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Mattias Grünewald, Crucifixion (Isenheim Altarpiece, ca. 1506 to 1515)

Crucifixion was a very cruel method of execution widely used in antiquity. It was imposed in the Orient and especially in the Roman Empire, mainly on runaway or rebellious slaves.

The Mystery of Golgotha, which took place with the death on the cross, the entombment, the descent into hell and the resurrection of Christ, is the central event of the entire development of the Earth and of humanity. After the rise of Christianity as the Roman state religion (380), crucifixion was replaced by other methods of execution in Europe. In the mystical re-experiencing of the descriptions of the Gospel of John, the carrying and crucifixion of the cross is at the same time the fourth stage of the Christian initiation and can lead to a corresponding stigmatisation, through which the stigmata of Christ are revealed.

The crucifixion of Christ on 3 April 33

Rudolf Steiner's spiritual research confirms that the death of Christ on the cross, according to the Julian calendar, actually took place on Friday, April 3, 33, at the ninth hour, that is, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon:

„On a Friday, the 3rd of April of the year 33, three o'clock in the afternoon, the Mystery of Golgotha took place. And there also took place the birth of the I in the sense in which we have often characterised it. And it is quite indifferent on which point of the Earth a human being lives, or to which religious confession he belongs, that which came into the world through the Mystery of Golgotha applies to all men. Just as it is true for all the world that Caesar died on a certain day, and not another day for the Chinese and yet another day for the Indians, so it is a simple fact of occult life that the Mystery of Golgotha took place on that day and that one has to do there with the birth of the I. This is a fact of a quite international kind. This is a fact of a quite international kind.“ (Lit.:GA 143, p. 163)


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References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.