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The Centurion
by McKenzie Pricer
04/02/05
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He’s just another man
No different from the others
But if He is, why does it feel so wrong?
Why does He look so innocent?
Well, it’s not my place
to question the authorities

I lead Him away from the screaming croud
They want Him dead so badly
it almost seems wrong
What could this man have done?
Why was He so guilty?

I stand back as they hit Him
They’ve never been so mean
They’ve whipped many before
but never with this much joy
Well, if Herod believes He deserves it
I have no right to interfere

I walk next to Him on the path
watching in awe at the multitudes
So many people have come to watch
I see a rare few crying
as He labors with the heavy weight

He falters a few steps and drops
I turn to my partner
“It’ll take forever at this rate.
Have someone else carry it.”
My partner shrugs
He points to a man in the crowd
“You! Pick up His cross!”

It almost hurts me
as they pound and pound
Why should anyone go through
so much pain
I’d done it before
but this time it really got to me

As they put Him up
I look into his face
At the base of the cross
I see a woman weeping
Only a mother would weep so
Her pain strikes me
in a place untouched

Everyone shouts at Him
telling Him to come off the cross
The sign says
“This is Jesus, the King of the Jews!”
My comrads gamble for His clothes
They’ve never done that before
Why now?
Why Him?

I look back up at Him
I hear Him cry,
“My God, My God,
why have you foresaken me?”
I’m stunned
That’s the last thing I had expected
a dying man to say

The criminal on His left
mocks Him
The criminal on His right
asks to be remembered
Two dying men
one accepting
one refusing

He says to the accepting one
“I tell you the truth,
today you will be with me
in paradise.”
I’m stunned yet again
How could someone dying
say such a thing?

Then with one last rasping breath
This man crys,
“It is finished!”
I am stunned at the power
I drop to my knees as I declare,
“Surely this man was the Son of God!”


(I don't claim to know what the centurion was really thinking, I only write what I would have thought had I been in the same situation.)

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