Friday, March 29, 2013


The beating had been unimaginable.

The long walk up Via Dolorosa had been long, and hot, and exhausting.

In His mortal body, Jesus had nothing left.

The ugly tree lay on the slope of the hill. Its base stretched toward the road below. Its crossbar reaching out like arms receiving a loved one.

Placing one foot behind Jesus' heel and a shoulder into his chest, the Roman gave a mighty shove.

Jesus collapsed onto the splinter-filled cross.

Seven of the eight guards manipulated Him into position and held him there.

There was no resistance. Jesus had no strength left for that.

As one guard held the wretched man's arm against one crossbar, another placed the spike and raised the heavy mallet.

Michael looked back at the Father and pleaded, "I have a legion with me right now. Over ten thousand in number. We can go at your bidding and put a stop to this maddness. Please."

The Father's response was in that voice that did not invite argument. "No. Stay where you are."

The mallet came down with force enough to drive the spike into the beam behind the hand.

The sound reverberated past Michael, surrounding the entire legion and echoing with deafening intensity in all of Heaven.

Lucifer chuckled in that hideous way he had.

Jesus, unable to muster the energy to do more, exhaled over His vocal chords with the sound of death.

The other arm. The other crossbar. Another swing of the mallet.

Heaven shook.

Michael turned away.

The Father looked on.

Lucifer snorted.

Now the feet were placed on their rest and crossed so that only one spike would be needed.

Once more the mallet.

Heaven's thunder roared.

Where there were no tears, Michael cried.

Still the Father did not move.

Lucifer hissed, "Yessssss!"

The eight men had no trouble lifting the tree and its occupant to the vertical.

They placed it over the prepared hole and dropped it in. It bottomed out with a jolt.

Michael cried out with a loud voice.

The Father watched intently.

Lucifer almost danced with glee.

Jesus' body sagged at the sudden weight now pulling down on His hands and chest.

His breath left Him.

When he could stand it no longer, he pushed against the footrest and raised his chest high enough to take in some air.

It was a gasp.

Then He spoke. It was directly to God.

"Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

Once again His body failed Him and He drooped.

One of the two being crucified next to Jesus that day, both convicted theives, looked over at the stuggling man and managed between his teeth, "If you are really the Messiah, save yourself, and us, too."

"Hey!" strained the other, "Leave him alone! Can't you see? We are getting what we deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong!"

With all he had left in that breath, he said to Jesus, "Please, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

Jesus had pulled Himself up once again.

"Believe me when I tell you this: today you will be with me in Paradise."

And then He slumped back down.

As he looked down He saw His mother in the crowd with the ever faithful John.

Struggling up to speak, "Blessed woman, look. He is now your son."Collapse.

Pushing up, "Son, she will be your mother now."

The sun was bright and hot.

"I'm thirsty." It was all He could do this time.

A guard took a sponge and soaked it in sour wine vinegar. He raised it to Jesus' lips.

Jesus recoiled.

Michael wept openly.

The Father had an expression never seen from eternity to eternity.

Now He looked no more.

He turned His back on Jesus.

The sky darkened with the breath of sin.

This time, as Jesus drew up to breathe, He could smell the eternal stinch of evil in the air.

"My God!"

Another breath of iniquity.


Once more.


Michael withdrew. He could take it no longer.

The Father could not look upon sin, and so, kept His back to Jesus.

Lucifer, vomiting out the words, was beside himself with excitement, "We're winning! Im winning!"

Jesus summoned all the strength left in His ravaged body.

"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

The sound filled the countryside. The corridors of Heaven shook under its pressure.




His head dropped.

The Spirit left Him.

Lucifer sat down. His eyes wide. His evil heart pounding.

The smell of awful victory was in the air.

"It is time for a celebration!"

© 2006 Joseph Scoggins


Anonymous said...

Wishing you and yours a JOYOUS EASTER Joe

And by the way, the Catholic League is mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore. Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time", has apparently made one too many jabs at the expense of Catholics, particularly priests, and the League has decided it's time for it to stop.

Ever since Pope Benedict announced he was resigning, Maher has found plenty of fodder for material. He told Catholics during his "New Rules" section of the February 15 episode of "Real Time", "If the Pope can quit, it’s okay for you to quit too." He then went on to discuss the resignation saying, "Now…as you all know, this week, Pope Benedict told Vatican Radio... he was going to resign because the Church needs a fresh, young face, somewhere other than a priest’s lap."

It's jokes like that which have continuously angered members of the Catholic League. The Catholic League president Bill Donohue has demanded that someone have "a serious talk" with Maher. It's time that Maher got his walking papers. And by the way, that was a great post, thanks

sue hanes said...

Joe - Thanks for this. It was hard to read - but necessary.
It's always the same. Jesus suffering and yet victorious.
How strong He was - and over and over we wonder how He could endure what He did.

I love Good Friday. We always go to the noon service. Then I dye easter eggs and wait for the glorious Easter morning. To celebrate the Lord's victory.

Z said...

amazing post, Joe...thanks for that.

"Suffering and yet victorious"...Sue's right. And aren't we the same? So often suffering yet victorious ONLY BECAUSE OF HIM!?

Happy Easter! XXX

Joe said...

MCT: Thank you!

sh: The worse part of it was the moment He was abandoned by God as he took every sin of the whole world, past, present and future and bore its price. WOW!

Z: Amen!

Xavier Onassis said...

Well, I can see you're not going to be much sport for the next few days.

I'll respectfully leave you to it and find some other bears to poke and hornet's nests to kick this weekend.

But after the Resurrection, it's GAME ON!

Enjoy your Holy Days.


Joe said...

XO: Thanks. This is the most fun I have in the whole year.