The Third Station of the Cross: Jesus Falls for the First Time
At this point in the story, Jesus has been scourged in the hopes of satisfying the bloodlust of the crowds. Scourging was not a minor beating, but a severe form of punishment. The whip was made of several straps fastened to a handle, and could include pieces of metal or bone to inflict more damage with each stroke. After such a beating, the pain of a cross on the wounds inflicted by the whip must have been immense.
Falling is not surprising. Getting back up is unbelievable. However, staying down was not an option. As long as Jesus had the strength, He would continue on.
As a parent, I understand this on a very small level. Years ago, as my daughter struggled with severe pain due to an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, I battled through the exhaustion of early pregnancy to comfort her and continue to search for a diagnosis and treatment. I knew that my struggles were nothing compared to hers, and I got up every time she needed me.
Jesus not only could help us with our sufferings, but had the power to free us from the things that kill our very souls. He knew that what He was doing would change the world forever. He got back up.
Yet it was our pain that he bore, our suffering he endured. We thought of him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, but he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way; but the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.
If you’re just now jumping in, find the rest of the Stations of the Cross here.