The Agony in the Garden
Following the Last Supper, Jesus left the house of the Cenacle, and followed by His Apostles, made His way to Mount Olivet and entered the Garden of Gethsemene. Then He said to all the Apostles, `Wait for me while I go a short distance to pray.'
Then taking with Him Peter, James and John, He retired to another place. He raised His eyes up to the Eternal Father confessing Him and praising Him, as was His custom. In this prayer Christ offered Himself anew to the Eternal Father in satisfaction of His Justice for the rescue of the human race, and He gave consent that all the torments of His Passion and Death be let loose over that part of His Human Being which was capable of suffering.
And immediately He began to feel sorrowful, and said, `My Soul is sorrowful unto Death' He threw Himself on the ground, face down, and prayed, `Father if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me'. His agony increased to such an extent, that great drops of bloody sweat were pressed from Him, and flowed to the earth. Three times He returned to His Apostles whom He had instructed to pray and found them sleeping. On the third occasion He said, `It is enough: the hour is come. Behold the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
The Scourging at the Pillar
At the dawn of Friday morning, the ancients, chief priests and scribes met to decide the Death of Christ, which they all desired. Having done so, they brought Jesus to the house of Pilate, the Governor of Judea, who had the authority to pass a Death sentence.
Pilate could find no crime in Him worthy of a Death sentence, so to satisfy the Jews he decided he would punish Him and then dismiss Him. But the Jews, crying out loudly, demanded that Christ be crucified. Then Pilate washed his hands in the presence of all the people, saying: `I have no share in the death of this Just Man whom you condemn.' Look to yourselves in what you are doing.'
Thereupon they brought Jesus to the place of punishment. There they removed His tunic, and bound Him brutally to one of the marble columns.
Then two at a time, His six torturers began to scourge Him with such inhuman cruelty, as was possible only in men possessed by Lucifer. In their sacrilegious fury, they strained all the powers of their body to inflict the blows, each trying to outdo the other. His Sacred Blood bespattered and drenched the garments of His torturers, running down also in streams to the pavement. Their ceaseless blows inhumanly tore His Flesh, and scattered pieces about the pavement. In several places bones were exposed, and showed red through the flowing Blood.
The Crowning with Thorns
Following the Scourging, they took Jesus to the Praetorium, where they cruelly stripped Him of His garments, so that they could dress Him in a much torn and soiled mantle of purple, in order to deride and mock Him before all the people as a counterfeit King.
Instead of a King's sceptre, they placed in His hands a contemptible reed.
They forced on His Sacred Head a cap woven of thorn branches in such a way that many of the hard and sharp thorns would penetrate into His skull, some of them to the ears and some to the eyes.
Hence one of the greatest tortures suffered by the Lord, was this Crown of Thorns.
Then all of the soldiers, in the presence of the priests and Pharisees, gathered around Him and heaped upon Him their blasphemous mockery and derision.
Some of them bent their knees and mocked Him, some buffeted Him, some snatched the reed from His hands and hit Him on the head with it; others spat on Him and all insulted Him in different manners.
Pilate, thinking that the sight of a man so bloodied and disfigured by the scourging and the Crown of Thorns, may pacify the Jews, ordered Jesus to be brought to the window in full view of the mob, but even then they cried: `CRUCIFY HIM!'
The Carrying of the Cross
Pilate then decreed the sentence of Death on Jesus. They then stripped Him of the purple mantle and clothed Him again in His own clothes. His face had been disfigured beyond recognition by the scourging, and Crown of Thorns. Only by His own garments could He now be recognised by the people. So that He could carry the Cross, they loosened the bonds holding His hands, but not the others, since they wished to drag Him along by the loose ends of the ropes that bound His body.
Jesus looked upon the Cross with a countenance full of joy, and addressing it He said, "O Cross, beloved of My soul, come to Me, that I may be received in thy arms, and that, attached to them as on an Altar, I may be accepted by the Eternal Father, as a sacrifice of His everlasting reconciliation with the Human race."
The executioners loaded the heavy Cross on His tender and wounded shoulders, and dragged our Saviour Jesus along with incredible cruelty and insults. By this they made Him often fall to the ground, opening further great wounds, especially on the knees, and often the heavy Cross bumped against His head, driving the thorns further into His skull.
Mount Calvary was held to be a place of defilement, as being reserved for the chastisement of convicted criminals. Our Most Loving Saviour arrived at its summit worn out, wounded, torn and disfigured.
It was already noon, and the executioners again stripped Jesus of His garments. As they roughly pulled His tunic over His head, they inhumanly tore off the Crown of Thorns opening anew all the wounds in His head. With heartless cruelty they again forced it down on His Sacred Head, opening up wounds upon wounds. Then one of the executioners seized His hand and placed it over the auger hole which they had drilled in the Cross, while another hammered a large and rough nail through it.
The veins and sinews were torn, and the bones and nerves forced apart. When they stretched out the other Hand, they found it did not reach the auger hole, because they had deliberately drilled them too far apart, in order to add a further torture.
Looping a chain through a ring around His wrist, they inhumanly pulled the other Hand over the auger hole, and nailed it fast, doing likewise to His feet. From the noon hour until three o'clock, Our Lord hung there and then expired, after hours of incredible agony.