The Jewish mob pushed on toward Calvary and as they went the Marys, Miriam, and other women not a few, were close beside the Lord. They wept aloud. When Jesus saw them weeping and lamenting thus he said, Weep not for me, for though I go away, go through the gateway of the cross, yet on the next day of the sun, lift up your hearts, for I will meet you at the sepulchre. (Aquarian Gospel 170:1-3)
Even here Jesus tells others of his coming resurrection and predicts that he will meet them at the sepulchre.
The great procession came to Calvary. The Roman soldiers had already bound the two state prisoners to the cross. (They were not nailed, but simply bound.)
Four soldiers of the Roman guard that Herod brought from Galilee were called to execute the orders of the court. These were the men who had been set apart to torture Jesus and secure from him confession of his guilt. These were the men who scourged him, put a crown of thorns upon his head, a broken reed into his hands, and wrapped him in a royal robe, and bowed in mockery, before him as a king. These soldiers took the Lord and stripped him, laid him on the cross and would have bound him there with cords; but this would not suffice. The cruel Jews were near with hammer and with nails; they cried, Not cords, but nails; drive fast the nails and hold him to the cross. And then the soldiers took the nails and drove them through his feet and hands.
They offered him a sedative to drink, a draught of vinegar and myrrh; but he refused to drink the draught.
The soldiers had prepared a place in which to plant Barabbas’ cross between the other criminals; and here they raised the cross of Jesus, who was called the Christ; and then the soldiers and the mob sat down to watch him die.
And Jesus said, My Father-God, forgive these men; they know not what they do. (Aquarian Gospel 170:4-15)
They were not nailed, but simply bound. Death on the cross usually took place by suffocation. The arms were tied on the cross raised at an angle so the muscles of the chest would become eventually paralyzed and the victim would begin to suffocate. But the feet were on a small platform so the crucified could raise himself up and get some breath, but eventually because of fatigue would slide down and began to suffocate after a while. It was a hideously cruel death. Sometimes, though tied to the cross, the hands and feet of the crucified were nailed to the wood, thus greatly increasing the pain and the struggle for breath. Plus infection would set in and intense fever and thirst would result.
They cried, Not cords, but nails; drive fast the nails and hold him to the cross. Not content with Jesus being crucified, his enemies in their madness insisted on him being nailed to the cross. Such was their unquenchable hatred.
They offered him a sedative to drink, a draught of vinegar and myrrh; but he refused to drink the draught. Being a willing sacrifice, Jesus embraced every bit of the suffering. His love overreached the hatred of his tormentors.
My Father-God, forgive these men; they know not what they do. Here is the meditation on Jesus’ words by Paramhansa Yogananda in Whispers From Eternity.
Come to Me, O Christ, as the Divine Shepherd of Souls
O Christ–Thou rarest flower of hearts–Thou didst sail on the storm-tossed lake of prejudiced minds. Its evil-scented, gloomy thought-waves lashed Thy lily-tender soul. They crucified Thee with their evil. Yet Thou didst shed the aroma of goodness and forgiveness, and didst help them to be purified by remorse, so helping them to become attractively sweet-scented with Thine all-loving Flower-Soul.
O Thou Great Lover of error-torn brothers–an unseen monument of the mightiest miracle of love was established in each heart when the magic wand of Thy voice uttered: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Thou hast healed the cataract of hatred, and now we have grown to see: “Love thine enemies as thyself, for they are thy brothers–though sick and sleeping.”
Thou hast taught us not to increase their delirious kicks of hatred by battering them with the bludgeons of revenge. Thine undying sympathy hath inspired us to heal and wake our brothers, suffering from the delirium of anger, by the soothing salve of our forgiveness.
Thy crucifixion reminds us of the daily crucifixion of our fortitude by trials, of our wisdom by ignorance, of our self-control by the scathing hands of temptation, and of our love by misunderstanding.
Thy test on the cross proved the victory of Thy wisdom over ignorance, of Thy soul over flesh, of Thy happiness over pain, and of Thy love over hatred. So are we heartened to bear our crosses bravely and pleasantly. Teach us to pour out sweetness when crucified by harshness, to bear with calmness the assault of worries, and to give understanding unceasingly to those who unjustly hate us.
O Shepherd of Souls, wandering hearts are of themselves seeking the one fold of divine devotion. We have heard the ever-calling music of Thine infinite kindness. Our one desire is to be at home with Thee, to receive the Cosmic Father with joyous, open eyes of wisdom, and to know that we are all sons of our own One God.
Teach us to conquer the Satan of dividing selfishness, which prevents the gathering of all brother-souls into the one fold of Spirit.
Calling to one another by the watchword: “Love him who loves you, and love all who love you not,” let us rally beneath the canopy of the universal sense of Christ-Oneness. Amen.
Now, Pilate had prepared a tablet to be placed upon the cross on which was written in the tongues of Hebrew, Latin and Greek these words of truth: JESUS THE CHRIST, KING OF THE JEWS. And this was placed upon the cross. The priests were angered when they read these words upon the tablet of the cross. And then they prayed that Pilate would not say, He is the Christ, king of the Jews; but say, He claims to be the Christ, king of the Jews. But Pilate said, What I have written, I have written; let it stand. (Aquarian Gospel 170:16-19)
Once again Pilate witnesses to the truth about Jesus. Though it was a useless gesture on his part, yet it demonstrates how powerful was the effect of Jesus on him that his realization of Jesus’ true Messiahship was so unshaken, even then. When others decried Jesus, saying that his crucifixion was proof he was not the Messiah, Pilate, the alien Roman, knew he was in truth the Christ.
That night Pilate’s wife, Claudia Procula, left the palace in secret and took refuge with the followers of Jesus, never returning to Pilate.
The Jewish multitudes who saw the Lord upon the cross were wild with joy; they said, All hail, fake king! You who would tear the temple down and in three days would build it up again, why don’t you save yourself? If you are Christ, the son of God, come from the cross; then all men will believe.
The priests and scribes and Pharisees looked on the scene and scoffed; they said, He rescued others from the grave; why doesn’t he save himself?
The Jewish soldiers and the Roman guards who came from Galilee were loud in mocking and deriding him.
One of the other men upon the cross joined in the mockery; he said, If you are Christ, you have the power; just speak the Word, and save yourself and me. The other man upon the cross rebuked the man; he said, You wretch! have you no fear of God? This man is innocent of any crime while you and I are guilty and are paying up the debts we owe.
And then he said to Jesus, Lord, I know thy kingdom comes, the kingdom that the world can never comprehend;and when thou comest on the clouds of heaven, remember me. And Jesus said, Behold, for I will meet you in the realm of souls this day. (Aquarian Gospel 170:20-30)
According to ancient documents, this man who appealed to Jesus was a fallen Essene. He had become a robber on the way to Egypt, and had met the Holy Family when they were going there. He befriended and helped them on their way. For this good deed he was able to be with Jesus at the end of his life and be received by him into the astral world.
Now, standing near unto the cross were many women from Judea and from Galilee. Among them were the mother of the Lord and Miriam, and Mary, mother of the two apostles, James and John, and Mary Magdalene, and Martha, Ruth and Mary, and Salome. When Jesus saw his mother and the singer Miriam standing close beside the cross and John a-near, he said to John, In your most tender care I leave my mother and my sister Miriam. And John replied, While they shall live my home shall be the home of your thrice blessed mother and your sister Miriam. (Aquarian Gospel 170:31-35)
From this time onward Saint John was as a son to the Virgin Mary. Because of his exceptional purity and devotion he was able to take the place of Jesus in caring for her.
According to a custom of the Jews, to those who were the executioners of law and took the lives of criminals, belonged the garments of the criminals. So when the Lord was crucified, the Roman guards divided up among themselves the garments of the Lord. But when they found his coat it was a seamless coat and highly prized. For it the guards cast lots, and thus determined who should have the prize. And thus the scripture was fulfilled, which said, And they divided all my robes among themselves, and for my vesture they cast lots. (Aquarian Gospel 170:36-40)
In his previous life as David, Jesus had written: “The assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (Psalms 22:16, 18). Throughout the books of the prophets there were many prophecies of Jesus, especially about his passion, yet none heeded them until afterward.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis