Christ Carrying the Cross by Lotto
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Carries His Cross
In Pilate's court Our Lord stood as a ready victim for the sins of men; but He was not to be crucified there. The salvation of mankind was to be achieved on the heights of Calvary. He must struggle over the difficult and exhausting way to Calvary where the sacrifice of submission was to be performed. It was one thing to be willing to die for the sins of men, it was quite another thing to make an agonizing journey in order to embrace death. Between contrition for sin and rehabilitation of character the way is often as difficult as between the court of Pilate and Calvary. Across a soul a single serious sin breaks a trail; the second serious sin follows that course more easily, the third more easily still, and so on. It is far easier to stay where one is, but nevertheless on must gather together all of one's depleted forces and heroically make one's way to Calvary and there surrender one's soul, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."
When a person sins he turns away from God, and as he repeats sins he acquires a certain momentum in fleeing from God. Only the grace of God can stop that soul from hurtling into hell, and only the grace of God combined with courageous amendment can lead that soul back to God.