Saturday, March 12, 2016

Passion Voices: the Centurion

You get used to it. 

The stares. The contempt. The muttered curses. The spitting when they think we aren't looking. 

We came to bring the peace, but apparently they don't want peace. They prefer independence to the Pax Romana. 

Independence! These Jews can't even settle simple disputes about their own religion by themselves. And, of course, you can't argue with "the chosen ones." 

Or reason either.

I'm not used to arguing anyway. If I tell my men "Do this" or "Go there," they don't mouth off. They don't ask questions. They just do it. They just go where they're told.

That's what I told Jesus when I went to see him. That's why I understood that he didn't need to come to my house for my servant to be healed. I knew He could just give the command and it would be done. I do know something about authority, and I could see that this man had it.

I've tried to help these people. I gave money to help them build a synagogue.

But I don't understand this at all. Why are they crucifying this man? He has taught them, healed them, loved them. While they stand jeering and scoffing, even the sky has covered its face with a dark veil. Even the clouds are weeping. 

I've seen men die this wretched death--criminals who deserved it. Like these thieves, caught in the act! But this man has done nothing wrong. Nothing! 

Oh God, no. I think they've had their way now. He's not gasping for air anymore. He's dead.

Can't you people see it? I don't care what you say about him.

Surely this was the Son of God!

Photo Credits:
    Roman soldiers, by  Harrak.a
    Jesus healing the Centurion's servant, painting by Paolo Veronese
    Crucifixion, by Benvenuto di Giovanni
     Crucifixion, after Joseph Van Fuhrich, detail, photo by Wolfgang Sauber

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