My family told me they could see something had happened.
All they needed to do was look at my face.
The boys told me later in life they were terrified.
I looked like I had stared into the pit of hell.
It wasn’t what they were expecting.
My wife had been preparing for the Sabbath.
She had expected me home early.
This was going to be a special time,
more special than usual;
we were not only back in Israel from years of exile,
but celebrating a Sabbath in Passover
and what’s more
within sight and sound of the sacrifices
This was going to be a wonderful celebration
of all that God meant to our Faith.
But because I was made to carry a cross
I was fit for nothing.
When my wife is worried she gets angry.
The questions follow.
Who made you do that?
The Romans – of course, occupation gives them every right
And us none at all.
Whose cross was it?
Jesus – another fake king.
Did no one help you?
Women? What women?
There’s always women when one of those miracle-men are around.
Then she started fussing.
She could see I was not ready to answer sensibly.
I heard he died quickly.
When you are crucified you have nothing left to give but your life.
Alexander and Rufus found out more.
They met some of his friends.
The rumours of a return from death.
The official denials.
It’s beyond me.
But if you want to know what it means to carry a cross at Passover, then I can tell you.
You are nobody.
You are wasted.
You are everyone’s sacrifice.
You are beyond the touch of God.
You are good for nothing but to be forgotten.
Lord Jesus Christ – helped by a stranger from Africa-
Pour your grace on all
- who have no one to turn to
- who are everyone’s victim
- who give the hospitality of the stranger
Forgive the people who bear your name when they overlook the victims of their faith
And by your compassion transform us all.
Photo: St Wulfrans, Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross