The symbol of Jesus nailed to the Cross and His Resurrection is at the heart of Christian faith. After teaching and looking after His disciples for 3 years and a half, Jesus “ began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21). The Passion of Christ refers to what led Jesus to accept to bear the Cross and die for our sins, so we may resuscitate with Him. Let us listen to the story of the Crucifixion as told by John the Apostle: may the courage and the love of the Saviour of the world touch your heart!
16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus.
17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).
18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.
20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.
21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”
27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
As chapter 14 of the Gospel of John teaches us, loving God means to follow His commandments - which is exactly what Jesus did, to the very end. Love was what drove Him to accept to suffer on the Cross, and to bring about the fulfillment of the Scriptures. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul the Apostle revealed that Jesus “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2: 8)
Jesus Christ is the main example of a loving son, and it is good that we follow His footsteps. His resurrection and glorification followed the episode of His crucifixion, and He promises celestial and spiritual graces to us, who can endure sufferings in His Name. May the Holy Spirit grant us the strength to love the Father with all our heart, and to accept sacrifices in our everyday lives for His glory!
When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he proclaimed: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1: 29). In the Old Testament, Levitical Offerings could only cover the sins of humans: "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Hebrews 10: 4). Only the blood of Christ, the lamb of God, could be spilled to wash away our sins. “And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelations 5: 9). The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus has more value than gold or silver (1 Peter 1: 19), it is the source of our healing and protection (2 Peter 2: 24-25), it purifies our conscience from dead works (Hebrews 9: 14). May the Holy Spirit enlighten us about the benefits of the Most Holy Precious Blood of Christ!