Murderer in the Crowd

“Today I was to be crucified.”

I instantly regret the words as the old merchant looks up, his gaze moving uneasily over the long scar slashing my cheek. Yet I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Something about the vast blue sky makes me want to shout ‘freedom!’ and the shrieks of children chasing each other makes me want to laugh out loud. I long to point out to all the unseeing passers-by how the morning light is shimmering on the temple walls above us. After weeks of near darkness, nothing has ever looked lovelier. I’m free! I would shout it across all of Jerusalem if I could. Continue reading

Regret

roman soldier 2Based on John 18:28 – 19: 16

Rome never slumbers. The early morning clatter of chariot wheels and the rhythmic march of passing soldiers wake me before dawn. I long to rise and watch them, to recall what makes ours the greatest empire on earth, but pain pins me to my sleeping pallet. The gods have taken everything from me, even these simple pleasures. My wife … dead. My sons … indifferent. My rightful status stripped from me, humiliatingly, by the Emperor. Curse them all! Gods and people alike.

Soon one of my few remaining slaves will come to dress and feed me. Even in his eyes I will read scorn. To him I am an old, dying man. He will not see what I once was—a Roman prefect, power-wielder and judge, bestower of life and death. Continue reading