And how were the disciples going to make any impact on the world plunged into deepest darkness, when even after following Jesus night and day for three years, struggled to really understand His teaching?
Swoon theories are like urban myths. When examined, the actual facts disprove the myth, but the myth keeps getting repeated. So, the writers of the gospels—and especially John—were careful to document the reality of Jesus’ physical death and his physical resurrection.
Why did Jesus cry out the first line of Psalm 22? I found two very different ways of understanding this moment, and it all rests on the nature of the Trinity.
John and James had asked for the place of honor, on Jesus' right and left, when he came into his glory. Now, as John stood at the foot of the cross, he understood why they had been denied.
John briefly references the story of Simon from Cyrene (Found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and omits the story of the daughters of Jerusalem (found only in Luke). For John, the significance of Jesus’s journey from the Gabbatha to Golgatha is found in his continuing intentional drinking of the Father’s cup. He had a mission, and he would complete it, as any brave and mighty king would do.
One of the Gospel of John's continuing themes is the weaving of the first three chapters of Genesis with the telling of Christ's story. Because of this, I have woven more overtly those chapters with these crucifixions scenes.
Justice was the bedrock upon which Pax Romana was built. Pilate felt had done all he could to free this righteous and just man, standing on Gabbatha waiting with tranquil dignity for his judgement. Pilate could do no more.
God’s mighty deliverance of the world through the cross held echoes of the ancient contest God entered into with the powerful gods of Egypt.
Stepping into the light means stepping out of the darkness of old mindsets, preconceived ideas about God that do not take the whole of God’s story into account.
Following Jesus undoubtedly means sacrifice, but as with Mary, our stories will be wrapped together with Jesus for all eternity.