main point –
The main thing that strikes me about John’s version of the crucifixion is the lack of angst. Jesus is portrayed as being always in control of the situation … no emphasis on the emotional or physical suffering, he even carries his own cross without help … Jesus is not a victim here.
new light –
I hadn’t noticed before, but Jesus’ mother is never mentioned by name in John’s gospel, just as the beloved disciple is not … some say this is so Mary and John can be symbols of the new church continuing after Jesus’ death.
I think I don’t so much like this gospel’s portrayal of the “passion” as it seems not true to experience … I think there would have been a fair amount of fear, pain and despair.
The implications of this passage are many and I’m not sure I even understand them all. Here’s something I wrote about it for my blog last Easter … Some people might wonder why the retreat is focusing so on this violent brutal end of Jesus’ life. After all, he preached for three years but hung on the cross for only three hours. I’m not sure how to answer this, but I believe that contemplating Jesus’ torture and death wasa good thing for me, though hard, and I’m not even doing it correctly. This week and the next are meant to be “consoling” in a way I’ve not yet discovered, but still I would not have missed the experience. When I took this retreat three years ago, my mom, who I lived with, was dying of lung cancer. It was an awful experience but looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the world. The retreat says that to be with a loved one when they suffer and die is a gift …. I guess I’m trying to open that gift.
The problem of trying to bring good out of something horrible.