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The Nazarene’s Long Walk to Golgotha

29 March 2024 12:06 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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It was a hot sultry day; the noon-day sun shone in all its parching, piercing intensity. A dry wind blew across the court-yard of Pontius Pilate, ruffling the strands of the shoulder-length hair of the Nazarene who stood there; a crown “of thorns thrust on his forehead, drops of blood mingled with sweat trickling down his face, matting the straying strands; draped in the seamless garment his mother had woven for him. He stood there shouldering a heavy cross, waiting to undertake his torturous journey-the inevitable trek of the cross. 


The mob came around, shoving and jostling him to proceed. The cross was heavier than he could bear. He dragged it along, now stumbling, now steadying himself, the men goading him on with shouts and whip lashes while the crowds jeered. Exhausted he fell, the cross on his back leveling him down. They quickly helped him to rise; not out of sympathy or humanity-they wanted him to die the shameful death of a criminal on the cross. A sympathetic Cyrenean helped him to carry the cross? Nay he was commandeered by the mob to lend a hand to the Nazarene so he would not die on the way. Whatever it was the Cyrenean helped him to carry the cross. The Nazarene bestowed on him a grateful look that would have found an answering echo in the Cyrenean’s own heart. 


He rounded a bend on the road, pursued by the milling, taunting crowds and there encountered his mother. They exchanged looks of mute sympathy and suffering. The one suffering for the other. He was pained to see his mother’s anguished face and she to witness her son suffer ignominy, shame, and humiliation for no fault of his own. It was a heartbreaking moment for both. 


Veronica a sympathetic woman stepped out from this most unsympathetic, uncharitable crowd on seeing his sweat-moistened, blood-moistened visage and wiped it with her towel. He was moved by her gesture, the hardihood with which she stepped forward to extend her sympathy. He gratefully left the imprint of his agonized face on her towel. 
Sore-footed, exhausted beyond endurance, the weight of the cross bearing him down he struggled on; his legs trembling with the effort he made to keep going. He fell again and again but was forced to rise and stumble on. Some women along the route wept tears of sympathy. The Nazarene admonished them to weep for themselves and their children and not for him. 


And so they reached Golgotha-the place of skulls- and there they laid him on the very cross, he had borne, having torn away his robe-which the soldiers would gamble for later. They nailed him to the cross; nails piercing the palms of his out-stretched arms and his crossed feet. He endured the excruciating pain unflinchingly. It was his father’s will. He was obedient even unto death. They had dug a hole and jerked the cross into it. And there he simply hung like a common criminal between two thieves-one cursing and the other repentant “This day shalt thou with me in paradise be” he promised the repentant thief. He was thirsty. They offered him a sponge dipped in bitter gall. His mother stood at the foot of the cross. He commended her to his beloved disciple John. “Mother behold thy son; Son behold thy Mother.” Behold the man! - The Nazarene. From the cross he forgave those who persecuted him “Father forgive they know not what they do”. 


As the ruddy shades of the evening sky darkened and the shadows lengthened and unaccountable thunder and lightning rent the air, the Nazarene after three hours of agony gasped forth his last breath. 
“Father into thy hands I commend my spirit”. The long hard journey had ended. 
“No greater love than this; that a man should lay down his life for his people.” 

Jeannette Cabraal 


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