Then they led him out to crucify him.
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS.
They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Mark 15: 20b-27
I’m not the first person to be struck by the irony of Jesus, a carpenter, the son of a carpenter being killed by being nailed to a piece of wood.
As he waited for the cross beam to be fixed to his back, did he notice the smells and sounds of the carpenter’s workshop?
If he was sufficiently conscious did he notice the tools and the sub-standard materials being used? Did he despair at the poor skills of the those tasked with cutting the wood and making the nails?
I wonder if his mind wandered back over the years to when he was a young boy being taught by Joseph how to hold the hammer and the chisel, learning to drive a nail in straight, building the muscles needed for sawing and planning?
I wonder if he thought about Joseph, bringing him up as his own child, know that Jesus was not his flesh and blood?
I wonder if he drew some comfort from remembering the love that he was shown as he learned his ‘father’s’ trade? Or did he remember how Joseph (and Mary for that matter) missed the point when he stayed back in Jerusalem when he was 12 years old?
Did he recollect hours of labour, days of satisfaction of craft and creation?
Did he miss those days? Did he wish he was still nothing more than a village carpenter?
Or was his focus so strongly on the will of his Father that he was only living in that moment?
He had asked the Father if there was another way – there was not.
So, amongst the familiar sawdust and splinters, wood shavings and timber, Jesus is prepared for his final journey.