Fully to understand the Easter story it helps to be hounded by the mob, to know that nothing that you say or do can deflect the hostility, and that in any case the distinctions between true and false, just and unjust, good and evil have all been suspended.
Some can undergo this experience in a spirit of charity, and one in particular rose above his suffering to forgive those who inflicted it.
The Easter story tells us of the redemption that comes into the world, when such torment is willingly undergone for others’ sake. But it also tells us of the time of utter darkness, the time of nothingness, when the light of creation has gone out. St John of the Cross called this the dark night of the soul....