THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
5. The Crucifixion
||Jesus is nailed to the
cross and dies after three hours of agony witnessed by His
At the Last Supper, when the hour had come to complete His oblation of self, what did
Christ say to His Apostles who were gathered around Him? "Greater love than this no man
hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And this is the love, surpassing all loves,
which Jesus shows us; for, as St. Paul says, "It is for us all that He is delivered up."
What greater proof of love could He have given us?
Hence the Apostle declares without ceasing that "because He loved us, Christ delivered
Himself up for us," and "because of the love He bears for me, He gave Himself up for me."
"Delivered," "given"—to what extent? Even to the death on the cross!
What enhances this love immeasurably is the sovereign liberty with which Christ delivered
Himself up: "He offered Himself because He willed it." These words tell us how
spontaneously Jesus accepted His Passion. This freedom with which Jesus delivered
Himself up to death for us is one of the aspects of His sacrifice which touch our human
hearts most profoundly.