The Seventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
April 18, 2014 Comments Off on The Seventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
Have you ever thought about the wound on Jesus’ side? The “fifth wound” of Christ? We see it here, on James Middleton’s stunning image, as we come to the station “Jesus Dies on the Cross.” On Jesus’ right side, between a couple ribs, the wound pours blood, dripping down Jesus’ body. What do you think about this wound?
I’ve recently spent quite a lot of time thinking about it. I just finished writing my M.Div thesis about how this wound has been depicted in Medieval Art and how it can help us think about Eucharist in new ways.
One of my favorite images is this one, from a French Gothic Bible Moralisée, ca 1225
In it, we see Jesus on the cross. Out of the wound on his side, comes Ecclesia, or “the church.” She is a young woman, wearing a crown, and in her hands she holds out a chalice and delivers it into the hands of God the Father. Here, the wound is actually a birthplace. The wound makes Jesus’ capable of bearing a child, and the child he bears is the church in which we worship. The blood of this wound is actually the child-bearing blood which we drink at communion.
This Holy Week, I have been thinking about what it could mean for us to think of the blood in the chalice as this life-giving, mothering blood. On this day when we go without the mystery of celebrating Holy Eucharist, as we mourn Jesus on the cross, I am taking the time and space to imagine how the thanks I give on Easter can reflect Jesus’ gift to us, the gift of life.
– Julia Stroud