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History 101.8 – The Crucifixion Window

The below article was written by Dr. Eugene Murphey and was published in The Tower newsletter of September 2005.  

No matter how you look at it, a picture, statue or icon of Christ’s crucifixion presents a terrible and horrific image of his suffering and death on a cross.  Painters, sculptors, movie directors and even stained glass window makers have through the ages tried to depict this event, but even the best can only give us a limited view of that terrible day at Calvary.  Nevertheless, these visual media still serve to remind us of the supreme sacrifice our Lord made for us all.

The portrayal of this event in stained glass by the Willet Company in Pennsylvania is seen in the next window panel in the west wall of our sanctuary.  The crucified and dying Christ hanging on the cross is embraced by his beloved disciple John.  Mary, the mother of Christ, sits weeping at the foot of the cross.  We are told in scripture (Luke 23:34) that as he died Christ prayed, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’

The other two crosses of Christ’s companions in this event are seen in the background, and below Mary is a sacrificial lamb referring to the sacrifice of Isaac, a type of crucifixion.

This window, like all others in the sanctuary, is dedicated to the glory of God and faithful members of the church.  The late Raymond and Betty Purnell gave this particular panel in memory of his mother, Mrs. Daisy B. Purnell, a long time choir member of FPC.

-Eugene M. Murphey, M.D.