Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
By Chelsea Pietsch
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A crown of thorns is forced into your head, sending fresh blood trickling down your face. The soldiers jeer and beat you. I know that with a few words you could silence them, that with a simple prayer you could return to your Father in heaven. Yet you stay still and silent. You accept their unjust punishment without complaint.
I watch as you try and force your tortured body to drag the cross on which you are to die. I see you fall, time and time again. The soldiers beat you like they would a worthless beast. Your naked body is exposed for all to see, your shame is written clearly on your face. The crowd taunts and mocks, laughing each time you fall. You experience the deepest humiliation any man has ever faced - and you do so by choice!
The thick nails are hammered through your wrists and feet, piercing through nerves, muscle and bone. Oh how every blow makes you gasp! The fresh wounds on your back rub against the wooden post, causing them to bleed once more. Finally, you are in place. Yet you must endure many more hours of agony before your death.
The crowd slowly disperses. Your last moments of life are counted as unworthy to be witnessed. I see your muscles straining, your chest gasping for breath. The pain on your face is not hidden. I know that it goes far deeper than the physical torture. The world’s sin presses heavily upon you. Your own Father turns His face away, unable to look at you. You have been judged, shamed and tortured by the people you came to save. You have been betrayed by your closest friends. And now, in your final moments, you struggle - utterly abandoned. I come before you and kneel at your cross. At last I manage to croak out the question that has been burning in my heart.
Your tortured eyes lock onto mine and for a moment become calm.
“Because,” you answer with a small smile, “I would rather die than live eternity without you.”
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