Oh we all knew the stories.
A bunch of good-for-nothing vagabonds roaming the countryside eating out of each others pockets.
Their so called leader was a man called Jesus from down-trodden Nazareth.
They said he raised the dead, healed the sick and forgave sins,
But the High Priest claimed he was a criminal and a blasphemer.
The city was in uproar as he was flogged and sentenced to death.
They said he was a Messiah, but yet he couldn't save his own life.
Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to go watch.
To watch the one they said was the King of the Jews walk to his death.
I smelt the dust and blood before he came into sight.
The Romans are cruel people, we don't deserve this.
How could this man be special? He was doubled over in pain and covered in blood from brutal floggings.
Naked with thorns in his hair, he was as broken as the rest of us.
From nowhere a grubby soldier grabbed me and commanded me to carry this man's cross.
I didn't want to obey, I didn't want to get involved.
But this man was a Jew, suffering like the rest of us – occupied in his own land.
I took the cross, his blood flowed through my hair, down my face and stained my soul.
I felt the weight of the cross, I suffered its burden and I felt the oppression of its sin.
And I stumbled. They said he came for the salvation of the Jews.
But oddly as step by step his death grew closer, I felt his peace.
Is this God's blood on my face, is this God's blood on the High Priests, is this God's blood on the hands of the occupiers?
I wore his blood, I felt his peace and my burden became light.
Who is this broken humble King beside me?
Who is this man who forgives sins?
At the top of the hill, they snatched Christ's burden from me.
It was never mine to carry.
I watched them nail him to it. I watched yet more Jewish blood permeate the earth.
One day this blood will pay the price, one day our freedom will be bought.
But for now I see a cursed man hanging on a tree.
A cross built by materials created by God himself.
Somehow these outstretched arms seemed to be welcoming us in, almost as if his death was for us.
He cried 'it is finished' and simply gave up his spirit.
The earth shook and darkness came over the land.
We left – we left the darkness, left the occupiers and left the blood, terrified and broken-hearted we left.
But as I looked at my hands, I saw his blood, the scars of the cross, I saw his suffering and it brought me peace.
Surely this man was the son of God.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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