Crucify Him: A narrative retelling of the first good Friday
Daylight breaks over the courtroom; a motley crew of judges assembled in the house of the high priest. The hatred in the room hangs heavy. And the man from Nazareth puts the final nail in his own coffin:
“Answer us, Jesus. Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
Audible gasps. The ripping of heavy linen in misplaced mourning. How dare he? The high priest grieves. The great High Priest is silent.
Their unanimous verdict resounds around the four walls. And how to punish such blasphemy? Death.
The healer of the blind is blindfolded. Slapped. Beaten. Ridiculed – “prophesy, Jesus! If you were really God, you’d know who just hit you, even if you can’t see!”
Wounded. Winded. Dragged before Pilate. A crowd gathers: a sea of faces but a turn of the tide - five days earlier they’d gathered to welcome Jesus as King.
Today, “King of the Jews” is their sarcastic chant; a scribbled title hung mockingly above his cross.
Pilate stands in front of the multitude, uneasy. He understands this – these leaders want blood to satisfy their jealousy. But even though the God-Man offers no self-defence, he can’t cast a verdict – he sees no guilt.
He offers Jesus’ release, but the crowd is stirred to violent anger.
“Crucify him!”, they cry.
“Crucify him,” Pilate relents.
The soldiers take him. They dress him in false finery: makeshift robes and a crown fashioned from vicious thorns. He’s attacked with whips. He’s made to carry the instrument of his own death.
He’s naked, publicly humiliated and nailed to a cross.
He bears not only the weight of his own body, but the weight of every sin ever committed by those who should rightfully die.
And the King of Heaven takes it all, so that in the wounds inflicted on him, we might find healing for ourselves.