Someone yelled an order and the body, nailed and tied to the cross-beam was hoisted in its place. Pain passed like electric shocks from the pierced wrists to the strained shoulder blades as they pulled him up. There was no careful handling. Just a rough treatment reserved for criminals. See also Via Dolorosa and the Eleventh Station.
This is the way how a tour is given! For those, who are interested in a tour (the Way of the Cross), contact Wim. It’s a one-day tour, costing $150 (per group, maximum 30 persons). The content of the tour is here, and the stories behind the Way of the Cross will be much more expanded then it is here presented.
Jesus is now hoisted and they hurry to nail his legs. More hammer blows. More torn flesh. More blood. More pain. It is all happening fast. The soldiers are done. It was just past the third hour (9.00am).
One of the soldiers posted a notice written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek which read “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (Jn 19.19). As soon as the notice was affixed to the top of the cross, the elders expressed their vehement protests. They left and went directly to Pilate to ask him to change it. But Pilate stood firm in his decision (Jn 19,20).
His mother and the women, accompanied by John moved forward. They asked to stay near the crucified victim. They did not have any words to say. Their throats were blocked by a heavy pain which rose from their hearts. They stood there in silence as if keeping watch of the sacrifical paschal lamb.
Upon seeing them, Jesus whispered to his mother “Dear woman, here is your son,” (Jn 19,26) and to the disciple, “Here is your mother” (Jn 19,27).
Timed passed by slowly. Three hours of agonizing pain had already passed. Dark heavy clouds covered the sun. All around the spur of Calvary seemed to reign an eerie silence. Only the heavy suffocating breathing of the condemned could be heard. Their lungs were slowly giving in, as did their senses.
Jesus said “I am thirsty”. (Jn 19,28), and a soldier went running and “offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it” (Mk 15,23).
The robbers crucified with him started arguing between themselves about Jesus, and he, looking at one of them, said “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23,43 ). Silence on the hill and festive chaos in the city.
And Jesus gathered his breath and screamed aloud the lines of the Psalm “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani ?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27,46).
He was praying aloud now. His lungs were making a whistling sound. Pain was all over his face and body. Haematomas were all over his body. The extremities of his fingers and toes had changed color to bluish black. The sky was overcast and darkness fell over the city.
Those under the cross heard him whisper “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Lk 23,46). And after a few moments he almost screamed his last breath out with the words “It is finished” (Jn 19,30). Saying this he breathed his last!
The earth shook and the rocks split. (Mt 27, 51). “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Mt 27,54). It was the ninth hour (3 pm) when Jesus died on the Cross at Calvary!