Matthew, Chapter 27

- ר י י -

Jesus Marches to His Death Bearing a Heavy Wooden Cross  

26Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull 34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36And sitting down they watched him there; 37And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.”  (Matthew 27:26-37)

After Jesus is indicted, he is sentenced to die on the cross. Roman soldiers humiliate and flog him. They place a crown of thorns on his head, spit on him, and strike him with a staff. Next, they lay a heavy wooden cross on him and lead him through what is now known as the “Via Dolorosa”—the “way of sorrows”. Jesus falls, rises, and meets his mother; Simon of Cyrene helps him carry the cross; and Saint Veronica wipes his face, covered in blood and sweat, with a piece of cloth. Jesus again falls as he exits the gates of the city towards Golgotha. There, he comes across the wailing daughters of Jerusalem and foretells the destruction of the city. He falls a third time under the heavy weight of the cross. Jesus is the object of countless vituperations and hate, yet he withstands it all and does not answer back. He opens his heart and wishes all people to come together, accepting both the refusal of non-believers and the kindness of believers—in the eyes of Jesus, they are all part of the same whole. Jesus doesn’t regret following this path, nor does he cave to his fears. He fulfills his mission despite his torments and imminent death.

Oneness is the guiding principle of our existence; unity is the source, as well as the goal.