The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary is the Crucifixion. It's a meditation on Christ's death, including being nailed to the cross and his last words to his mother.
As Christ was dying on the cross, he was guarded by a group of Roman soldiers led by a centurion. The gospels tell us that when the centurion witnessed the circumstances of Christ’s death, he praised God and came to faith. (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47) As Pope Benedict XVI explained: “At the end … Continue reading The Centurion’s faith in Christ (Mark 15:39)
Psalm 22, traditionally thought to be by King David, is a heartrending prayer for relief from suffering. From the gospels, however, we learn that the psalm is also a coded reference to the crucifixion of Christ. There are a number of reasons why this is. Firstly, St John’s gospel says that while Christ was being … Continue reading The Crucifixion (Psalm 22:1-18)
The Prophet Zechariah served God at a critical time, when the Jews had just returned from exile in Babylon (around 520 BC). He was from a priestly family and lived at the same time as the prophet Haggai (Nehemiah 12:1,12,16). The two of them supported the high priest Joshua and the governor Zerubbabel in the … Continue reading The Piercing of the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14)
This bold oil painting of the crucifixion is by the modern artist Graham Sutherland. The work was commissioned in 1963 for the newly-opened church of St Aidan in East Acton. Sutherland had already created a series of artworks based on the crucifixion, but this was his first for a Catholic church. In this bright red canvas, he referenced the … Continue reading Christ dies upon the cross (John 19:28-30)
St John's Gospel tells us that the Roman soldiers who crucified Christ removed his clothes and shared them out among themselves. This was in fulfilment of Psalm 22:18, which was understood to refer to the coming Messiah. Contrary to most representations, Christ was probably crucified naked. This would shed light on why Hebrews 12:2 says that … Continue reading Christ is stripped of his garments (John 19:23-24)
This sculpture of the crucifixion of Jesus was created in the 1950s by Philip Lindsey Clark, when the church of the Holy Apostles, Pimlico, was originally built. It is one of the fourteen Stations of the Cross found on the pillars around the church, carved in a similar fashion. St Matthew tells us that Jesus … Continue reading Christ is crucified (Mark 15:24-25)