The Crucifixion


The Rosary,” wrote Blessed Pope John Paul II, “precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning.”

Pope Paul VI wrote that “without [this contemplation,] the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ: ‘And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words’ (Mt 6:7).’”

Because of this, it is vital that Christians familiarize themselves with the Scriptures in order to meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ.

Below is the fifth sorrowful mystery. To see other mysteries, click here.

The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:35-50)

When they arrived at Golgotha, the soldiers crucified Jesus, driving nails into his hands and feet. The soldiers then divided his garments among them by casting lots. On the cross above his head they put a sign that read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Jesus was crucified in the middle of two others, both of them robbers.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes, “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (15:3). That the death of Christ was foretold in the Old Testament is one of the ways in which we know that “Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan” (CCC 599).


Moments before his death, “Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli Eli, la’mac sabach-tha’ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). Here, Jesus is quoting the opening line of Psalm 22, and in so doing “evokes the entire plot …where the sufferer’s humiliation gives way to vindication.

Thus Jesus does not consider his Passion meaningless or a mark of failure; still less does he succumb to a sin of despair. Rather he ‘trusts in God’ (27:43) and surrenders his spirit to the Father (Lk 23:46). Like the innocent sufferer of Psalm 22, he is confident that God will turn his mercy into victory (cf. Lk 23:43)”.[1]

Personal Application

The most atrocious evil ever committed upon the face of the earth was the execution of the God-man. And yet from this evil God brought good great good — the redemption of mankind! Meditating upon the crucifixion, Christians should be encouraged.

Regardless of the trials and evil we may be undergoing or subjected to, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him” (Rom 8:28).


[1] Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament, n. Matt 27:46

4 thoughts on “The Crucifixion

  1. “The most atrocious evil ever committed upon the face of the earth was the execution of the God-man.”

    So, who exactly do you blame for this “atrocious evil”? The God-father? The Jews? The Romans? Poor maligned Judas? Adam and Eve? Hans Andersen (also a teller of fairy tales)?

    1. humanity committed this evil; it has nothing to do with Jews or Romans. Whether it was either party, they are all humans part of the broken and sinful humanity.

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