I wake to what sounds like roaring waters and thunder muffled together. I ask myself, “What is that I hear?” Voices, many voices blending into one noise. I can also hear clanging of heavy metal on metal. A rythmic beating. Clang, clang, clang…”Liar, where is your God now? King of Jews, what slander you call yourself!” Clang, clang, clang…I hear a man’s scream rip through the voices and I realize it’s me. I look to my left, my hand has been nailed to wood. I look to my right, someone is nailing a long, rusty nail into my hand. And then the memories come flooding back.
I am a murderer and a liar. I remember the two I murdered, the torture I put them through. I remember the lies I told to protect myself and my family. I cannot forgive myself. I have been tried and convicted; now I am being nailed to a cross. There are 4 of us men being crucified. Two theives and the man who doesn’t speak; the one who they are calling a liar, the innocent man.
Finally, the nailing is done. But now what? We hang. We hang until our shoulders give out and the blood of our bodies drains to our feet. But there is one small shred of hope. They have given us a footplate and each time we push on it with our feet, it causes the pooling blood to go back up to the tops of bodies, giving us a small relief of being able to take another breath under the crushing weight of our chests. That relief is soon taken away as the soldiers come and break my legs. What pain. I deserve it, I think to myself.
I see the man next to me as he’s speaking to his family. I wonder why isn’t my famy here? But then I realize that I’ve hurt them. Oh, have I hurt them. My chances of making it up to them is gone for good. “Woman, this is now your son.” I hear the man say to what must be his weeping mother. Then He turns to me and looks into the depths of my pain and my soul. We don’t need to speak, we communicate with our hearts. He tells me forgiveness is mine if I choose to take it. I look at him, he’s hanging, dripping sweat, blood, and tears; his eyes are clear, though, like spring waters after the rain. I am jolted, I know the truth! I see the Truth right before me. With no words, he answers the question in my heart. How do I become forgiven?…He says, “Ask for forgiveness and die with me today.” I say with my mouth, “I know you are the One, true God. Forgive me, Lord.” He looks up, He says something to the heavens and we take our last breath. To be continued….