Twelfth Station: Jesus dies

The Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

by Jan Benvie

“It was the third hour when they crucified him. … Those who passed by hurled insults at him… And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,… ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me?’ … With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” (Mark 15: 25, 29-34, 37)

Jesus was mocked and crucified because He dared to speak out and challenge the powers. He was seen as a threat, He had to be silenced.

The word ‘crucify’ is often used to mean harsh criticism. Do we remain silent in the presence of oppression and persecution for fear we will be crucified – named a ‘terrorist’ or ‘anti Semite’?

In the name of ‘security’ or ‘the war on terror’, many governments around the world have passed laws curtailing the rights of defendants. In April 2006 Amnesty International produced a report detailing the practice of rendition – “the transfer of people from one country to another by means that bypass all judicial and administrative due process” (part 1.1). In November 2007 Amnesty reported that approximately 300 detainees were still held without charge or trial by US authorities in Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp. Many who speak out against these unjust laws and practices are accused of supporting or appeasing terrorism.

Israel detains Palestinians without charge or trial in ‘administrative detention’. According to the Israeli Human Rights Group, B’tselem, Israel, in 2007, held a monthly average of 830 prisoners in administrative detention. Christian Peacemaker Teams, and other groups who speak out against the actions of the Israeli occupying forces in the Palestinian Territories, are accused of being anti Semitic.

Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, they must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me … will save it.” (Mark 8: 34-35)

We know that God did not forsake Jesus. Jesus overcame death and rose again from the tomb. Neither will God forsake us if we have the strength to take up our cross and follow Jesus. God will be with us as we speak out or take action against oppression and injustice, even when that means mockery or death.