It is Holy Week and we celebrate the Transitus Domini, the Paschal Mystery of our Redemption. This awesome Mystery is seen both from a “high” and theological / liturgical point of view and from the human angle.
The other point of view is the extreme level of abuse and torture Jesus suffered. If it does anything for your spiritual life and you can bear it, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ can be seen on YouTube:
Seeing such horror and sadistic cruelty may provoke us to pity and compassion, like Spanish crucifixes and Ignatian meditations on the Passion. In others, these scenes may provoke anger or simply an utter incomprehension of man’s inhumanity to man. Many who lived through World War II and other more recent conflicts were so saturated with suffering that they could no longer accept the idea of a loving and merciful God. Some of us might react the same way on seeing this film that gives the most realistic rendering of Christ’s suffering. I suggest the film be seen with this reserve and consideration in view.
For others of us, we cling to the idea of God’s incarnation through Christ, his participating in our nature so that we might by grace participate in his. The Mystery is rendered present for us through the liturgy as the Church is brought together to pass through death into new life. My vision is close to that of Dom Casel and his thoughts about how the Church Fathers understood the Mystery. The ideal is that contemplation should transcend images of Christ’s physical sufferings, uniting all the biblical and allegorical images of the old Jewish Passover and man’s deification. We above all celebrate the mystery of our Baptism, our own participation in this passage from servitude to freedom, from death to life.
In his sacred humanity, Christ cried out My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The cup was full, and yet there already lay the hope of the Resurrection.