Station 13 – Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in his mother’s arms

What are the obstacles in the path of justice? 

The genesis of this image came from contemplating some stories my lawyer wife told about doing pro bono work at a border detention facility in Texas.

She was among a group of lawyers who were tasked to interview unaccompanied minors who had been detained by border control to determine if the children had been abused while in custody.

They spoke with children in their early teens that related stories of unimaginable horror about their desperate and dangerous journeys to the U.S.

The central figures in the piece are based on Michelangelo’s Pieta, which is the most iconic image of the lamentation over the dead Christ. I was thinking how closely the life of Jesus parallels the lives of these detainees.

Like the detainees, Jesus was poor, unemployed, nomadic, a minority, and at some point would have been considered an “illegal alien.”

Tim Vermeulen
Grace Commons
Oil on panel

Scripture related to this station is included in the comments of this post.


One Comment on “Station 13 – Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in his mother’s arms”

  1. John 19:31-37

    The Jewish leaders didn’t want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down.

    So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was dead already, so they didn’t break his legs.

    One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe.

    These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and “They will look on him whom they pierced.”

    Matthew 27:54

    The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened.

    They said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”

    And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and Zebedee’s wife, the mother of James and John.