Home » Opinion » Reflections Today » The crucifixion of Jesus

The crucifixion of Jesus

Gospel Reading: Jn 19:25-34
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”

Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately Jesusblood and water flowed out.

While hanging on the cross, Jesus entrusts the Beloved Disciple to his mother and his mother to the Beloved Disciple.

In spite of his sufferings, Jesus thinks of the welfare of his mother and of his Beloved Disciple.

Jesus’ last words on the cross, “It is finished,” have a double meaning. What is finished? On the human level, it means that his earthly life has come to an end. On the spiritual level, it means that his mission on earth has been accomplished. He is now ready to depart and return to the Father. Jesus’ death is not a moment of defeat or despair, but of confidence in his completion of God’s work in the world.

Only John mentions that Jesus, bowing his head, hands over the spirit (v 30). As Jesus finishes his earthly sojourn and mission, he entrusts his spirit – to whom? He hands his spirit to the heavenly Father and to the Church. As he returns to the Father, he does not leave the Church orphaned (cf Jn 14:18) but sends the Spirit as the Advocate to be with us forever (cf Jn 14:16-17).

Good Friday is a celebration of hope and thanksgiving for Jesus’ salvific death and for his gift of the Holy Spirit as our Consoler.

* * *

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.