A journey to the cross is a journey to repentance. It’s a journey to deep personal change. Will you take this journey with me?
Date: Eight in the morning, Saturday, April 8, 30 A.D.
Marcus Longinus, the Roman centurion, endures a sleepless night as he reflects on his role in Christ’s crucifixion.
It was a horrible night. Horrible!
I could not sleep. The events of the day kept flooding over my mind—a constant bloody torrent. During the daylight hours you can steel yourself against another man’s suffering. But at night your hard shell dissolves from around you, and you are left in just your own skin again. Then their suffering soaks into your flesh, and it becomes your own.
There seemed to be no end to it—no end to this torment. I willed myself to sleep. But I could not find that door of escape. It eluded me.
Instead I was pursued relentlessly by the dreadful events of the day. The hammer blows kept ringing in my head. And now their pain was mine.
All night my mind was on Golgotha.
Why me? Why Jesus? Why by some cruel twist of heaven’s fate did I find myself with him upon the hill of execution?
When I closed my eyes, his face appeared before me. His gentle eyes stared down on me, boring a hole into my very soul. Blood oozed down from the stabbing crown of thorns. It pooled and dried along his eyebrows. And his pain? His pain was my own.
Once in the night Zelda put her arm around me and drew close.
I pulled away. I could not be comforted. I could not be loved, and neither could I give love. She could not reach me. I was well beyond all this.
Why did I spit in Jesus’s face? Why did all hell erupt from within me? I hated being forced into this role, the role of the killer, the executioner. Just as in Germania, I was compelled—forced by circumstances into a role that I despised. But when my moment came, with my men gathered around, I played it to the hilt. The brute lurking at the bottom of the chasm within me took full control. Today on Golgotha the horror and rage of Germania had found a fresh vent.
But this was no barbarian village. This was no blond-haired girl; this was the Son of God. The Son of God . . .
The words of my confession reverberated through my throbbing mind, over and over, until I thought my head would split.
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