Our story continues at Golgotha, or The Place of the Skull...the place of crucifixion.
I come from a family of centurions. We are soldiers who know how to kill. Some say we are hardened. Hmmm...I suppose they would be right. In order to kill, a man needs to know how to suppress his emotions. It is something I was taught as a young boy from my father, who was also a centurion. Even though my father was a centurion, and his father before him, I moved up through the ranks on my own skill and merit, along with the ability to command many men.
I had the privilege of standing guard at the crucifixion of this man they called The king of the Jews, Jesus.
I take my job very seriously. Many of my men openly mocked Jesus, casting lots for his clothes. I find that to be an immature quality. Although I did not partake in their boyish games, I did nothing to stop them. Sometimes, they just need an outlet. And criminals are...well, criminals. Not worthy of respect. What harm is there in a little fun? They're going to die anyway.
Around the sixth hour, it became very dark. For three hours, we waited for Jesus to die. Suddenly, around the ninth hour, he cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" Then, he gave up his voice. It was finally over. But it wasn't...
What happened next is something I would never have believed, had I not witnessed it. At the very moment Jesus breathed his last breath, the sun stopped shining and it grew very dark and stormy. I heard that the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom! The earth quaked and the rocks split! Then the tombs broke open and dead people, the holy ones, started walking around!
It couldn't be coincidence. The magnitude of these happenings coinciding with the death of this man they called a king both terrified and awed me.
The guards who were with me saw these things and can testify to them. For what seemed like an eternity, we could not speak. For someone who was an expert at hiding his emotions, I suddenly wanted to fall to my knees and weep.
This Jesus...surely this was a righteous man. Surely, he was the Son of God.
For readers new to my blog-I hope you enjoy these stories. 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.