In the past, during Holy Week, I've shared these stories. This year I forgot! So, I'll share a couple today (Thursday), some tomorrow (Friday), and a few on Saturday. For readers new to my blog-I hope you enjoy them. I have tried to remain as biblically correct as possible, while still taking creative license. For my long time readers, my apologies if you've read these before, but I pray they will still touch your heart.
These stories are my interpretation of what may have gone on inside these individuals' heads. Our story begins outside the governor's palace, early in the morning on the day of crucifixion.
How I ended up in the crowd this morning, I can't remember. I was out early, ready to set up my wares in the market place. Passover was coming. The Feast. A high holy day.
I noticed the chief priests, the teachers of the law and all the Sanhedrin (I call them "the men of great importance") walking purposefully toward the governor's palace. A crowd of angry people followed. The leaders had a man with them who was bound and stumbling along. I was curious.
What was going on? They couldn't go into the governor's palace today of all days. He is not a Jew. If they went inside, they would become unclean and would not be able to eat the Passover meal. Maybe whatever was going to transpire would take place outside the palace. My curiosity got the better of me and I left my wares with my brother to see what was going on.
Pontius Pilate came out to them. More people gathered. The men of great importance made accusations against this man, whose name was Jesus. I'd heard of this man. I even heard his teachings. They made sense to me and I liked this Jesus.
What I found most interesting was that these accusations didn't seem to match the intensity of the men making them. In other words, I thought that perhaps they were over-reacting. But, I am a simple man. I am not a man of great importance, like our leaders. What did I know?
I continued to watch and listen, but then I noticed that many of the men of great importance were walking among the crowd, screaming at Pilate, and getting the crowd worked up. Before I knew what was happening, I was caught up in the turmoil. Our numbers grew and so did our anger.
Jewish custom allows a prisoner of the peoples' choosing to be released on the Feast. Pilate gave us a choice...Barrabas, a murderer or Jesus, a blasphemer?
"We want Barrabas!" we cried.
In my heart, I knew that Jesus should be released. What crime had he really committed? Even Pilate said that the man had done nothing wrong. But no one else appeared to feel the same way. I was confused. I looked at the faces around me. They were all distorted in anger! I began to feel the same.
Pilate asked us what we wanted him to do with Jesus. Why was he asking us, the crowd? Wasn't that his job? He seemed to want nothing to do with this.
Someone shouted, "Crucify him!" Probably a man of great importance planted in the crowd. The rest of us went along with it.
Before I knew it, we were all shouting, "Crucify him!"
Later, I would recall how quickly I went from a peace-loving man, whose only wish in life was to provide for my family and live in harmony with others, to a bitter, raging maniac, demanding the death of what I now know was an innocent man.
At that time, my only thought was, "Crucify him!" because that's what everyone around me was shouting. How quickly I caved in to what everyone else thought.
How sad that I did not have a voice of my own.