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  • Sarah Raad

Indignity

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

What terrible indignities we visit upon Our Blessed Lord through sin.

Christ Nailed to the Cross (Gerard David)

Today is Holy Wednesday, which is a very important day in our liturgical calendar because it is the day that Judas Iscariot arranged to betray his friend – the Christ – to the chief priests for money…


“And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.” (Luke 22:4-6).


“…When no crowd was present.” (Luke 22:6). In the night, under cover of darkness, Christ – light of the world – was betrayed with a kiss. He was alone. He was defenceless. He was betrayed.


Only three short days earlier Christ had been welcomed into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, riding a donkey as the crowd cried “Hosana”. And only two short days from now, the same crowd would be crying, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

I am that crowd. It was my voice that cried “Hosana” and mine too – “Crucify Him!”

For Christ was a famous man. People knew who he was. The crowds followed Him. They followed Him for His miracles, they followed Him for the spectacle. They even followed Him for the food – the wine at Cana and the loaves and fish.


Today is the day that Christ’s fame started to turn to infamy…


But, though the crowds followed Him, only a few loved Him. And those who loved Him stayed close to Him, even when His FAME turned to INFAMY… Those were the people who stayed to witness His death… “These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.” (Mark 15:41).


For through His death there was great suffering. I dealt on Him great indignity in that death.


The nails were hammered into His Blessed Hands and Feet. I have heard of this terrible agony before. But only over the last few days, has it occurred to me that those same nails were pulled out of His Blessed Hands and Feet only hours later as His body was removed from the Cross.

Those who loved Him the most were witness to that indignity. Christ’s body hung on the Cross held up by those nails for three hours until His death.

My husband is not a tradesman, but is the most “handy-man” I know. It truly seems that his gift from God is his ability to fix or build almost anything. I – on the other hand – am completely unable to complete even the most simple construction or repair job. But though I am completely inept at such tasks, over the years of our marriage, I have very often been witness to what they entail.


Have you ever watched somebody hammer nails into a piece of timber? Have you ever watched someone pull those nails out?


Hammering nails in takes physical strength… Pulling them out takes even more.


Can you imagine the physical strength it took to hammer the nails into the Sacred Flesh of Christ – through His Sacred bone and sinew? Can you imagine the terrible indignity of removing them?


His Blessed Mother – and those women who watched from the distance – saw the nails being pulled from His most Precious Flesh. They watched as the soldiers heaved against His Sacred Body, which He had given for us only the previous night. They watched as His Sacred Blood and Water poured from His Side, which He had given for us only the previous night.


We did not even give Him the dignity of waiting patiently until His death. The lives of the Good and Bad Thief were euthanised. The thieves were not even given the dignity of dying in their own time – for the Feast of the Passover was approaching and the people were too busy to wait…


And so now, as I rush around in preparation for the celebration of Easter, I remember how my rushing added to the INDIGNITY of My Lord, and I stop, standing still in the supermarket, at work, on the road or in the shopping centre.


Now, for the great INDIGNITY that I did to Him, who I love…


I stop… I stand still… And I weep…


For with sorrow, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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