It was windy and dusty on that hill. Noisy too. A mixture of shouting, weeping, the clanging of shields and swords and spears. People milled around, trying to see better, trying to worship, say goodbye or scream obscenities. Soldiers barged their way open, shoving and shouting.
Then, the noise died down. Everyone became silent when the first blow of the hammer fell. The dull thump of metal piercing flesh contrasted by the sharp sound of hammer meeting nail. With every blow the atmosphere became heavier with impending death. A slight moan from the lips of Jesus, a harder groan when He was finally hoisted up to hang from the cross. Blood and tears ran from His face. The flesh around His wrists tried in vain to rip open to get rid of His suspended weight, just oozing blood instead.
The soldiers mocked Him. The high priests looked smug and satisfied with the spectacle. His people wept.
It became darker. The hours rolled on. A slight whisper to the thief, a last smile. Replaced by the grimace of pain and helpless humiliation. A cry of anguish and desperation to the Father.
Luk 23:44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, Luk 23:45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
It became silent. People ran from the temple, terrified, seeking the cover of the darkness that fell over the land. On the hill, the long torture and suffering was finally over.
Luk 23:46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
The crowd still milled around for a second, but then slowly, with their shoulders slumped, and their heads hung low, they started to walk away. Sorrow grew with every step, more tears fell, the sobs became louder. Jesus was dead.
Some remained. Numbed and dumbed by the grief, by the unfairness of it all. They just stood and watched, until finally one stepped forward and slowly, gently lowered the body down. More hands, helping to wrap the limp and bleeding body, and to carry it away.
The body, now cold and lifeless, was gently lowered onto the rock shelf in the cave. The grating of rock on rock as the cave was closed sounded small in the silence of night. They sat down, looking in disbelief at the cold rock and earth.
Death, so final, so unfair, so inexplicable.
Joh 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.