Easter Sunday

12 04 2009

She followed the crowd. Why are they shouting like this? He hasn’t done anything! Well, no, that’s not true. He’s done so much. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.

The doctors had been no help; they hadn’t known what was wrong. I knew behind their whispers that people said I must have done something wrong, but it wasn’t like that. I didn’t know if I had done anything. All I knew was that I was ill and that they said I was dying. Then he came to my town.

My mother had helped me out to see what all the noise was about. We’d heard rumours. Then there he was with a big crowd around him, walking down the street. The crowd was noisy. We held back in the doorway and watched, but as they came level with our home, he stopped and turned towards us. He obviously said something to those with him, for they stood aside as he came across to us.

There was nothing special in what he did, and yet everything. He just smiled at us and said, “Hullo.” I found myself just gaping at him with tears running down my face; I don’t know why. Somehow… somehow, it was as if he knew, knew all about me, and still loved me…. He reached out and gently placed his hand on my head and almost whispered, “Be healed.” And then he was gone and we both stood there weeping and I was well. Yes, I know it sounds too simple, but I was. I was completely well. I can’t explain it, but I’m alive and well – because of him. So why are they treating him like this?

The soldiers are so brutal. They’re making him carry a large wooden cross. Why? Surely they can’t be……. They push at him and snarl at him. He falls. Oh why? They drag a man unwillingly from the crowd to carry the cross. They pick Jesus up and I see his face. There is blood all over it. There’s a crown made with long thorns that’s been pushed on his head, now askew, but the wounds from the thorns mean the blood runs down over his face. He can hardly stand, and then I see his back, or rather what is left of it. I am sick in the street. The crowd moves on and I stand there in shock. Why are they doing this to him? What has he done to deserve this? I remember the look as he stood before me. Here was utter goodness; it was that which broke my heart then – and now.

The crowd has gone. I am alone in the street. I must go. I must follow him. I must see where they are taking him. I follow the sounds down the street. Where is this all going, on this Friday?

I took a wrong turning. I found myself alone in the back streets of Jerusalem. Here there was silence. But then across the city came two stretched-out screams, just two. I eventually found my way to one of the gates of the city and there across the valley I saw three crosses being erected, three horrible symbols of man’s inhumanity to man. Even from this distance I could see he was one of the men being crucified. Why? What had he done except be good! I slumped down against the city wall and watched. The hours passed and eventually I saw them take the bodies away. It is over. I am past weeping. I am angry, no I am furious! Why? Why did they have to do this to him?

Two days later, when I woke on Sunday morning, something was different. No one else in the place where I was staying was awake yet, and so I quietly made my way outside. Something had happened! What was it? I still had that awful ache inside, but something was different.

I wandered down the street. There was hardly anyone else around. A woman scuttled by laughing and crying, but I hardly noticed. I came to one of the city gates and looked out over the graveyard area. I heard a sound of panting and two men dashed past me. Now it was my turn to be hardly noticed. I watched as they ran down through the olive groves to the grave areas. What a terrible place this is. Death hangs over it condemning all of us.

“I’m not there,” a gentle voice came from behind me. I started and turned and gasped. Again I found myself just gaping at him with tears running down my face. It was him. No, it can’t be. “It is,” he said reading my thoughts. “But why,” I sobbed, “why did it happen… and how are you alive?” Words were meaningless. I just sobbed.

“It’s all right,” he gently replied, “it will all become clear. The most important thing is that I’m here, so you can go home now and live and tell your family and friends what you have seen.”

“But they won’t believe me,” I sobbed.

“Not at first, but many will eventually. You’ll never be the same again now you know I’m alive. Go now.”

“But when will I see you again?” I managed.

He smiled, “When you come home.” Then he was gone, and I was never alone again.

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