Saint John at the Foot of the Cross
by Father Charles Irvin, M.Div, J.D.
O dear God, this isn't the way it's supposed to be . . . I can't understand what's
happening. Why Jesus? Why this horrible death? It's so unreal. There must be
something I can't see, something hidden. O God, why are
You allowing this horrible thing . . . this awful pain? And why
Jesus, did You accept this? Why is this Your
Everything's inside out, upside down. I never dreamed that following Jesus would end
up here. O God . . . I'm scared. I'm just a boy . . . this isn't supposed to
happen to me. O God! This awful agony!!
Why isn't it me who's up there instead of Jesus? Just look at
Mary!! I can't stand it. What's happening? Where did everybody go? O my Father in
Heaven . . . I thought You were sending us the Messiah, the
One Who would free us from all this. What went wrong? I'm so
scared . . . so confused . . . my stomach is coming up into my mouth. I can't think any more.
O my Father in Heaven . . .
Jesus was so kind to me, so caring. He loved me so much.
Jesus was the only real friend I ever had. O Father, if
You love us so much, as Jesus said You did, why are
You allowing all of this to happen? Jesus never did anything wrong.
He never hurt anyone. Jesus loved everyone, even
the worst among us. And He loved me so much! And everyone seemed to
love Him. Look how everyone loved Him when He
came here into Jerusalem only a little while ago . . . everyone was shouting Your praises, spreading their
clothes and spreading palms along the very ground in front of Him.
Why do You do such things to us? Why do You let people
be so horribly mean? Why do You allow all of this pain,
this agony and all of this suffering to go on? Why do You
let us hurt so much? I can't stand it any longer.
This can't be real. There must be a world that's more real than this one. There's got to be a world that's
hidden from us, a world that we can't see just now. There's a deep-down truth that's trying to get out,
trying to surface so that we can see it. There's something deep down within us that
You're trying to say to us.
Detail from the Crucifixion - by GRÜNEWALD, Matthias, from Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar
O God, I know that Your Word is in
Jesus. I know that You speak in Jesus. I know that
You even live in Jesus. But where are You? I can't see
You now. Is Your Truth and is Your Love here in all this
agony and pain? Is Your Truth nailed up there on that
Horrible Cross? Is that YOU twisting and turning and trying to even breathe in this
awful torture? Are YOU nailed to that Cross? Have we done that to
Why are You so powerless? Why do You do nothing but
hang there, writhing in agony? Why don't You DO SOMETHING? Why don't
You stop all this awful agony? Is Your Love about
all of this? Is this what Love is all about? Does everyone who really loves
have to get nailed in agony?
O Jesus, how can You stand it? How can
You still Love and still Forgive? WHY did You
Forgive those who did this to You? Why did You have to go and do THAT?
Aren't some things unforgivable? Isn't it unjust to Forgive people for doing what they're doing to
You? These people only came to You when they wanted something . . . and now
look at what they've done to You. And then You had to go and
forgive them. I can't stand it. Why did You have to do that?
And where's Peter? He's such a big loud-mouth! He's all talk . . . never there when You
really need him. Did You know that last night he said he didn't even know You?
What a jerk! He's no different than Judas . . . and I hope Judas is rotting in Hell.
These awful people . . . these people who don't care about You at all unless they
can get something from You . . . I can't stand these people.
O God . . . I just don't get it. I can't understand it. I'm just a boy. I haven't
even grown up yet. Where are the men? Yeah, that's what's wrong here . . . where are the real men? They've
all run away!! Why? Why are they such cowards? Why have they forsaken
You? Do the men think that You are only for women and children? Do they think
that all of this stuff about God is only for children? And women? Where are the real men? O well . . . I
guess You're just no longer useful. The only thing they think You're good for
is to hang there on the Cross and die.
SHOW THEM, O LORD! SHOW THEM WHO YOU REALLY ARE!! Show
them the real You, the hidden You that's deep down inside
You. Come down from the Cross and show all of these stupid people who
You really are . . . and show them what's really real. Show them that what they think is real, isn't real
at all. Show them that they're spending their lives going after things that are only shadow and darkness. Show them
Your Fire! And show them the Light of Your Love! Come down, Lord Jesus,
and show them. Come down and shame them.
O Jesus, why are You doing this? Why are
You allowing all this awful agony and pain to
happen? Why are You hanging there in pain and writhing in
agony for the whole world to watch?
Detail from the Crucifixion -
by CRANACH, Lucas the Elder -
from Alte Pinakothek, Munich
You must be trying to show us something that we can't see.
You must be trying to show us something that's been hidden from our eyes. There must be a message in all of this. I thought
You were the Messiah. NO - I know that You
are the Messiah. I need to try and see what You want me to see. I've
felt Your Love. I've seen Your Power! I know what You
can do. I know that You can do anything. So why are You doing this? Why are
You hiding that Power? Make these stones cry out and tell the whole world who
You really are and what Your Father wants us to do. DO IT,
LORD! DO IT because I can't stand this much longer.
O Jesus, I'm not yet a man. I'm not like Peter and Matthew. Why do
You want me here with Your mother? Why do You
want me here with Mary Magdalene?
Your mother, O Lord . . . look
at her! Look at what's happening to her! What can I do for
her, O Lord? How can I help her? I Love
her so much, Jesus. I Love
Your mother so very much. You know how much I
Love You . . . and You know how much I Love her.
She's so Good, so very, very Good to me.
She Loves me because she Loves You.
And because she loves me so much I want to help her.
But I'm so powerless, Jesus. I'm just a boy. What can I do? O Jesus, please
Help me to see, O Lord. Help me to hear what You're
saying to everyone in all of this. Something Awesome is happening here . . . something Stupendous is happening in all of this. I can
feel the ground shaking underneath me. What's real seems to be crumbling beneath me. The very rocks are breaking up. The whole world is
shaking beneath me. Reality is turning upside down. What's real, seems now to be unreal. I'm scared,
Jesus, I'm awfully scared. I have a terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. I
think the world's coming to an end. Some Huge, Stupendous thing is happening here. Even the Sun is getting dark! O
God, are You going to end the world right now?
O Jesus, let me die with You
O no, Lord, don't die! O my God . . .
He's beginning to slip. He's losing His strength.
There's blood all over the place. O God . . . KEEP THAT SOLDIER AWAY FROM HIM!
O GOD, HE'S PUTTING HIS SPEAR INTO JESUS' SIDE!! There's blood everywhere!
That soldier is covered in His Blood. And water!! There's a whole lot of water coming out of
O God, let it stop!! Don't let it happen!!
O Jesus, show me who You really are.
O Jesus, I'll always Love You . . . I'll always believe in
You . . . no matter what.