I sat, chained and feeling sorry for myself. I knew that prison would hold me until death approached, and I knew that that would not be long.
I sat trying to focus my mind on other things, but the slamming of prison doors and the jangle of keys made the task impossible. I soon found myself imagining execution, the crowd, the humiliation, the pain and eventual death.
I was in a dark place, but I had put myself there, I only had myself to blame. It was just desserts for the pain and suffering I had caused others, not that I would have admitted that to anyone else, of course.
But in the darkness. I thought I heard my name being called. Maybe it had been my imagination, or maybe it was the voices of hell, calling for me, but no, to my surprise it was the crowd. They were shouting my name, not in anger, not screaming for my blood, but in triumph, appealing for my freedom.
What strange turn of events had masterminded this, how was it that I could walk away from this a free man?
The guards arrived, unchained me and let me out into the light and the awaiting crowd. But on the way I passed Him.
He was locked in the cell next to mine, badly beaten, bruised and broken, but His eyes haunted me, they always will.
It was the Passover. I knew the Governor had a custom to release a prisoner at that time, but I had never believed it would be me.
But why was it me?
Here was a man who stood for justice and fair play, I was a man who fought for what I wanted, and took out anyone who stood in my way. Here was a man who preached love and peace and all I knew was hatred and war. Who was this man that stood in my place, who took the death that was due to me?
Who was He?
They called him Jesus, and because of Him. I am free.
(From’ In the shadows of victory: ride the rollercoaster of Holy Week’ by Becky Lovatt)
With many peaceful blessings