Their Thoughts On Easter
He told us! We knew His time was coming, but we didn't want to believe it. And there in the garden as my friend, my brother, my Lord was being betrayed by one of our own, I slept... I slept and He poured out tears and sweat great drops of blood begging the Father to take this cup from him. But my Lord knew He was the one sent to save us... to save me...
A kiss... that was it, just a kiss and I would get my money. As I entered the garden I had confidence in the soldiers behind me. But now... now I stand here, sick to my stomach remembering how they dragged Him away. He was innocent! I had given an innocent man into the hands of the enemy! And all for what? Silver... silver... oh Lord, what have I done???
They mocked Him, my son, my baby Jesus! Had He not been through enough, facing all those officials, all those men who felt they had higher authority than Him? I remember looking into his eyes for the first time... I knew, just from looking at him that this baby I held was the Son of God. How could they not see? Instead of falling on their knees before him, they flogged Him, and beat Him; my son, my baby, He had done nothing wrong!
They mocked Him, as I; one of His followers stood by and watched! Perhaps they felt that if they tore Him down, they would have won, would have had power over him. And I, I stood by and watched... as they beat my Lord. When my turn came to stand up for Him, I denied him... not once, not twice, but three times, just as my Lord said I would...
Jesus? I spit on His name. I and my soldiers were more than thrilled to carry out Pilate’s orders. This man, this Jesus, had come into our land and proclaimed himself to be the Son of God! What blasphemy. We dressed Him in a purple robe, giving Him His one moment of royalty, and then we beat him. I was not the only one wanting this man dead, no. The people, I heard them shout “crucify Him, crucify Him!” and we did.
My lot was cast! I got the robe, now everyone would look more highly on me. I had the robe of this man who claimed to be the Son of God. I was more than happy to nail that sign above his head, mocking him and his claim. I looked to the people “here, your King, Jesus, King of the Jews” we laughed. If he really was the Son of God, He would have saved himself.
He was no better to them than the robbers on either side of him. The Prophet Isaiah had told us long ago that the messiah was to be numbered with the transgressors. How the tears fell as I watched my Lord, blood dripping from his thorn-crowned brow, nailed to that cross of wood. The people passed and shouted mockeries. Could they not see that this King of Kings would not save Himself so that they could be free?
My son... I looked down on Him from above. How my heart broke to see His suffering. But this was my will; nothing pleased me more than to see my Son obey me. But how hard this was, to watch Him suffer. It was time... I had to turn my face from Him; I had to put the sins of this world on His shoulders. A tear falling down my check, my eyes turned away from the sight. I heard Him screaming “Eloi Eloi, Lama sabachthani” but I loved my people too much. This was my will.
I watched this Jesus die... my heart hardened at first. I was a centurion, my job was to kill. But this, this was not killing, this was murder. I knew, somehow I knew this was Jesus, this was the king of the Jews; the King of kings! I could not understand why He would not save Himself, but all I know was that He was and is Lord, and I will forever serve Him.
I stood before the officials, begging for the body of my Lord. I knew they would not treat Him with the respect my Kind deserved. I had a tomb, carved into the rock, solid and safe, and made from my own two hands. Here I would lay His body, and roll a stone before the door so none could take my Savior. Pilate granted my wish. I wrapped His limp body in the fine linens I had brought for Him.
I wrote, some 2000 years after; behold the hill grotesquely shaped, the skull, the brow, in bold relief against the sky, a testimony to his anguish, agony and grief. How different now the open sky so bright and blue, how darkened then when God forsook His precious Son, bearing my guilt, my awful sin. Behold the hill; Golgotha’s hill. And now, look back, review that day. See Him, outstretched, bridging the gap what access here through Christ, the way!
Behold, see the empty tomb. What victory in its vacancy, what triumph in its emptiness, what sure receipt of victory. No towering shrine erected here, no gaudy work of men to spoil its sweet and plain simplicity, no worship of its stone of soil.
Empty! One word makes it unique, one word explains our joy; one word rings loud and clear; one word our tongues employ: Empty! Annulled are all satanic powers by Son of God and God the Son. Behold the tomb! Hear now this word, Empty! Praise to God, the victory’s won!
Written by Jessica Feenaughty