He is dead and gone, as are all the hopes and dreams of his followers. All is despair as we gaze upon Holbein’s image of the broken, emaciated body as Joseph of Arimathea did.
He is dead and gone and his dying words “It is finished!” ring heartbreakingly in our ears.
It is the point in any Stations of the Cross when, even though we are children of 2,000 years or so of knowing the three-days-later-turn-around, that I find myself utterly drained and, yes, sharing a portion of that feeling of despair that the first disciples felt.
When in 2016 Churches Together in Bridport & District commissioned a full set of 3’ by 3’ paintings of the traditional Stations by local artists, Good Friday afternoon was spent in glorious sunshine by over 150 folk across the denominations walking from station to station, from Bridport to West Bay, immersing ourselves in Road to the Cross.
Each image is different in style but reflects the local landscape and brings home the message that the journey and death are not some distant event but one, rather, ringing with relevance for us now. Thus the image of Christ being taken to the tomb, carried by Joseph with the East Cliff of West Bay (aka ‘Broadchurch’) in the background, left us all knowing that this death, this suffering, this apparently absolute and forever death is for us all, here, now and always.