Somewhere in Rome.
(72 hours before. Immediately after the proceedings of a Sanhedrin trial. A criminal had just been led out of the courtroom)
“All hail the King of the Jews”
“All hail the King of the Jews”
“All hail the King of the Jews”
The voices got thicker, thick voices of angry beings. Beings ready to explode if this one wicked man doesn’t get the right judgement.
“Kill ye Him”
“King of the Jews”
It got thicker again. Angrier. This time the crowds were demonstrating. Picking every dangerous object in sight and directing it at the alleged criminal. After series of trails, referrals,and proper scrutinization of the case,the man was deemed fit to die by crucification.
And so here they were on their way to the Place of Skulls. A deadly place in the Roman empire. Nobody goes there and returns. Skulls were scattered around. Bloods formed the tiles of the road. The crowds followed still, shouting, cursing, rejoicing for their victory over the enemy. Nobody denies the Law of Moses and goes scot-free.
“Kpaaaaaa” Another whip landed on the criminal’s almost bare back from the iron shaped whip. This is for him not carrying his cross well. If a man who said all sorts of rubbish about destroying the synagogue and rebuilding it in 3 days, couldn’t carry his cross efficiently,then he deserves a whip.
“Spare His life, soldiers of the city. I beseech you. He hasn’t done anything to deserve this. All he has done is to prove the supremacy of His heavenly Father”
“Despise him not people”
“Please help our Rabbi”
The voices came from Merciful Mary and some other friends of the man who were seriously wailing. They stood at the far end of the street and watched as their teacher was mistreated. Although he some times talked about prosecution, crucification and some kind of resurrection before now,they just didn’t expect it to be this serious. They couldn’t dare go near except if they wanted to face the wrath of the angry people. So they continued pleading and crying and praying in their little ways for the master.
“Daughters of Jerusalem. Favoured daughters of God. Entreat yourselves not to weep for me. Instead weep for the future destruction of this city. Weep for the souls who will search earnestly for death but will find none. Weep for the barren whose heart will be full of praise for having wombs that never bore a child. Weep ye for all this not for me” the criminal finally talked. Oh he did talk with so much gentility.
What audacity! What insolence! What audaciousness! The Jews just won’t have any of it. And so as annoyed as they were,they began to spit on him. Pregnant women with heavy spits in their mouth spat on him. Angry Pharisees and Sadducees spat on him. Even young scholars of the Law,teachers and obedient abiders of the Law were not left out.
They mocked him. Spat on him. Scoffed him.
In the midst of the crowd,stood an orphaned girl of about a decade and a score whose only surviving hope(her grandmother)had just been buried. Phoebe stood there watching the King of the Jews.
This wasn’t her first time seeing this kind of trial. In fact it was her joy to always go round the prosecuted ones calling them according to their offenses. If it wasn’t Marcus the thief today then it will be Hananiah the adulterer tomorrow.
But this particular alleged criminal had something spectacular about Him. She heard he did so many powerful things before his arrest, couldn’t he save himself? The tranquility around him was so contrasted to his upheaval environment. This peace was something she couldn’t quite place.
So instead she thought of her Grandmother,her dead parents and her almost dead life. She had just cut one of her linen robe and tied it round her grandmother’s ceiling fan when she heard the uproar outside the city gate. Seeing it was one of the Justice games that she enjoyed,she left her instrument of death and joined the mob. Of course,with the aim of going back home to complete her unfinished business.
Twenty minutes to go, Jesus the alleged criminal was hung to the cross with a signboard over his cross which reads *THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS* alongside two other criminals. Immediately after they hung him,they threw his clothes down and deliberated on who to give the clothings.
“Give it to Matthaias” one screamed
“No! Give it to his mother in remembrance of her son” Another woman countered.
“Shouldn’t we just dispose it or better still,give one of the demonaics by the road?”
Jesus,the criminal, watched as they continued haggling, negotiating and contemplating on whom to give his ruined,bloodstained piece of cloth. He knew for sure that they did all that to ridicule him. And so with every ounce of strength in him, sincerely meaning every word,he said loud enough for the people to hear him,
“Father forgive them,for they know not what they have done”
One thing worried the Jews, how can a man who is a criminal beg for the forgiveness of their souls?? Aggravated now,they increased the tempo of their roars and screamed loud
“King of the Jews
Call Elijah or John the beheaded Baptist.
Call them to save you.
Save yourself before saving us”
They continued shouting till Jesus screamed
“Eloi Eloi Lama Sabatani,Father into your hands I commit my spirit” and breathed his last.
Then one by one,in groups and in pairs,they found their way home with the story of how they finally conquered the King of the Jews on their lips.
But Immediately the criminal’s thorn-crowned head rested on his shoulders (a sign indicating that truly his spirit has left him)the earth shook. Rocks divided in every corners of the city. People trembled with fear. Some ran to the temple, some ran home, some were too shocked to even carry their legs. Now the surprise didn’t end there, people in the temple saw the curtains separating the Holy Alter from the Holies of the Holiest ripped off. From top to bottom. Sensing that they could die if they go near,they left the temple running as far as their legs could carry them. They ran home.
But on the way,they saw faces they haven’t seen in days,months,years and even ages. Little Phoebe saw her grandmother sitting on her tomb. Others saw their loved ones in every corner where they’ve been buried.
“Oh by God, we’ve certainly done wrong to an innocent being” Someone screamed from among the centurions.
Another person replied “How dare you say such a thing. This man said he’ll rise again. He’s dead already. There’s no such thing as rising again. He deserves to die”
But little did they know that what they’ve done is just a fulfillment of God’s law. His crafted plan. Well laid down.
That day,the death of one alleged criminal paved a way for the redemption of over 7 billion people.
That day,the King of the Jews died but rose again this day,2000 years ago conquering death.
That day, Phoebe went home with a smile on her face knowing that her Grandma still lives.
That day,our chapter of sin was closed and a new page of redemption was opened.
That day that we live to tell the story over and over and over again.
What manner of man will lay down his life for another? What kind of love will make a kindred die for his family? What kind of man will go through pains not for his own sake,not for one person,not for two but for the sake of humanity. Thousands of people. Sinful people. People who don’t care about salvation or Godliness or even righteous living. Yet he shed His blood. Yet he died for us. Even while we were sinners.
It could have been me. It could have been you. We could have been on that cross. Hopeless. Helpless. Trying to figure out a way to pay for our sins. But it wasn’t us and our sins have equally been paid. 72 hours after this story, we all know what happened. The Lord lived. Abandoning the crown of thorns and putting on the crown of glory. He lived and He still lives.
The good news is that sin cannot choke,bury,crush or restrict us from accessing this kind of love because while in that tomb,He(Jesus) has finalized our work of redemption.
So many people end up believing or doubting if this Jesus ever rose. Maybe it was all a myth. Sin,challenges,circumstances surrounding them might have blinded them and made them believe that Christ didn’t resurrect. Maybe He never left heaven in the first place.
But listen to this,since Jesus walked out of that tomb,since that grave is empty,since the bones of my saviour were not found there.We can know and be rest assured that He still lives and through Him,sin has lost control,death has long been conquered and our challenges have been overcomed.
Now is the best time to give our whole life to the one who died for us. To wholly acknowledge Him as our saviour. To be guiltless in His presence, enjoying Him as the day goes by because this is the real reason why he went to that cross.
So let the chains of sin and bondage fall off. Let our hearts be connected to the Father in humility and sincerity. Let us have this undying love for the Father because He first loved us and no greater love can anyone bestow on us than that which He did that we might be called His children.
He did all these because we were once slaves but are bound no more. We were once dead but our sins restricts us no more. We were once helpless but our shackles of helplessness have been broken long ago. So now we’re free. We’re alive. We’re children of the Most High. And we belong to Him who died for us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.(1 Peter 1:3)
Happy Easter Celebration💃💃
P.S: The story above is a well known biblical story featuring other fictional characters. Not all dialogues or characters come from the Bible. God bless!