The death of Christ
Christ's shameful Death on the Cross and his triumphant Resurrection - his victory over death - is a fundamental mystery of the Christian faith. In the combined collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum we find some 800 illuminations that tell this story, so we have divided it over two galleries. In this first gallery we have gathered the events that start with the betrayal of Christ by Judas and culminate in the Death of Christ on the Cross on Good Friday.
The betrayal and arrest of Christ
Saint Matthew's gospel tells the story in chapter 26 and 27: At their Last Supper Christ tells his disciples about his death and the betrayal by Judas, saying "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me...". After this meal Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Three times he asked "... O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me". Then Judas entered the garden and by a kiss pointed out Christ to the soldiers who arrested him. Even under these circumstances, Christ was able to cure Malchus, a slave of the high priest Caiaphas (Luke 22:50).
The trial and tortures
From the Garden of Gethsemane Christ was taken to Annas, the high priest Caiaphas and to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Pilate left the decision about the punishment of Jesus to the people. He himself 'washed his hands in innocence'. Before being taken to Golgotha, Christ was first tortured and mocked.
Road to Calvary and Death on the Cross
Realizing what he has done, Judas hangs himself. Christ was forced to carry his cross to Calvary, suffering insults and maltreatment along the way. According to the gospels, Simon the Cyrenian was pressed to help him. Having arrived at Calvary, Christ is nailed to the cross which is then erected. The Crucifixion of Christ is found circa 150 times in the database, making it one of the most often depicted scenes from the bible.
Finally, Christ's body is taken from the cross and put in a grave.