Like other people, I’d heard some stories about the man named Jesus. He’d done unheard-of miracles and had lived a life that was upright and clean.
So, I never thought I’d arrive in Jerusalem at such a terrible time, of seeing Him being brutally led to His own crucifixion…that was the scene.
It seemed incomprehensible that His acts of compassion were being “rewarded” with this punishment to which He was going.
I could see that He was becoming too weak to bear the heavy cross; He’d obviously been scourged, and blood from the stripes was flowing.
Suddenly, I was pressed into service by some of the Roman soldiers. I was ordered to carry His cross, in His stead, as His strength was depleted.
Had He done something criminal that I hadn’t heard of in His recent past? I didn’t know, but the mocking and reviling were being repeated.
Of course, I didn’t appreciate being singled out for such a despicable task. It seemed obvious to me that I’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But something in the eyes of this Jesus, who staggered beside me, reflected kindness; and I sensed something noble or majestic—nothing of crime.
After reaching the destination, I couldn’t bear to watch the proceedings. If He’d been wrongly accused, there was nothing I could have done to stop the event.
So I left; but, later, darkness came over the land, and an earthquake caused tombs to open. Some people were reported as having been raised from the dead after the temple curtain was rent.
After all that had happened, a centurion and other guards declared that, truly, Jesus was the Son of God. Perhaps my unchosen role in this—being singled out—had, instead, been a divine appointment.
A great many people were recipients of Jesus’ ministry, and believed that He was who He said He was. That day lives large in my memory; and His disciples are saying that His Name is God’s healing and saving ointment.
P. A. Oltrogge
One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, regarding a man made well by the name of Jesus, spoke to the rulers, elders, and scribes gathered in Jerusalem:
“…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12 NASB