3 April: John 19.16-30

Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”, but, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.” ’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’ When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’ This was to fulfil what the scripture says,

‘They divided my clothes among themselves,

and for my clothing they cast lots.’

And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


 

Six Degrees Of Separation

 

Dark purple stain turning yellow,
carefully hidden away
under Harvey Nichols blouse;

Child wrapped tightly in
“My Little Pony” bedclothes
as the door creaks open:
again;

Weary, dust-filled eyes turning
skywards
seeing no rain;

A bound man’s arm being gently
swabbed clean
before lethal chemicals are
injected;

Behind locked doors black
underwear
being hastily adjusted as the
video-tape plays;

Soldier searching a hill of rubble
to find his comrade’s shattered
limb…
..the young woman shielding her
eyes against the burning light sees:
A farmer?
An angel?
… gardener?
…and the young man
writes in the sand,
touches the eyes,
ears,
limbs;
washes his friends’ feet,
receives from strangers
water,
bread,
revelation,
anointing:
fusing his Flesh with theirs forever.