No, that’s can’t be him. How can that be him?
The crowd thronged around me. Hundreds of people were pushing and shoving, trying to get a clear view of the procession moving up the street. I stared at the man being driven along by the whips of Roman soldiers, the weight of a crosses beams pressing against his bleeding shoulder. I wanted to rush in and set him free. I knew the sting of those whips, knew the humiliation they brought.
How could they be doing this to him? What had he done? A lump formed in my throat, I tried to swallow it, but it wouldn’t yield. What had he done? He saved me. Me, a bitter slave, he had called me by name. He had done the same for so many others. Why? Jehovah why?!
I turned and looked over my shoulder. Laurel was trying to get to me through the crowd. I forced my way to her. Once I reached her she took my hand and pulled me away from the crowd. The throng continued to move up the street.
“Dafydd, it’s him isn’t it?” She looked up at me, tears glistening in her eyes. Those eyes, not long ago they were clouded and couldn’t see. Now she stared up at me, her eyes clear and whole.
“I… I don’t know.”
“Can’t we do something?”
I shook my head. “Come,” I squeezed her hand. “The people have moved on, if we don’t hurry, we will miss him.”
Laurel gripped my hand and let me lead her up the street. We passed through the gate and stared at the sight that met our eyes. Golgotha, the place of the skull. The Romans preferred this spot for their executions. It was outside a city gate, on raised ground where everyone could see. The people were gathered around the hill, I could hear women wailing. Admits the calmer of voices and the wails of the anguished the strike of a hammer rang out along with the cries of a man.
My stomach knotted.
We made our way up the hill. As we neared the top Roman soldiers heaved on ropes and three crosses rose up, each with a man nailed to the beams. Laurel pulled me to a stop, covering her mouth to stifle a cry.
There he was, Jesus, the master, hanging there, dying. No! My own eyes filled with tears and I feel to my knees. Jehovah no! Laurel knelt beside me, her body shacking with sobs. I raised my eyes and gazed at his altered form. His body was so bloody, his face so torn, I hardly recognized him. Could it really be him? Maybe it was all a dream, just a terrible dream. A crown of thorns dug into his skull, a mocking sigh hung over his head, “The King of The Jews”. It was real, all of it.
A group of robed priests stood not too far from where Laurel and I knelt. I glanced at them. They’re faces were stoic. What did they think of the injustice they had caused? An innocent man was dying before them, and they just stood and watched. I knew the blood of the master was on their hands.
I clenched my fists. Before, I would have cursed them, wished hell to fall on their heads, but now, now I pitied them. I looked back to the cross, his cross. He was the reason the hate was gone from my heart, and now he was dying. They had killed him.
Someone shoved by me. I fell forward, catching myself before my face could slam into the ground. My hands landed in wetness. I raised them, staring at me palms. Blood covered my hands. I looked down at the ground, a trail of red spread from where I knelt to the cross where Jesus hung. Fresh tears rolled down my cheeks.
“Dafydd?” Laurel looked at me.
“His blood… His blood is on my hands.”