After that, Jesus, aware that all had now come to its appointed end, said in the fulfilment of Scripture,’ I thirst’.
A jar stood there full of sour wine; so they soaked a sponge with the wine, fixed it on a javelin, and held it up to his lips. Having received the wine, he said,’ It is accomplished!’
He bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Because it was the eve of Passover, the Jews were anxious that the bodies should not remain on the cross for the coming Sabbath, since that Sabbath was a day of great solemnity so they requested Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers accordingly became to the first of his fellow victims and to the second, and broke their legs; but when they came to Jesus, they found that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs.
But one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a lance, and at once there was a flow of blood and water. This is vouched for by an eye witness, whose evidence is to be trusted.
He knows that he speaks the truth, so that you too may believe; for this happened in fulfilment of the Scripture: ‘ No bone of his shall be broken’. And another text says,’ They shall look on him whom they pierced’.
After that, Pilate was approached by Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, but the secret disciple for fear of the Jews, who asked to be allowed to remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission; so Joseph came and took the body away.
He was joined by Nicodemus (the man who had first visited Jesus by night), who brought with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, more than half a hundredweight.
They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of cloth according to Jewish burial customs.
Now at the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden there was a new tomb, not yet used for burial.
There, because the tomb was near at hand and it was also the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, they laid Jesus.
Today, we watch our Lord at the receiving end, taken in charge by the authorities and receiving at their hands and at the hands of the mob, insults, mockery and shame.
He is given up to the people’s will at the dictate of Pilate. He is the passive recipient of the men’s malice.
And yet, he is the great Actor in this drama of redemption. He reigns from the tree…….
Even in his death throes, he is sufficiently master of time and circumstance to be able to care for his mother in her loneliness; and sufficiently in control to heed his fellow victim’s cry for help and to assure him of a place with him in Paradise; sufficiently aware to be able to utter the great cry of achievement: “it is accomplished!”
O Jesus, King most wonderful,
Thou conqueror renowned!
(John 19: 28 June-42)
With many peaceful and joyful blessings