Tenth Station of the Cross
Jesus is stripped of his garments
There are a series of pictures representing certain aspects in the Passion of Christ, and each one corresponds to a particular incident.
This series is known as The Way of the Cross and this page introduces the Tenth Station.
He is stripped of his garments
The Tenth Station is inside the Frankish Chapel of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is built on the ground which was called Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. It is also the location of the tomb in which the body of Jesus was interred after the Crucifixion (John 19:41-42).
It is here that Jesus was told to drop the cross beam from his torn shoulders. One can imagine he felt as weightless as an astronaut, but only physically. Mentally, he still bore the weight of the injustice and humiliation. He probably looked up and saw the two thieves, already hanging from their crosses - not that any reminder of his fate was necessary. What little remained of his clothing was removed, further humiliating him.
The cross beam lay on the ground as the soldiers fulfilled the prophecy of Ps. 22:18 'They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing', thereby deciding who would take the clothing as a macabre souvenir (John 19:24).
Even today, in what we like to think is civilised society, when convicted prisoners are first received at a prison they strip off their clothing and put on prison uniform. This strips away their dignity and is a physical symbol of their loss of freedom. They belong to the whims of the State, just as Jesus was now completely controlled by his guards.
All of us, at some time, suffer loss of dignity. Even if it's relatively minor, like being bullied, we know it hurts.
Let us resolve to do our part in preventing the humiliation of other people. Let us not stand and gawk when we see people being hurt, suffering from poverty, hunger, social isolation, and war.