Image source: photographed at the San Gabriel Mission Museum.
Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha ….. (NKJV)
Jesus bears the Cross. His eyes are focused on the task at hand. He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).
The majority of the figures in this scene have helmets and spears suggesting they are part of the armed contingent carrying out the order to execute Jesus. Jesus was opposed by the powers that were. And today, Jesus is opposed by the powers that are.
Did you notice the mysterious dark image of a horse in the top center of the picture. What could this mean? Perhaps, one or more of the members of the military squad assigned to the crucifixion of Jesus rode on a horse. But look at the horse. Interestingly, both eyes of this horse stare straight out at us. Could it be that this created being, this mere horse, saw truly that it was the Creator carrying the Cross? Meanwhile, the majority of the humans, the highest of God’s creation, were blind to the truth of this scene: the giver of life was going to die.
Yet ….. all is not lost. There are three people who do not have helmets but rather have what appear to be halos. The prominent figure, the woman dressed in red with the blue covering, presumably is mother Mary. The other two figures are not identifiable. By the grace of God, some see past the world’s power play and see in Jesus, the suffering servant, the one worthy of worship. They do not turn away but instead follow Jesus. They follow in the way of the Cross. Do we follow too?
And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
— Charles Wesley