Station 11: Jesus Nailed to the Cross

Station 11: Jesus Nailed to the Cross

    We wear crosses made out of precious metal, with diamonds encased, and they are lovely. But the cross  Jesus was nailed to  was made of rugged wood, and crude nails were hammered into his hands and feet.

    The very hands that healed so many were held open, and nails, driven in, causing them to gush blood. The look on his face gave  a glimpse of the spasms of pain which  ran  through his body.

    Jesus was nailed to the cross not as an atonement, a sacrifice for our individual sins, but as one who is seeking to restore justice through demonstrating his absolute love for humanity, calling each of us to seek restoration of our lives and society.

    Retribution is seen in our world in our methods of dealing with people on the margins. When people who are seen on the street, mentally ill, abusing drugs, people of color, who live in poor neighborhoods come to the surface, we are afraid, and seek retribution–our way of pushing a side what we choose not to see or deal with.  Our prisons are full of people of color, and the poor.

    We can talk about “social justice”,  and “peace and justice”, in general terms, giving us goosebumps as we see social justice as packing food , giving used clothes to people, and sharing food, that  is given to us by the food bank from behind a table. We feel good as we go home to our nice apartments and houses, visiting  with our wonderful  friends , believing we have done  our part. Just gives us goose bumps!

    Jesus tells us to “Take up your cross,” and “follow me”. His call is for each of us to walk the streets, to pound on the doors of politicians, to give people housing, to provide for medical treatment, and food. To walk with them as Jesus, who is nailed to the Cross, and in so doing,  pointing  to the resurrection, and to restoration.

    When we reach the bottom, we are experiencing what it means to be “poor in spirit”, (Matthew 5:3), where we have no privilege to prove or protect but much to seek and become. Jesus calls such people “blessed”, and Dorthy Day said as much in these words:

“The only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have too far to drop, you do not have much to lose.”  Let us become as small pebbles being cast into the sea of restoration.

Let us pray:

God as we meditate on Jesus being nailed to the cross, we ask that as we see his pain, his willingness to suffer for  humanity and the desire for us to  find restoration in changed lives open to love,  that we too can follow him, and give ourselves a way, and become “poor in spirit.” In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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