And it was just another roll of the dice, or so I thought. Just another game. Another criminal, another crucifixion, another job and another day at the office.
But I was wrong. This was unusual; this was more about life than death. He was distinctive, the way He looked at me, not with hatred in his eyes as I had come to expect, but with love and forgiveness.
I was on execution duty that day, not my favourite part of the job, but we all have to take our turn. The prisoners had been placed into our hands at the city gate and it was our job to escort them to the Place of the Skull and crucify them there. There were three that day, two others and Him.
Who was he? This man from Galilee, who had succeeded in bringing the wrath of the whole Jewish nation upon himself and the rage of all of Rome.
Who was He? This man, who when the crowd shouted crucify, uttered “Father, forgive.” Who was He? This man, that when we drove nails into His hands and feet, said we didn’t know what we were doing.
We lifted him skyward upon that wooden cross. It was our job, we were under orders. How could we do anything else? We had bills to pay, families to feed, and quotas to meet.
And it was just another roll of the dice. The crowd shouted, the priests mocked, several women wept, and we played dice. Rolling for His coat, a part of Him, not because of who He was, but because it was a nice coat.
He cried out that He was thirsty; so I took a sponge, soaked it in vinegar, put it on a stick and lifted it to His mouth. His broken eyes met mine. I was transfixed; it was if He almost smiled at me.
Suddenly, it was not just another roll of the dice, another game, it was real.
And as He bowed His head and died, I found life.
Who was this man, who changed our game into reality, who rolled a different dice, and through His death, gave me life?
Truly this man is the Son of God.
(Deacon Becky Lovatt)
With many peaceful blessings