Why Did A Young Man Like That Have To Die? by Frank Pollard

YOU CAN IIVE THROUGH DEATH
WHY DID A YOUNG MAN LIKE THAT HAVE TO DIE?
HEBREWS 9: 27, 28
IT IS A HOT DAY IN JERUSALEM. BEFORE THIS FRIDAY IS
OVER THE SKY WILL BE BLACK AND ANGRY. TWELVE NOON WILL SEEM
LIKE 12:00 MIDNIGHT. BUT IT'S MORNING NOW AND CLEAR AND
HOT. PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE, MAKING IT EVEN MORE UNCOM-
FORTABLE, JERUSALEM IS PACKED WITH PASSOVER PILGRIMS. ALL
AVAILABLE ROOMS ARE FILLED AND TENTS ARE PITCHED ON ALMOST
EVERY EMPTY SPACE OF LAND. EVEN THE ROMANS ARE HERE IN
FORCE. DISTURBED BY THE PROSPECT OF SO MANY JEWS GATHERED
IN ONE PLACE, FEARING A POSSIBLE UPRISING, THE ROMAN LEADERS
HAVE TEMPORARILY MOVED OVER FROM CEASAREA.
FROM OUR PLACE JUST OUTSIDE ONE OF THE MASSIVE GATES TO
THE CITY WE CAN SEE A GROUP OF PEOPLE MOVING SLOWLY. THE
NOISE IS WHAT ATTRACTS US. PEOPLE ARE MAKING EXCITED, ANGRY
SOUNDS. IT'S NOT A HAPPY PARADE. AH, NOW WE CAN SEE THREE
MEN HALF CARRYING, HALF DRAGGING, HIDEOUS BEAMS OF WOOD.
THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY ROMAN LEGIONAIRES SWAGGERING IN THAT
ARROGANT WAY OF THEIRS. AROUND THEM THE ANGRY PEOPLE SHAKE
THEIR FISTS, SPEWING OUT THEIR HATRED ON THE ONE IN THE
MIDDLE. IT'S EASY TO UNDERSTAND NOW. THIS IS A FIRST-
CENTURY LYNCH MOB, ON THEIR WAY TO THAT STRANGE, SKULL-
2
SHAPED HILL JUST OUTSIDE THE WALL - THE PLACE POETICALLY
CHOSEN FOR CRUCIFIXIONS BECAUSE ITIS NEXT TO THE CITY
GARBAGE DUMP.
WHEN THE STREET STOPS GOING DOWN HILL AND BEGINS TO
CLIMB, THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE STUMBLES AND FALLS. THAT BIG
BEAM OF WOOD FALLS BESIDE HIM. FACE DOWN, PRONE IN THE DUST,
HE REACHES BACK FOR THAT CROSS AS THOUGH HE WANTS IT, HAS TO
HAVE IT. A LEGIONNAIRE LAYS A SPIKED ARMY SHOE IN HIS SIDE
AND ACCUSES HIM OF FAKING. A STRONG CYRENIAN IS CONSCRIPTED
TO CARRY HIS CROSS. LOOKING AT HIM LYING ON THE STREET
MAKES US AWARE THAT JESUS HAS ALREADY UNDERGONE PHYSICAL
PUNISHMENT THAT KILLS MOST PEOPLE. HIS BACK HAS BEEN BEATEN
UNTIL PINTS OF BLOOD AND STRIPS OF FLESH HAVE BEEN LOST.
BUT HE IS STRONG, AND DETERMINED. AS THOUGH THIS THING HAD
ALREADY BEEN DECIDED AND MUST BE DONE, HE TRUDGED UP THAT
HILL, MARCHING TO THE CADENCE OF HOT HATE EVERY STEP OF THE
WAY.
AT THE TOP OF THAT HILL, JESUS CHRIST DIED THE MOST
SHAMEFUL, PAINFUL DEATH EVER CONJURED IN THE MINDS ...


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