It was just an ordinary day

It was an ordinary day.
It was just an ordinary day.
I was going in to the city,
people were going about their business,
shops were trading,
children were playing,
there was even a dog or two barking.
I passed three criminals nailed up on crosses.
Nothing unusual in that, that was how the Romans dealt with bandits and thieves.
But, the man in the middle seemed different.
He didn’t look like a criminal, and there was a notice:
‘The King of the Jews’.
I paused, for the moment – I couldn’t go on.
Then I overheard what people were saying:
That they had really believed that this man was the Messiah;
That he was a good man – he had healed people, and taught wisely;
That Pilate – the Roman governor – had tried to set him free!
The other thing that was different was that there were supporters around the cross.
Usually, when one of their own is strung up,
family and friends are miles away – unable to bear the pain and shame.
But this man had people there.
They were mainly women, strong women I thought,
they seemed to get an inner strength from somewhere.
I had to stop and wait with the other onlookers.
At 12 o’clock, the sky went dark.
It was as though the sun had disappeared.
It took another 3 hours..
3 hours of some people mocking, others wondering, waiting...
at 3 o’clock, the man called out – asking God if he had forsaken him?
Then he gave a terrible cry, I have never heard a cry like it
and never want to again.
They said afterwards that the curtain in the temple
-in the Holy of Holies –
was torn in two – at that very moment.
The Centurion who had been directing the operation
said a remarkable thing.
He announced: ‘This man definitely was the Son of God.’
It was just an ordinary day.
people were going about their business,
shops were trading,
children were playing,
there was even a dog or two barking.
But it turned in to the most extraordinary day –
in the whole of my life.
And, perhaps, in the history of the whole world.

Jacqui A Horton