The Journey of the Dreamer (Chapter 21) © copyright 1991


 

The Cross
:11:03 p.m.
Timothy is elated the entire day, and Christa is right beside him. She spends the rest of the day talking to her family about the events that took place at the church, and about the reaction Tim received from the people and from the pastor. He had asked for a copy of Timothy’s book and inquired if Tim could return again, which the younger man said he would.
Now Tim and Christa lie in bed still excited by the events of the past day. Slowly though, they both fall into a deep sleep.
The sun is bright as Tim finds himself at the rear of a large crowd, upon a hill, outside an ancient city.
“This is Jerusalem,” comes the voice of Gabriel from beside him, “and these people are gathered here to watch the spectacle of death.”
“Whose death?” Tim asks.
“Three individuals shall die this day, but one you know very well,” the angel says as Tim’s head snaps up to look at him.
“Yes…. Jesus.”
As Timothy looks back toward the crowd, he finds himself at its center. Here he is ringed by Roman troops as they hold back the excited mob. An opening forms on the side facing the city, and there before him he sees the Christ leading a large group of soldiers and three men with crosses.
“Oh my…,” come the words slowly and then are lost as he looks at the Savior’s battered form. Blood, both new and dried, cover His face. Most of it comes from the thorny crown upon His head; but some, Tim notices, comes from His nose and mouth. His clothes are torn and tattered, while His bare feet are dirty and brownish red from the mixture of blood and dirt.
When the Lord reaches the center of the circle, He falls to His knees revealing to Tim the hideous wounds upon His back. Timothy looks at the shredded skin of the Savior’s back. He looks into the still open, bleeding wounds; and he believes he sees the white of the spine and ribs. Tim turns away as nausea starts to overwhelm him.
“No, don’t turn away. You will not become sick.”
“But I feel as though…,” Tim begins to protest to Gabriel’s request.
“Don’t fear. It will not overwhelm you.”
With these words Tim returns his gaze to the sight before him. There he sees a man place the large cross near an already dug hole, which appears well used for its ominous purpose. The man’s face, shoulder and hands are covered with the blood of Jesus; and Tim can see that the man cries as he is pushed away.
Timothy’s attention turns to some movement near him. There he sees two soldiers grab up Jesus and drag His weakened form over to the cross, removing His clothes as they do. They throw Him upon it, which causes Him to arch his back in agony. One of the troops slams his foot down upon the Lord as four others grab His hands. Two of them hold His hands down as the remaining two places large nails at the base of his hands and begins to hammer them into His body and then into the wood. Once this is done, they take His legs, leaving each one slightly bent, and proceed to hammer a nail into each of His ankles. When they finish, the soldier stepping upon His chest moves. As he does this, they attach a guide-rope to the top of the cross. Then five of the troops grab the top of it and begin to raise it. When the wood form is too high for the men to push up farther without difficulty, two long poles are brought into play on each end of the horizontal beam. They use these to push the cross into its upright position as it slams down into the hole made for it. Timothy looks at Jesus’ face as this sudden downward movement ends and sees the pain written clearly upon it. He watches as the Savior lifts His bloody and battered face.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” Tim hears Jesus say. Tim looks at his guide.
“You hear the Lord’s words because this event is for all who follow Him in the past, the present, and the future and because He is God in human form,” Gabriel explains and then points back to the cross where the two see Jesus try to lift Himself to breathe. Tim looks on in anguish as he watches the nails in His feet begin to pour out more blood. He falls to his knees as he sees the torn flesh of the Lord’s back scraping against the rough wooden column. He looks on as large and small splinters are shoved into His already marred back.
Jesus’ head turns to His left, and Tim looks in that direction. He sees another cross there, and upon it is a man tied to it with ropes. Even though Tim does not hear the words, he knows the criminal is heckling the Lord, from his own point of death. He turns to see the other cross just behind and to the right of the Lord. He watches as the man there angrily speaks to the previous one.
“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise,” Jesus says in an anguished way and then in pain relaxes His knees to send the pain shooting through His arms. Tim, unable to stand watching his Lord in so much agony, turns away for a moment.
When he returns his gaze to Jesus, he notices that it is growing darker. He looks up to see the cloud that must have moved in front of the sun and is shocked by what he sees. Above him throughout the sky he sees the ape-like creatures, like those from the battlefield, blocking out the blue sky. As hundreds, then thousands start to gather above the city, the light of day is soon blacked out as they watch with joy as Jesus suffers.
“My God,…my God,… why have you forsaken Me?” the Lord says in the light of the torches that have been lit.
Tim looks about him and sees that the crowd that was first there has dissipated. He can see a centurion and his troops, along with about twenty or so other people. Among them he sees three women and a young man holding one of the three, due to her weeping very deeply.
“Woman,” comes the pained voice of the Savior. “Behold your son!” The weeping woman looks toward Him and then turns to look at the young man holding her.
“Behold your mother!” Jesus spits out as his knees once again give way, sending s shudder of pain throughout his body. The young man hearing the words of Jesus, nods understanding that he is to care for Mary as if she were his own mother.
Tim, frozen in sorrow, cannot turn away any longer. He watches as the Lord raises Himself once again.
“I thirst,” the Savior says; and in response one of the guards shoves a liquid filled sponge into Jesus’ face. He turns His head away from the substance.
“Father,… it is done!” He shouts as His body clasps and becomes as limp as a marionette in a puppet show attached with strings to keep it up.
In shock Tim leaps from his bed and then falls to his knees as he begins to weep heavily. Christa, awakened by the abrupt action of her spouse, walks over to him and kneels down to hold him. She does not say a word as he buries his face into the side of her neck and engulfs her with his arms.

 

The entire novel can be found at:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/423954

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