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, 30AD
Marcus Longinus, the Roman centurion, meets with Renaldo, a fellow centurion, to discuss the setting of a guard at Jesus’ tomb.
“I may have some work for you men,” I called out to these soldiers. “So don’t leave just yet.”
Upon hearing my voice Renaldo emerged from a side room where he and his wife had been tending to Lucas. “What is it, Marcus?” he asked.
“Oh, I need some men to guard the prophet’s tomb.” It was impossible to hide my frustration.
“Why?” Renaldo reacted with a shake of his head. He found this quite perplexing.
“Well,” I responded, “it seems that the high priest and his crew are worried that either Jesus will arise from the dead or his disciples will come and steal his body.”
“That’s bizarre.” Renaldo shook his head again. “Just bizarre. Where did they get that notion?”
“From Jesus. From the prophet himself. Apparently he predicted it.”
He bowed his head slightly, and then brought his hand to his forehead in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to mentally digest it all.
“Look, Renaldo. I don’t have time to try and explain this.” My exasperation was clearly showing. “And I don’t really know if I even can. Right now I need sixteen men to take to the tomb for the first shift. I need them there within the hour. I thought if we combined your men here with my men next door, we could make up this first contingent.”
“First contingent—first shift. They want it guarded day and night for the next three days.”
He shook his head again. “Fine.” He threw up his hands in exasperation. “We’ll prance around and do the Weasel’s bidding.” He was clearly angry. “Did Pilate approve this?”
“Yes sir.” I bowed low in a show of mock subservience. “He’s back lickin’ the holy man’s stinkin’ feet—once again! He started yesterday during the Messiah’s trial,” I said bitterly, “and now, who knows when he’ll stop.”
“I can only shake my head,” Renaldo answered as he did just that. Then after a pause, with grim resignation in his voice, he said, “Let’s get on with it. I suppose we have to do it.”
He turned and bellowed at the twelve waiting men, “All of you head over next door.”
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