Station 11: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Location: N. Carroll St., near Grace Church

Kreuzweg am Wilhelmsberg in Paderborn-Schloß Neuhaus

Kreuzweg am Wilhelmsberg in Paderborn-Schloß Neuhaus

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. (Luke 23:32-33)



The Romans had perfected crucifixion to expose the victim to as much humiliation and suffering as possible. Dignity was stripped away with clothing, skin exposed to sun and wind.

When we think of Jesus’ baptism, we usually think of the beginning of his ministry, when John baptized him in the Jordan river.  But in the Gospels, when Jesus speaks of his baptism, this is the moment he means: his execution among criminals and outcasts, exiled to death outside the city walls.  Here is his baptism, nailed to a cross, and through it he was transformed.  And not only Jesus; the whole world was transformed, for even on the cross, Jesus was finishing his earthly ministry, stripping away all the barriers between even the lowliest outcasts and the kingdom of God. In suffering this horrible and demeaning death, he redeemed it. The cross and its nails are no longer signs of terror, but of liberation and redemption.

A Prayer Before the Cross

O Holy and Immortal One,
we bow before the cross of your wounded Christ.
We praise you, our Mercy, and we bless you, our Compassion,
for in our brokenness you have not abandoned us.
Hear us as we pray through Jesus, our high priest:
heal all division,
reconcile the estranged,
console the suffering,
and raise up to new life all that is bound by death. Amen.


Holy God,
Holy and mighty,
Holy immortal one,
have mercy upon us.