We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home. After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life. (John 19:26-30; context)
This Holy Week we are be meditating on the fourteen “Stations of the Cross.” The Opening and Sending sections of this week’s Devos, as well as the italicized verses at the end of each station come from the Episcopal “Way of the Cross” service found in the Book of Occasional Services. (If you’d like to hear the complete work before Friday, check out the music page.)
Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the Cross
They climb the Skull and fling him down
Like so much dross.
See him stretch his arms of love on the
Hard wood of the cross
That all might come within the reach of his embrace.
Hear the nail pierce his hand
Taste the heaving tang of fear
The unrelenting hammer strikes home.
They lift high the Son of Man
His broken glory now appears
As he draws all to himself.
They pierce my hands and my feet:
They stare and gloat over me.
Station 12: Jesus dies on the Cross
With the Beloved his mother stands:
To each other his final breath ties.
Darkness eclipses the surrounding lands;
“It is finished. It is finished,” he cries.
“My spirit, O Father, I give to your hands,”
With choking gasps he sighs.
Then my Lord bows to the grave’s demands,
Breathes his last, and dies.
He breathes his last and dies
Christ for us became obedient unto death:
Even death on the cross.
Dear God, your holy Son stretched his arms out on the cross and drew the whole of Creation to himself. Help me to reach out my own arms in love to all I meet, especially to those in the most need. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, glorying in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, our life, and resurrection.