Summary: A monologue from a guard present at the crucifixion of Jesus
We were there that day. I still remember it like it was yesterday. We woke up early in the morning as the captain called us for an important duty. There was a mob of people gathered together. Apparently a Jew was among them proclaiming that He was the Messiah. Proclaiming that He was God! His reputation had spread across the region. Some say that He was a prophet. Some say He was a lunatic. But others were calling Him Lord. This could not be! We had heard about Him for some time and now He was causing an uprising. We had been searching for him but He always seemed to evade us.
It was late into the night I heard a knock upon the door of our quarters. I knew it must had been something important to beckon us at a strange hour of the night.
They had found Him. Over in the garden. We could take him captive and He would be judged for His crime. We gathered our stuff together, raced down the cobble stone stairs. The flickering of the torches could be seen as we came upon this man called Jesus. Finally He could be punished for the uprising He was causing. This man causing rebellion among the people would no longer be a disturbance. Anybody that would come against the Roman empire would face a swift and cruel death. This man would be an example. This man could go on no longer. We must find Him and punish Him. As one of His followers by the name of Judas led us to where He was we came closer and I could hear the sounds of someone praying with an unearthly intensity. FATHER IF IT'S POSSIBLE LET THIS CUP PASS! My soul shook at the sounds of this prayer I heard.
I heard a commotion of other voices . As we weaved through the mass of olive trees, it is then when I first laid eyes on this man named Jesus. I was expecting to see the face of a man enraged with anger and fury. But this is not what I saw. I saw the eyes of a man filled with an apparent love and compassion. He was not fearful or resistant...it was as if He was expecting us. We raced toward Him and His faithful followers surrounded Him pushing us away from Him. In the hustle a sword was drawn and I heard a scream come forth from one of my fellow soldiers. He was bleeding profusely as he held his hand against his ear. I saw this man Jesus reach down to the ground a pick up the soldiers ear that had be cut off in the fight. Never a man could have done this, but He reached and placed the ear back onto the soldiers head. The bleeding stopped and his ear was whole. I felt like running the other direction at this point. Was my eyes deceiving me? Had I seen what I just saw?
His eyes stared at us still filled with love, compassion and mercy. He didn't resist. He knew where He was going. He knew what was happening.
He was led through the night. Before rulers, He was given the chance to recant His claims...but He did not. WHO WAS THIS MAN? WHO COULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
Were the claims true? Had He really opened the eyes of the blind? Had He really walked upon the waves of storms? Had He really spoke forth a dead man's name and life came to the grave? WHO WAS THIS MAN?
My head was spinning...my heart was pounding! I could not understand what was happening!
It seems the next time I looked into His eyes He was tied to a post. He was facing one of the most brutal forms of punishment created by man. Tied helplessly to this post, stripped of His garments and back exposed a large whip woven with bone, metal and glass tore into His flesh. With each lashing the screams of this man Jesus shook me to the core. He would glance through the crowd as if His heart and mind was miles away. When I saw those eyes I knew there was something different about this man. When I saw His eyes I knew that these were the eyes of an innocent man. When I saw these eyes I could almost hear Him say to me- I'm doing this for you!
Each drop of blood I knew He was doing this for me!
Each stripe that was placed upon His back- He was doing this for me!
As the crown which was made in mockery, woven with jagged thorns, was placed upon his head- He was going through this for ME!!
As He was punched, mocked and beaten He was doing this for me!