The sixth miracle of the cross:
THE WONDER OF RECONCILIATION
Pilate gave the order to have Jesus crucified. Jesus was ordered to carry His own cross, although that would have been only the crossbeam, which would have weighed between thirty to fifty kilos. As a carpenter, Jesus would have been used to carrying heavy beams on His shoulder, but this time He was unable to. The road to Golgotha was narrow and steep, the cobbling was poor and there were many people on the road, all pushing their way through. It was along this road that Jesus had to carry the heavy crossbeam on His shoulders which had been whipped to shreds. He probably fell several times. Then Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the Cross for Jesus.
Around nine a.m. the crowd reached Golgotha, ‘The place of the Skull’. Here they tore the clothes off of Jesus’ body. He was undressed in front of His own mother and loved ones. Humiliated in front of His family, He had to lay down with His raw shoulders on the wooden crossbeam, and within several minutes the Roman soldiers had nailed Him to the Cross63.
The crucifixion lasted six hours and it was a tortuous symphony of pain for Jesus, which grew worse with every movement, every breath. Even just a small breeze could cause a screaming pain on His skin. His lips were torn. His mouth and throat were so dry He couldn’t swallow. His voice was so hoarse that He could barely speak. The last time He had drank something was during the last Passover meal in the upper room. Since then He had not slept, He had battled our sins, He had been beaten, spat upon, scourged and crucified. And all this time not a drop of fluid had soothed His throat. For six long hours He hung on the Cross as a lump of raw meat. Barely capable of even speaking, Jesus spoke the now famous words: ‘Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing!’64.