Exercise 28

EXERCISE 28: Faithfulness unto death – Jesus’ Death


There are numerous ways to meditate on the death of Jesus, most of them yielding valid spiritual results. Most, however, consider the death of Jesus as a unique death quite separate from our ordinary lives. I want us to focus instead on the humanness of Jesus’ death, and its meaning in our very human context.

It would appear that Jesus did not have to die: there were many plausible approaches he could have taken. He could have negotiated a deal with the high priests; he could have negotiated with the Roman authorities; his followers could have tried to rescue him; he could even have promised to stop his preaching in exchange for his life… These are all valid human responses to the predicament in which he found himself.

Why did he choose to “stay the course”? Why did he take the uncompromising stand he did?

Perhaps it was about remaining faithful. Remaining faithful to his vision of the world as God might want it; perhaps it was about accepting the consequences of the stand he had taken.

What lessons can we learn from Jesus’ death?

Once you have stilled yourself, read Luke 23:22-46. Place yourself at the scene of the crucifixion. Let the scene unfold with whatever images arise. Try to imagine this man Jesus, beaten, ridiculed, in pain… Pay close attention to your feelings. What happens in the scene? See if you can actually get close enough to speak to Jesus as he is dying on the cross. What would you ask him? What might he say to you?

Journal your experience and your feelings.