Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?

Tom carrying cross

Matthew 27:  32-56

32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’

38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ 41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.” ’ 44The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 47When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ 48At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ 50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

55 Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Each year, on Good Friday, I walk the way of the cross–the urban way of the cross.  

I walk the way of the cross with pilgrims from many communions, many Christian traditions. We are drawn together by our love of Jesus and by Christ’s reconciling love.

 

We are a people who follow Jesus of Nazareth.

         *Jesus born in a manger because there was no place in the inn.

         *Jesus baptized in the Jordan and cast out into the wilderness.

         *Jesus who came to bring release to the captives, sight to the  blind, freedom to the oppressed.

         *Jesus who ate with sinners.

         *Jesus who welcomed the outcast.

         *Jesus who fed the hungry and gave water to the thirsty.

         *Jesus who had no place to lay his head.

         *Jesus who found a place for the placeless at the center of his heart.

Today we will walk the Urban Way of the Cross.

Today we will give witness to places where Christ is being crucified.

And today we will recognize those who pick up Christ’s cross thus reducing the weight of its burden.

And today we will remember that this walk of the Cross, this Urban Way of the Cross, begins not in Jerusalem but in Bethlehem where Jesus was born to people for whom there was no place. The Cross is the mark of Jesus’ solidarity with the poor and the oppressed. The Cross is the place where the displaced stand with the One who provided a place for them, with the one who loved them—even to his death. 

Were you there when they crucified our Lord?

 

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