Praying through the traditional Easter texts in late summer and autumn, so “out of order” from the liturgical church calendar, has allowed us to enter the story differently, perhaps a little freer from the expectations we place upon ourselves as we listen to the story told again. Nonetheless, the sorrow and pain of Jesus’s crucifixion remains. As you are able, just simply be with Jesus in his final moments. What consolation would you like to offer him? What consolation or care does Jesus seem to offer you in his final moments of life?
John 19: 17-27 (NLT)
So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”
22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.
25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, a phrase, or an image that stood out as you listened? Linger there as you are able with Jesus.
Which emotions rise up for you as you pray with this text? What do you notice? How can you offer compassion to whatever emerges? Do any invitations rise to the surface?
If a consoling thought or picture comes to you, rest with Jesus in it.