At the foot of the cross reflection 25 March 2016

By the time I heard the news, he was already being led up to that hill. That place where criminals of the worst kind are crucified.

A brutal way to kill a person. Have you ever watched a man crucified? (I don’t think I’ve ever heard of women being crucified, but everyone thinks we’re less likely to cause trouble, don’t they?)

Sorry, I’m rambling. It’s been a horrible, horrible day and I’m struggling to get my head round it all.

Anyway, have you ever seen a man crucified?

It is a slow, agonising death.

That’s why the Roman’s use it.

To make a point, to show who’d really in charge, to send out a sign that this is what happens to anyone who isn’t a Roman citizen who rises up against their authority.

But why him?

I just didn’t understand. I couldn’t understand and probably never will.

Why had the crowd, who’d welcomed him so jubilantly on Sunday turn against him this morning?

Just goes to show, get a crowd together and they stop thinking sensibly. Group mentality sets in. It’s a terrifying thing.

So they had condemned him to die. How easy it turns.

Yes, Pilate could have released him, he didn’t think Jesus had done anything wrong, but a large crowd baying for blood, demanding he was crucified. I think Pilate thought it was better for Jesus to die than for a potential riot to take place.

The death of one man was better than the death of many.

So I followed up the hill, watched as the crowd sneered and spat and insulted him.

Watched as a man was ‘volunteered’ from the crowd by one of the soldiers to help carry Jesus’ cross.

Jesus was exhausted. He was raw and bloody from the whipping he’d been given.

And I watched. Longing for something to change. Longing for someone, anyone, to stop this from happening.

In so many ways, it felt like bad, bad dream.

When they go to the place of the skull, they nailed him to the cross.

No one was coming to save him, were they?

Some of those in the crowd shouted “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah”

But I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

This could not have been God’s Messiah. God would protect his chosen one, not let him be killed.

So, it looks like all of us who followed Jesus have backed the wrong horse.

We’d heard his teaching, seen his ability to heal.

Even I could hear myself saying “heal yourself, son of man,” as I watched him die.

I’m ashamed of that, but then at least I did follow to that cross. I didn’t give up on him and run away.

Not like those 12 disciples of his. Where were they now, those men he’d chosen?

Gone, disappeared.

Abandoned him to his fate, to save themselves.

But he’s dead. There’s no coming back from that.

He was a good man. The best man anyone of us will ever know.

But that’s all. He’s no Messiah, is he God?