The wind's cold fingers pulled my hair every which direction and snuck under my clothes. I shivered and looked around at the landscape.
I was ninety-nine percent sure I was dreaming. For one thing, my hair was short, but the hair that was whipping around my face was much too long. For another thing, I was looking up at the slope of a hill, on top of which I could see a figure hanging on a cross. Without really thinking about it, I began to climb the hill.
It didn't take me very long to reach the top. When I did, I saw an image that I had seen many times before, in movies and artwork. And I thought I had understood it.
A man was dead, nailed to the beams of the cross by his hands and feet. He was almost naked, wearing only a dirty cloth around his hips. Blood continued to drip from a huge gash in his right side, and the white of two ribs shown through, unbroken. A crown made of thorns that were as long as my fingers sat on his head, and rivulets of blood from them had dried on his face. I already knew what the sign above his head would say, but when I looked at it, I was surprised to find I could read the words, written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek: The King of the Jews.
He was obviously dead, and had been for a long time, but no animals surrounded him. No crows had come, and no flies buzzed. There wasn't even a smell of decay. No movie or artwork had ever truly captured what I saw in that moment. Overwhelmed by the sight of my Lord like that, I fell to my knees and broke. The tears came suddenly and I could barely draw breath because of the sobs.
Something cold touched my knee and I looked down, startled. I was kneeling in a pool of His blood that had flowed down from His many wounds. Still hiccupping, I reached a hand down and dipped two fingers into the blood that had bought my salvation.
Finally, I think I'm beginning to understand.