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, on his way to set a guard at the tomb, considers the possibility of Jesus rising from the dead.
On the surface I protested being drawn into this, the high priest’s plan of preemptive precaution, but within me, I was filled with dark apprehension. These measures had merit. This guarding of the tomb might well be warranted.
I did not fear his disciples. There had been no sign of them, no sign of armed uprising. No, it was the prophet himself that I feared.
This notion of him rising from the dead did not strike me as all that far fetched. On the surface the Christ’s prediction seemed impossible— utterly impossible—totally preposterous. But then in life he had been a total master of the impossible. The example of the blind Bartimaeus sprang to mind. This Messiah had tossed off miracles like he was tossing off the covers from his bed. Could he now toss off the shroud of death?
There was something far larger at work here. This was more than the raving of a lunatic. Why else would the sun refuse to shine as he hung dying? Why else would the earth shudder with his last breath? No, he was the Son of God. My very own words came back to haunt me. Anything was possible; nothing could be ruled out!
I remembered the worried look I saw on Pilate’s face just this morning, when Annas had raised this matter. Without saying a word I knew we both were of the same mind on this. He too thought a resurrection could occur. Why else his prompt response?
This was more than the raving of a lunatic. Why else would the sun refuse to shine as he hung dying? Why else would the earth shudder with his last breath? No, he was the Son of God.
Oh yes, and then there was the rubbing of the hands. Guilt stains are not so easily removed. I should know. After all these years the blond-haired girl still visits me quite regularly on those soul- tormenting nights.
Only the high priest’s men seemed sure of themselves, cocky in their victory, but not cocky enough to throw all caution to the wind. Why else post a guard? But winds can change, and all this might yet blow up in their faces.
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