So much has happened since I reported of the night’s activities.  (See post below.  Holy Week – While You Were Sleeping)  This is a very sad, dark time. 

After a long night of being harassed and physically beaten and abused, Jesus was condemned to death by the crowd that gathered outside of Pilate’s quarters.  Not wanting to feel responsible for Jesus’ death, Pilate gave in to the crowd’s demands and handed Jesus over to them.  Jesus was then mocked, beaten and bloodied more severely, almost to the point of disfigurement.  My heart broke to see someone I loved and admired so much treated so cruelly.  Despite the deep wounds that covered his body, Christ was forced to proceed through the streets of Jerusalem as a criminal to the hill where he would be crucified.  Although soldiers tried to make him to carry his own cross, he was physically unable to do so.  Someone named Simon was pulled from the crowd to carry the cross for him. Eventually they arrived at Skull Hill where Jesus was nailed to the cross and hung to die.

We were terrified when, at noon, a great darkness coverd the earth.  Two criminals were also being crucified.  They also hung from crosses on each side of him.  One was taunting Jesus.  The other recognized Jesus as his Savior and asked for Jesus to take him where Jesus was going.  Jesus promised that he would, granting salvation in the criminal’s dying moments.  Some of guards and people in the crowd cried out to also taunt and mock Jesus.  In his graciousness, he cried out to his Father seeking forgiveness for all who had wronged him. 

I could hardly bear to watch what was happening to our Savior, yet I couldn’t leave.  I stayed until he took his last breath.  He shouted out, then gave up his spirit.  As this happened, the earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened.  It is said that at the moment Jesus gave up his spirit, the curtain in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  (Matthew 27:50-52)  Our Savior, Messiah, had died.   

Although the darkness of the land was lifted at 3:00, my heart feels the darkness of the blackest night.  How could they have treated him that way?  How could they kill the one who came to save the very people who led him to his grave?  How could they not have recognized him?  What do we do now?  He said he would be raised and come back again, but what did that mean?  How could that be possible?  It is Passover, a time that usually calls for celebration, but I have never felt such sickness and pain in my heart.  This is a time of great mourning for me.  Oh, for our Savior to live again.