Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it.

William Shakespeare, MacBeth

Of all the images which engage and perplex the western imagination, there is none more powerful than that of the crucified Christ. The blunt, brutal, physical facts of his death still assault us with a staccato series of abominations: nails driven through the wrists and feet, a crown of thorns gouging his brow, side pierced and bleeding, naked, jeered by onlookers. This image - an image of inestimable inhumanity, an image of God suffering and dying in his love for humanity - captivated the medieval mind and provided it with a rich cache of symbolic significance. For medieval theologians and laymen alike, the cross was the symbol of God’s awesome power, of God’s victory over death and evil. It was also the image of God’s wisdom, charity, and patience even while suffering at the hands of those he had come to redeem. Above all, it was the emblem of God’s incomprehensible love for humanity.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,
Art Gallery of Ontario, Gandhi Memorial Museum, Malcove Collection, University of Toronto, Musée de la civilisation,

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