It was a dark and stormy night. Thunder exploded. Wind ripped across the hillside. The lights from torches danced and struggled to survive. Flashes of lightning provided glimpses of suffering on the three faces suspended above the crowd.
The crosses were six beams of wood, bonded together two by two with the strength of the Roman Empire. Soldiers stood watch and others divided up clothes from the prisoners. You are on the right, arms and legs stretching, chest constricting, and your attention focused on the man in the center. The crowd circles around him.
When he speaks, his words carry on the breeze. The ground shakes. A small sign hangs above his head reading King of the Jews.
You can only see the side of his face, blood dripping from his brow in lines of crimson so bright it glows.
You’ve heard his story. They’ve all heard his story. Something in your heart cries out.
The air is electric. The crux of history, past, present, and future hangs in this moment.
You inhale, lunges fighting for air, and speak:
“Jesus, remember me…”
This man was not a:
He did not:
tithe 10% of his income.
He did not:
support the right to carry a gun.
He was not:
sat through a life group.
His Facebook page did not have 1000 friends.
His blog posts were never featured.
His tweets never trended.
His novel wasn’t in the top ten list.
His house didn’t have two floors, a large yard, a yellow lab and a white picket fence.
Sound like anyone you know?
“Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ~Luke 23:43
This is freedom from religion. This is an encounter with the one true God, the hand of the divine ripping away the barrier to dip into our reality. This is life with the power to transform, to break chains, to destroy addictions, to save families, to change the world.
This is Grace.
Soundtrack inspiration: A song that says it all.