"And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never die."John 3:14-16 (CEV?)
I watched quietly from the throng that lined the street as He stumbled forward beneath a burden which seemed much heavier than the cross He bore. The day was dark and grim. The mob was loud and boisterous and pressed so tightly together that you could feel the breath of the person next to you. Yet it all seemed to be happening far away, as if in a dream. As I made my way along the stone street following the bloody footprints, I kept hearing the question in my mind, Why are you here? I had no answer.
My father is a Roman centurion and my mother a Jewess. I had lived my life hung painfully between the two, never satisfying either, never knowing who I was. Then my mother became a believer in Jesus of Nazareth. He spoke of a new kingdom, one that would never pass away. My father lived in a kingdom built on the Roman foundation of pride and selfsufficiency; he wanted no new kingdom.
I was glad when Jesus was arrested and felt a sick satisfaction at the sentence pronounced upon Him. My eyes again fell on the bloody footprints, Why are you here?
I stood transfixed as the crucifixion wore on. The air grew cold. The sun became lost in a blanket of gray which seemed to encircle the cross. Though the mood was ominous and foreboding, on the face of Jesus was a look of serenity and love.
My father nailed an inscription to the top of the cross, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Though I saw no emotion on my father's face, I was sure he approved of this execution.
Jesus showed no indication of displeasure at the sign, only pity. He seemed more concerned for those standing beneath Him, as though we were the ones dying.
I stood there all day, watching life slowly fade from those piercing eyes. His complexion took on the color of the grey dampness around Him and I knew it was almost over. Then the cry "It is finished" ripped the stillness. It was not a cry of defeat or dejection but of victory and majesty. Every eye saw Him heave His last breath and slowly bow His head in death.
Somewhere deep inside of me I felt a gnawing pain. As I turned to leave I heard again the nagging question, Why are you here?
Suddenly my father's voice broke violently into my thoughts, "Surely this was the Son of God." I turned and saw my father looking up at Jesus. I ran sobbing towards him catching my mother's hand. Together we knelt united at the foot of the cross. Peace filled my heart. Looking up at the crucified form of the Son of God, I knew why I was there ... I knew.
Written by Shay Wooten, from Masterpieces, copyright © 1988 Reflections, used by permission. Reflections is the drama ministry of Campion Academy, directed by Thure Martinsen from 1982 to 1993. Masterpieces is a play written by the students about Jesus.
Lesson 2 - Conclusion
Copyright © 1995, Lee Venden and Thure Martinsen