Station 10

Jesus Dies


“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:13


What was your first experience with the reality of death?

What makes you most angry about death?

What makes you most sad about death?


There is an eventual disappearance for all of us that we just don’t like to talk about.

Maybe like me you’ve witnessed a living thing die. From a friend, to a stranger, to a pet, I’ve seen whatever it is that gives the body essence suddenly disappear, leaving just an empty shell. It’s haunting, which is maybe where the word came from, to not know where that animating essence goes in death. Somewhere? Up there? Down there? No where? If we’re honest we really don’t know. We have guesses, but we really don’t know for sure and that is unsettling.

Jesus partook in disappearing.

He was here, and then he wasn’t here. A body was left on the cross, but He wasn’t there anymore.

I just don’t think we should move on from that unsettling mystery too quickly. I think we should stay in this uncomfortable contemplation. I think this station, out of all of them, is the one we’re really afraid of.

Look… I feel the uncomfortableness of looking at the disappearance in death too, because it’s going to happen to us and everyone we know and love. There’s nothing we can do about this, and I feel within me the anger at the reality of this. I feel the dread of not being able to do anything to stop this eventual disappearance. I feel the cry underneath my cultured demeanour of that lack of control I have about when this is going to happen. I feel the humility this disappearance will demand of me when the animating essence of Me unwinds from the biological body of Me.

In this image we have the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, being cut in two by the scythe of death. Admittingly it’s a more palatable visual metaphor than a blunt illustrated lifeless dead body hanging on an execution device. That graphic depiction is hard to stare at for a long time.

So I offer you this image of a severed sheep.
A lamb slain by the wages of sin.
An animating essence made silent by the disappearance in death.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”