A Man of No Reputation

I stared in disbelief as he was taken out of court. The death sentence? But why, when this humble man had done nothing wrong? He had never broken a law, never done anything to anyone... and yet they marched him out, pushing him out with their spears, taunting him relentlessly. I wanted to run forward and demand his freedom, ignoring the decision made to kill him and set free a TRUE murderer. What were these people thinking? I had no idea what had happened before now, but I knew that the man about to be slaughtered was innocent. Everything inside of my soul screamed it... screaming the pardon that I could not utter aloud.

*It was said this man was of no reputation,
Yet He could stop the rising storm
With a gesture of His hand,
But He chose to use His hands to heal;
Hearts of darkness, hearts of stone
Just like mine would be revealed*

The crowd watched as he was stripped and secured. One guard brought forth a flogging whip; the sight of which caused a whimpering "No!" to escape past my lips. The sharp pieces of bone and metal gleamed in the morning sun as the whip lashed out at the man. With every hit, every cry of pain, every strip of skin torn from his olive flesh, I felt the urge to cry out through my tears become stronger. The torture, for both myself and the man, knew no respite. The river of blood trickling into the street was almost as ghastly as the appearance of his body, once the whip finally subsided. It almost seemed that there was no skin left on his back - only exposed muscles and bone. The sight made me sick to my stomach, and had I no control, I would have vomited into the person in front of me.

*He was a man of no reputation,
And by the wise considered a fool
When He spoke about faith and forgiveness
In a time when the strongest arms ruled.

But this man of no reputation
Loved the weak with relentless affection,
And He loved all those poor in spirit just as they were.
He was a man of no reputation...*

When I was brave enough to look once more, I saw the guards roughly shove a woven wreath of long, malicious thorns onto his head, mocking him with anything they could think of. They forced him to carry a prodigious plank, almost as ragged as he, down the street. No mortal in millions of years could ever describe the torture, the pain, the suffering in any language and come close to anything this man was feeling. Splinters dug into his exposed flesh, and from where I stood in the crowd, I could almost feel the pain myself. It hurt... it was so hard to watch him, dying so slowly this way. Maybe he would be shown mercy... maybe he would die now, before the crucifixion...

*It was said this man brought only confusion;
That He'd achieve His ends by any means
And the truth, that it brings revolution.
And for once they were right:
The truth set us free.
The hearts of the captive were his only concern,
And the powerful knew their days were ending*

He finally tumbled to the ground, unable to move any farther. I was almost relieved to see this, though a sickening thought in the back of my mind said that he was not finished. The guards forced another man to take the piece of wood for him, while they shoved their prisoner onward towards the hill. I dreaded every step I took towards that place... for I knew what was about to happen. For theives, they bound their wrists and ankles to the planks; this man, however, was going to be nailed into place.

*He was a man of no reputation,
And by the wise considered a fool
When He spoke about faith and forgiveness
In a time when the strongest arms ruled.

But this man of no reputation
Loved the weak with relentless affection,
And He loved all those poor in spirit just as they were.
He was a man of no reputation...*

I could not bring myself to watch as they thrust him to the ground (though it seemed he did not need the assistance), pinning his arms to that horrid plank, and slowly driving nails that were the length of a man's foot into his wrists. When they finished there, I looked to see them nailing his ankles to a taller plank through the sides of his legs; one nail for two ankles. I gagged as I thought of how horrid this was going to be for him... to keep his wrists from hurting would require putting weight on his ankles, but only more suffering would become of that... if he did not bleed to death, he would be strangled by the position in which he had been placed.

*One day soon the gates of heaven will open wide
And the Prince of Peace will come back for His bride
But for now we live on these streets
Forbidding and tough

Where push always comes to shove
And it's said love's never enough
Where a prophet in rags gives hope to a fearful world
No injustice no heart of darkness
Will keep this voice from being heard*

Then I awoke in my bed, safe and sound in the twenty-first century. I glanced around, making sure everything was as it should have been, and began to sob into my pillow. 'No mortal in millions of years could ever describe the torture, the pain, the suffering in any language'... but the torture and death had been real. What made this different than any other Roman crucifixion?

The fact that He had come back to life.