some of the bystander said, “Let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him.” -Matthew 27:49
Then Jesus said, “It is consummated.” -John 19:28-30
“And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.” -Luke 23:46
The head of Jesus bowed and His spirit departed.
When Jesus died, there was a great earthquake and the Temple was torn in two.
St. Matthew’s Gospel says that the graves of the dead were opened and that the bodies of the saints rose and went into Jerusalem where many people saw them.
The soldier and many of those who witnessed the death of Jesus repented and believed. The centurion said, “Indeed this was the Son of God.” -Matthew 27:54
The chief priests however, went to Pilate and asked him to have the legs of those being crucified broken because they did not want the bodies to stay on the cross on the sabbath day.
Upon Pilate’s command, the soldiers went and broke the legs of the thieves first but when they came to Jesus they saw He was already dead. But to be sure, they speared open His side and “immediately there came out blood and water.” -John 19:34
Mary and John and Mary Magdalen silently gathered at the foot of the cross worshiping Jesus the God-man and their Savior.
The pain Mary felt when Jesus was lost in the Temple all those years ago was drastically renewed as this new sorrow pierced her suffering heart.
The body of Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in the arms of His sorrowful mother.
Our Father … Hail Mary (x10) … Glory be … O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven especially those who have most need of thy mercy.