That Friday ....

It all happened around 2,000 years ago ....

He seemed like just any other man when I first saw him. As he struggled up the hill the people were jeering him, mocking him. Public opinion is a fickle thing.

He struggled on, up the hill. A young man from the crowd tried to help him but was beaten back by the guards. Eventually, he reached the top of the street and out of the town. Another crowd of onlookers had gathered at the site, watching and waiting for him to arrive. He had been speaking publicly for only a few years and back then, how the people adored him, they couldn’t get enough. They would gather in their thousands just to hear him speak, professing nothing other than peace and love.

Finally, he reached the gathering crowd which grew by the minute. He dropped the beam he had been forced to carry on the floor and collapsed, exhausted on the ground alongside it. He had been forced to wear a crown made of thorns and the blood was already starting to dry on his face, congealed in his hair and beard. At this point, his guards threw him onto his back and tied his arms to the beam, one arm at each end, stretched out to his full reach. Then they proceeded to secure him to the wood.

They nailed the left arm first. Hammer against nail, nail against skin, sinew, bone. That sound is one I will never forget, no matter how I try, I can hear it even now. The right arm followed. Rivers of blood flowed across the beam onto the ground below.

He was dragged, unmercifully and head first to another post, across this they tied the beam. They then lashed his feet to the upright and drove another, long spike through his left ankle, then the right, finally after the agony of bone and sinew, into the wood. I could sense the agony he must have felt with each and every blow of the hammer. Each blow drove its sound deep into my head, even as deep as my very soul.

As he was dragged, attached to the wooden frame, the crowd jeered and booed, as though he was nothing more than a common criminal. The post was raised onto its end and lifted to its full height. As the post dropped into a prepared hole, it dropped no more than the length of a mans thigh but the ‘thud’ could be felt across the ground.

He slumped onto his ropes and the guards gathered at his feet. The clothing that he had was a cloak that he had been given out of a strangers pity. This was now gambled for by his guards, more value was given to a cloak than this life, ebbing away above their heads. Another guard decided that the insults had not gone far enough and placed a sign above his head and gave him a title of ‘King’, completing the insult of the crown that still left trails of blood across his tortured brow. That title stayed there each of the three days he remained hanging there.

The sky grew dark early, even for that time of year. The rain began, slowly at first then heavier as the wind became stronger. Lightning flashed across the sky and with a cry, he was no more. I heard a rumour that the drapes in the Temple had been torn by lightning at that very moment, I don’t know how much of that was true. A guard stabbed his body with a spear to be sure that he was dead.

As his body was lowered to the ground his family gathered around, lovingly cleaning and anointing his body. Without a coin to their name it was clear that they had no tomb for their dear departed soul so, as I am a man with more than I need, gave them mine, I had no need of it just yet I hoped. Such love as had been shown for this man I had never seen before, I simply pray that I will live to see it again.

The End

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