They then laid hold of Jesus, and lifting him up, placed him on the short stake which is always put in front of each cross, that the body of the criminal may rest there while being tied. They tied the arms as usual with strong cords, and so tightly that all the blood went back to the heart, and breathing was thereby made difficult.

In the same manner they tied his feet, and wound half way up his legs strong cords, which also drove the circulating blood back to the heart.

After this they drove through his hands thick iron nails, but none through his feet, for this was not customary. I note this particularly, my dear brethren, inasmuch as it has been rumored that he was nailed through both his hands and feet.

Thus he just hung, exposed to untold sufferings, in the heat of the sun, which on that day was extreme and fatiguing, while the soldiers took possession of his clothes, according to the custom. The cloak they cut into four parts; but the tunic was woven, and could not be torn asunder, wherefore they cast lots for it.

After the noonday, when the sun had turned, there came throngs of people from the city, drawn thither by curiosity; and there were several priests present, gloating over their sinful vengeance. They derided him, bowed down as he was with grief and pain, and exhorted the people to mock him.

Jesus suffered quietly, directing his gaze to the sky. He heard not the women of his tribe from Galilee, who were standing some distance away wringing their hands and lamenting his, as they thought, untimely death.

These sounds of anguish and lamentation were drowned by the noises of horsemen advancing to the scene. This was the high-priest, "Caiaphas", with a large escort of servants, who came to mock and deride the crucified "Son of God". And even one of the crucified thieves joined with them in deriding him, for he had secretly hoped that Jesus would have delivered both himself and them through a miracle.

Now the Romans, in derision of the Jews, had fixed a tablet or place on the cross, over his head, whereon in four different languages they designated him "King of the Jews". This deeply angered the priests, but inasmuch as they feared Pilate, they exhausted their wrath by mocking Jesus.

View from the cross

Darkness descended over the earth, and the people returned to Jerusalem, but Jesus' disciples, his friends and the elders of our holy Order remained on Golgotha, our Order having near by a colony for worship and for partaking of our feast of love.

And Jesus recognized his mother among the weeping women from Galilee, standing close by the silent John (The Evangelist). Jesus called out loudly, in the anguish of his pain, citing the twenty-second Psalm, praying God thereby to deliver him from his sufferings.

There were still a few Pharisees remaining on the mountain, who intended mocking him because they had expected and hoped that Jesus would descend from the cross, "the worldly savior of the people"; and as this had not come to pass, they felt themselves deceived and were therefore angry.

The heat grew steadily more intense, more unendurable, and a fire was forming in the earth and air, such as is essential to the purification of the elements. The Essene brethren, through their knowledge of nature and its elements, knew that an earthquake was coming, as had formerly occurred in the days of our forefathers.



Crucifixion By An Eyewitness

Pages And Points To Ponder