He Died!

John 19:30
When Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished”; and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

The ambiguity of John’s Gospel is striking.  Just when it looks like Jesus is the victim, John reminds us that, by God’s mysterious Providence, He is calling the shots.  Jesus tells His disciples He has power to lay down His life and power to take it up again.  He offers judgments of His judge Pontius Pilate.  He is clothed in royal purple and a crown of thorns by people who have no idea He is really and truly entering on His reign by these tokens of His Passion.  And when the moment comes for His death, it comes not because of some accident of myocardial rupture, but because Jesus chose that moment to “give up His spirit”.  In that willed and chosen act, Jesus gives up His Spirit to the Father for us.  Now we are all sharers in His Spirit.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage