Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: EMBARRASS(ED) (11/03/16)
- TITLE: On The Other Side
By Jacky Julyan
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What had gone wrong? His anxious mind accused him. Why had God deserted him when he needed him? The pain of his degradation was indescribable, an agony too deep to bear, yet instead of turning to God, the God of his ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he railed his fists constantly and became the beast he knew he was.
But today was the day of his death and he knew in his heart he deserved it. Pride comes before a fall and this was his demise and his fall was long and hard. His outcome was sure, as sure as the nails that pierced and plunged deep into his hands and feet, cracking and splintering all his bones. The pain was beyond anything he could ever dare imagine and never losing consciousness, he prayed for death to come quickly, but it never did.
He glanced sideways to see a man who wore on his head a crown of thorns, he had been spared this agony. He had heard about this means of death and cruelty by crucifixion, a pleasure to the Romans and the crown of thorns was for those deemed to be the worst of criminals. This enormous crown had thorns inches thick in circumference and height. It was worse than the nails driven with force into the flesh. What had this man done? He didn’t look like a criminal.
He watched the nails being slammed into this man’s feet and felt the pain all over again. Blood sweat and tears mingled together and fell as the Romans lifted up the cross high and next to his and the other criminal on the other side. He didn’t recognise him straight away, but then as a light from heaven pierced his memory he remembered.
His mother and sisters had pleaded with him the last time he had seen them. They told him that they had met a man who had healed the sick, a man who had raised even the dead and brought the healing of forgiveness. The humiliation of this conversation brought further reproach upon his already treacherous spirit.
This had been the last straw for him and he broke all connection with his family. He had even cursed his own mother with vehemence unto tears, yet these tears did not move him an inch from his despicable position of pride. In his desperation to remove himself from those with clean hands; namely his beloved family, he ran into more treacherous and dishonourable ways of sin.
As these tortuous memories came to his mind, he glanced sideways and saw that the Romans had placed also a crude splintered wooden sign above this man’s head. It simply read ‘King of the Jews’.
Now there were even more people coming to the foot of his cross, to this nameless man labelled ‘King of the Jews’, and the people both men and women were crying, weeping uncontrollably, such was their desperate love towards him.
Then he heard a voice from the man who was hanging on the third cross.
‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us’
On the other side he said, ‘Don’t you fear God?’ ‘We are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve, but this man has done nothing wrong’.
In that moment as he fixed his eyes upon the ‘King of the Jews’, Jesus lifted his eyes of love and looked into his face full of compassion and grace.
He said ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’. The moment he uttered these words, the truth of who this man was pierced his heart. Belief in God, that this was truly His Son flooded into his blackened prideful heart, conviction of sin overwhelmed him and Jesus, the Messiah, full of grace and truth, the King of the Jews spoke to him.
‘Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’.
Then he quietly heard Jesus speak. ‘Father into your hands I commit my spirit’. And with these words Jesus died.
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