Image source: photographed at the San Gabriel Mission Museum.
As you can see in the artwork, the march toward the Cross proceeds as the soldiers continue to lead Jesus to Golgotha. Jesus under the weight of the Cross falls to the ground ……..
Flashback a few years earlier when Jesus went on the silent solitary path to the Wilderness for a fast after his baptism …..
Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (NASB)
When the devil tempted him, Jesus could easily have leaped from the pinnacle of the temple and with a mere though brought angels who would have helped him stick a perfect “10” landing on the ground to the astonishment of the crowds. Jesus was never interested in the adulation of the crowd. And so he refused the temptation of the devil. He would choose a path that would take him to a different road.
A few years later, on the way of the Cross, on a crowded and noisy route, he falls down – no angels are called to bear him up. Jesus chooses the path of suffering. He chooses the path of death. However, in going through the way of the Cross, he is vindicated by resurrection. And in so doing this, he opens the door for us to regain life!
Crown Him with many crowns
The lamb upon the throne
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns
All music but it’s own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee.
And hail Him as thy matchless king
Thru all eternity
— Matthew Bridges