Seventh Station

Jesus falls for the second time

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (53:8.10)

By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people . . . Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.

1992 073 008 V0001George Tooker (American, 1920–2011), Drawings for “The Stations of the Cross,” 1984, Pencil on tracing paper. Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame. Gift of the artist. 1992.073.008


Do you remember falling down when you were a kid? Maybe your bike hit a curb, or your foot tripped on a tree root as you ran. Instinctively, you thrust out your hands to brace your fall, and your palms smashed into the ground with the force of your body weight. Through your tears, you inspected the damage from your stinging hands—cuts and abrasions just starting to bleed through the smeared dirt. 

In his second fall, Jesus catches himself on ground that is just as rough as the stone and gravel that broke his first fall. The cross he struggles to carry compounds the impact when he reaches out to catch himself. His body is breaking. 

In this image, two craggy points dig into Jesus’s hand. His palm absorbs the intrusion, though his body yields to the sharp and hard ground. At one point, the Lord shaped this very ground when the Earth was created, and yet here he is, allowing his body to be shaped by it. He is enduring this humiliation and pain for us.

We all face situations that impinge on our bodies and wills and desires. We all face hard and sharp realities. We are all smeared with the dirt of this world. Our lives are shaped by suffering, but we have a savior who walks with us and knows this pain.

– Josh Noem, Senior Editor Grotto Network

Sixth Station Eighth Station