Saturday, March 14, 2015

Father, Forgive Them

We are in a forty day march toward Easterthe most significant event in human history. During the season of Lent, there is great value in reflecting on the significance and meaning of the cross. What would it have been like to be there—to have witnessed the death of Jesus on the cross? 

I portray the events of Passion Week from the perspective of Marcus Longinus, the Roman centurion who oversaw Christ's crucifixion. Here is an excerpt as seen through his eyes: 

Friday 10:00 a.m. April 7th 30 AD

          Within me I knew there was something primeval about this position, the position on the cross. This is a man’s first nightmare, his worst nightmare. Here he hangs, naked, ripped open, nailed open, unable to cover himself. He is unprotected. He cannot hide; he cannot run. In shame and nakedness his tormentors lift him up. His sin is posted above his head. Body and soul are pried open, and he hangs fully exposed. He is exposed before heaven and the worldthe world that has rejected himthe heaven that he has offended.
          Nothing can be worse. It breaks the strongest men.
          But he was silent. The Christ was silent. He was stillquietbeneath the flesh piercing blows. I had never seen, or heard the like of it.
          It troubled me.
          Now that he was pinned and mounted, he summoned his strength, and raised his voice for all to hear.
          “Father,” he gasped, “forgive them . . . They don’t know . . . what . . . they are doing.”
          Then silence, troubling silence.
          I dismissed his words. I knew what I was doing.
          Claudius doubled over, as though punched in the stomach. He staggered off the back of the Skull and began vomiting.
          He’s green I suppose, green and soft, yet to be hardened by the sights and sounds of the battlefield. He reminded me of how I was, when I first arrived in Germania. A few more of these trips up the Skull, and the toughness will come.
          A squabble broke out over the messiah’s clothes. Who gets what? I intervened and said, “The purple robe goes to Octavian’s crew.”

Like the centurion in this account, we often are confident that we know what we are doing, but nothing could be further from the truth.

David Kitz 
David's award winning novel can be purchased directly from his website:


Peter Black said...

Thank you for this excerpt, David. Stark and graphic and personal, yet thoughtful and respectful.
May the Holy Spirit use both your dramatic portrayals and the book to draw hearts Christward and grant people living faith in His accomplishment on the cross.~~+~~

fudge4ever said...

Very graphic. We don't like to think about this. It's good to see it from this perspective.
Pam Mytroen

Glynis said...

We take Easter for granted, sometimes. When we stop and drink in the moment, it is bound to make us nauseous if we are contemplating truly what our Lord endured. Thanks David, for giving me pause to consider the horror and my part in the brutality of it all. I weep at the thought. Yet we know Sunday came and we celebrate the risen Christ. He is risen!

Susan Harris said...

I had never thought of Jesus hanging literally naked until I read Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place". Your description, however, brings to life more vividly what Jesus endured. Thank you for that peep into Calvary. Well written indeed.

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