After stripping Jesus of his garments in the cruelest way and giving Him wine mixed with gall, which He did not want to take, they nailed his feet and hands to the cross, and raised it on high, letting it slam into the hole dug beforehand; his whole body shook with excruciating pain.
Jesus is nailed to the cross on high, his sorrowful Mother standing on one side of the cross, with Mary Magdalene and St. John on the other.
Raise yourself up on high with your Lord and Master; place yourself at the feet of the cross, raise your senses and the affections of your heart, to nail them with Jesus to the cross, so as to learn and understand all that He does and says there.
From the soles of his feet to the crown of his head, there is no part free of wounds in Him. His head, crowned with sharp thorns, has no place to lean on: What a torment! His hands, fixed with iron nails, are being torn apart by the weight of his body. The wounds on his feet begin to tear and expand with the burden of the body. The members are dislocated, the bones disjointed; the veins empty as the blood flows out of his wounds; his lips are parched, the tongue is bitter, and his whole body is torn apart. Man of sorrows, your place of rest is the hardwood of the cross!
How many torments in one!… There is no suffering comparable to this torment.
Observe the signs of bitter irony: the company of the thieves, the title of derision placed on the cross by orders of Pilate, the casting of lots on his garments by the soldiers; the infamy of the place, the time of Passover, the hour of noon, the immense throng of people from all parts to witness his torture; his vision tormented by the presence of soldiers, oppressors, Jews, pontiffs and elders, of the immense multitude contemplating him.
Observe the gestures of those who insult, mock, and sneer at Him. Look at his Mother, his loving Disciple, and Mary Magdalene, at the foot of the cross. Consider his other friends and acquaintances, watching Him from a distance, all increasing his pain and suffering.
Christ hears the cries and lamentations of his few friends, the shouts and tumult, the mockery and taunting, the jeering, insults and blasphemies of many of his enemies . . . Never had any criminal been treated this way.
Look at Jesus hanging from the cross and ponder the magnitude of his suffering, its constancy and duration. Exteriorly He suffers in his whole body; in each of his members, in all his senses. Interiorly He suffers in all the powers of his soul.
Look at Jesus hanging on the cross, his head bent, looking lovingly at you… his arms extended to receive you, his heart open to shelter you in it. All in Jesus exhales his love and suffering for you… for your sins.