The streets have an energy about them this morning, more than usual. Ahh, now I see why. The Romans are at it again, leading some criminals to the hill of execution outside the city gates. Such a disgusting form of punishment and only for the lowliest of men. Here comes one of these perverts, I wonder what he has done, probably some horrific crime or why would they be killing him.... he looks disgusting.
I turn my eyes away from the black and blue and bloodied body . . . and yet something catches my eye - His eyes - and they hold mine for a mere moment. What I see surprises me; I don't see hate and the depravity I expect; I see love and compassion . . . for ME! Odd, very odd - something like compassion for Him stirs in my heart and immediately I feel guilty. Why would I feel that for a depraved criminal? But something about Him seems not criminal; something is very different about this man.
I am drawn to follow the crowd now that is followoing Him. I now notice he is flanked not only by the Roman soldiers but by the religious priests as well. Are they for Him, walking with Him to support Him in His torturous death? No, they seem gleeful that he is going to be cursed, bung on a tree. But why? Why would they involve themselves with this bloodied criminal?
I ask a woman next to me who seems distraught with sorrow. "Who is this cirminal? What evil has he done that he is being crucified?" "No evil," she replies, "only good. The priests are jealous because he has brought life to so many, healed the sick, given sight to the blind, even raised the dead to life!"
Now I recognize this disfigured man. He is the one who I heard speak truth on that mountain by the sea of Galilee! I can hardly believe what I am seeing! How can this be? Why? Why would anyone want to hurt this gentle man? How could anyone find anything cruel in him, especially anything deserving of such a death? I continue to follow the procession of mostly women to the hill of execution, not sure what is drawing me on. Maybe I'm hoping for a possible last minute reprieve, but knowing that the impossible will never happen.
Why? Why God? Why do You allow such bad things to happen to such a good, holy man? I don't understand You! How could you allow such an evil thing to happen????