Twelfth Station of the Cross

Jesus dies

There are a series of pictures representing certain aspects in the Passion of Christ, and each one corresponds to a particular incident.

This series is known as The Way of the Cross and this page introduces the Twelfth Station.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Twelfth Station

Station 12
Jesus dies

The Twelfth Station is the eastern part of the nave of the Holy Sepulchre. A silver disk beneath the Greek Orthodox altar marks the spot where Jesus died.

The soldiers attached a name plate above Jesus' head, which mockingly read "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (John 19:19).

The clouds blotted out the Sun from the sky (just as the Jews of that time were extinguishing this man who had the audacity to claim to be the Son of God).

As the darkness closed around, Jesus must have been frightened and cold. Jesus said "I am thirsty." (John 19:28), and a soldier offered a sponge soaked with sour wine (John 19:29, Mark 15:23). But Jesus needed God's hand, he needed God's love. Jesus screamed the words found in Ps. 22: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46).

What did he mean? And how or why could God have forsaken him? Sin is too repugnant for God to see. Jesus never sinned; he was the most perfect human being. But the reason Jesus was born in this world was to bear the sin of everybody else in the world, past, present and future. (That's an awful lot of sin!) And Jesus paid the penalty for that sin. (See The meaning of the Cross.)

More softly, Jesus croaked "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46) and drew his final breath to exclaim "It is finished" (John 19:30).

It was three in the afternoon when Jesus died. The ground shook with an earthquake (Matt. 27:51) and a soldier said "Surely he was the Son of God!" (Matt. 27:54).


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