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Characters and the Cross

Crucified as objects of public scorn, the three were hoisted high so all could easily see the cost of human disobedience. Only death could shield them from morbid public stare of piteous disgrace.

Jesus Sunset

Via the way of suffering and grief, the Via Dolorosa, Christ made his way up Golgotha’s hill. He walked not alone. Among two criminals Christ strode, while evil filled the gutters.

Together, the condemned three made their way to the hill of death and frozen faces. The criminals were destined to be there, for ancient words speak of them as transgressors. “He poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressor.”

On the renowned hill, spikes were bunched—sourced from where, who knows. Recycled and bent they may well have been. Bunched, they waited for their thudding blows to set them deep within the crosses.

Crucified as objects of public scorn, the three were hoisted high so all could easily see the cost of human disobedience. Only death could shield them from morbid public stare of piteous disgrace. Spiked to their crosses, they hung in torturous pain, waiting for death to drape its freeze upon their faces.

The atmosphere on this chilling-killing day was mournfully convulsive. That is, for some but certainly not for all.

It was a day of retribution for the religious elite. Their fortitude had paid off. They had won, or so they thought. “Good riddance” was the mood, a chance to finally shake their fists at this dangerous zealot threatening to destroy God’s temple.

For the disciples, bewilderment is the word most apropos. They had left everything to follow, to learn, to become disciples. Their shepherd now hung on the middle of crosses three. Bewilderment and brutality teamed up to wrench and test all they’d come to know.

For Christ’s family watching, what did they see when their eyes looked up to Golgotha’s hill?

They saw history repurposed. They saw much of love, grace, torture, and disgrace. Utter heartbreak and sorrow was etched upon their faces.

Hoisted high before bulging eyes and fists clenched, the message hung. Blood was his garment. Drenched red he was. From tissues deeply torn, blood flowed.

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William Jefferson
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