“Crucify him!” Crucify him!” The words of the crowd finally penetrate my brain. A frenzy of people are clogging the street, pushing and shoving. The shouting continues, “I thought you were the Messiah, save yourself!” A man jostles to get around me and I grab his arm and ask, “Who is this Messiah?” He points in the direction of the street and says, “One of the men carrying his cross is called Jesus. Pilate just sentenced him to death by crucifixion!” The man pulls away from me and disappears into the swell of people. I turn towards the street and suddenly there in front of me is the condemned man. He is covered in blood and his flesh is scored with deep cuts and bruising. He is wearing what looks to be a crown of thorns. Again, I ask someone why the prisoner is wearing a crown of thorns. He tells me, “The soldiers call him a King, the King of the Jews, so they gave him a crown.” The convicted man struggles to stand under the weight of his heavy burden and clumsily falls to the ground. A few women escape the crowd and kneel down by him. Such love and tenderness can be seen in their eyes as they touch him as if to ease his pain. I hear one of them say, “You are not alone! We are here for you- Your Father is here with you!” The man turns to them with a grateful smile and whispers, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children…”
Who is this man? I will never forget his eyes! His strength! Slowly, I stop and turn back to see the crucified man, Jesus, look down at the crowd and say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Who is this man?