Who decided on the order? Which of the soldiers thought Jesus would look best in the middle? Maybe the two criminals, caught red-handed on their last job, had fallen out with each other. Perhaps the only way to shut them up was to put the quiet guy with the messiah complex in between.
Soldiers, thieves, spectators, those hammering in the nails, those gasping at the visual spectacle: no one in this first Easter scene knows quite what they are doing. Forgive them, says Jesus, as the nails bite, forgive them. They don’t get it.
Of all the low-life rogues to find the long arm of the law thumping down on their shoulders, these two nobodies get to hang right in the middle of history. They had never lived with Jesus, like Peter or Mary or Judas. Instead they get to die with him. No chance to give him their lives. Only their deaths.
Which of us aren’t as thick as thieves until Jesus Christ enters our field of vision. All of us watching, gasping, averting our eyes, wishing these weren’t real nails, that this had not been our shift, hoping we can put this behind us, can move on. Trying to find our words. Not quite sure what we are doing. Not knowing we could ask for forgiveness. Not knowing someone else has.
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What were the last words of Jesus? What did he say to his friends and enemies in the last hours of his life? And what do they tell us about the meaning of his life… and his death?
Designed and animated by Bruce Stanley.
Meditations by Martin Wroe.
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