Questions for Bible study groups
- Identify as many objects and people in this painting as you can.
- What seems to be the attitude of the crowd? Of the two thieves crucified with Jesus?
- This painting suggests that Jesus was stretched on the cross for a particular reason. What was it?
In an apparently unique passage in the French version of Jean de Berry’s Meditations, God the Father warned Christ that, since Adam had reached his arm out to pluck the apple from the tree, Jesus must redeem Adam’s action by being stretched upon the cross and attached with three nails, ”rough, badly forged, and blunt at the end.” Such a nail lies waiting on the ground beside Jesus, as another is being hammered into his feet.
Christ looks up steadfastly at the nightmarish form of the Devil, hovering with outstretched claws in hope that redemption may yet fail.
A small detail: see a drawing of an unpainted crown of thorns visible on the ground.