HALF WAY TO CALVARY
(The Barabbas in all Pilgrims)
I surmise that Barabbas never knew he was going to become a hero. I’m quite certain he had reluctantly resigned himself to the fact he was going to be nailed to a cross in the morning before Resurrection Sunday.
From what little history records about this man, most of what we know is perception and nearly all what we say is pure conjecture. This we do know, he was a leader of insurrectionists against Rome. He may have defied the religious leaders of Jerusalem by causing a great deal of trouble for their people by stirring up rebellion against the Roman Empire in the name of Jehovah, a promised Messiah, or selfish ends.
Pilgrims’, do you think Barabbas was the precursor to fulfill the Old Testament’s ‘Scapegoat’? The sacrificial lamb was set free outside the City gate instead of being burnt on the altar? Was it coincidental Barabbas was guilty and deserved to be punished by execution according to Roman law…but set free when another man died in his place?
Do you suppose Barabbas’ nightmares were filled with images of hundreds of men, women, and children executed on crosses by the Roman Empire, that he surely had seen from the time he was a boy? Can you relate to the imagined pain one suffered as his wrist were spiked and his feet were spiked so his body convulsed heavily against his own body’s physical frame and the strain of it brought about a point the flesh would burst?
If ever the’ Sword of Damocles’ hung over a man’s head, don’t you think Barabbas lived out his life in torture and emotional trauma as he knew an innocent man died in his place. Where could he go to escape this truth? He became a ‘cult hero’ of sorts for his good fortune: the benevolent Rome allowed a prisoner to be released during the celebration of the Jewish Passover to show their affinity to the nation’s religious life.
I think the whole death, burial and resurrection of a so-called Messiah of the Jews never allowed Barabbas to walk
into any jukebox beer joint and he’d have people buy him a drink. He may have been run out of a few joints as the plight of the Jewish people worsened after Jesus’ death.
For years I have toyed with the words of a song, but, I’ve never been able to get them right so I’m comfortable with them. The song: Half Way to Calvary.
I can close my eyes and I see this beaten man so disfigured he isn’t recognizable: “…But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5; so could Isaiah.
My question for all Pilgrims, what if Jesus had gone just half way up Calvary? What if he had climbed half way up the Hill of Skulls and announced, “Father, get yourself another boy.” We Pilgrims who celebrate each day in blessed thanksgiving that because we have a personal relationship with Christ, life really is worth the living. Don’t we mourn for all those slugs that are too stupid to believe they have been fearfully and wonderfully made by a God that loved them so much he died in their place? Don’t we arise each day eager to see what blessings our Creator will bring our way that we might have another opportunity to show our gratitude for Jesus going all the way to the top of Golgotha? If he had gone just half way, how miserable would all Pilgrims be?
Might all Pilgrims find a way to cry even louder than our Lord: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Might all Pilgrims scream over and over, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”
While scripture clearly teaches all that happened to Jesus was to fulfill God’s Providential Will and to fulfill bible prophecy, no greater truth is spoken than to show mankind God’s love for him. He didn’t just die to save him; he died to have a personal relationship with him.
After Jesus’s resurrection and ascension, God had just one plan for the world: One Pilgrim telling another heathen about God’s love for him. If that plan failed, so did Jesus. If you aren’t busy doing God’s bidding, aren’t you just climbing half way up Calvary? Jesus went all the way, why won’t you?
HALF WAY TO CALVARY
On Calvary’s road I met a man, beaten and bruised, so weak he couldn’t stand.
His eyes met mine and it was as if the light inside me started to shine.
His crown of thorns, blood running down his face, yet, his slight smile sent me comfort and peace; it was a small gift of grace.
Why don’t you stop and rest a while, I suggested; but his pained filled eyes gazed up ahead. He pointed with his finger to the top of the Skull Hill; the appointed place for the dead.
In a whisper, “You’re they guy, aren’t you?” Blood spewed on my toga as his head moved up and down and fell to the ground.
Did you really raise a man from the dead? I asked and felt foolish for what I said.
Why go farther, very few up there care about the things you evidently dare? He winced in pain, moved past me and his gait seemed to step in time with the hammer’s chime as two thieves were already far ahead.
He made a sign with his hands: a cross. He let the sign fall and then rise again. I thought, He’s just a man with a faulty plan; a sucker if there ever was one.
“It’s ‘fools’ gold you know,” I said to him; few care if you live or die, so why don’t we leave your burden here? With a deep, painful sigh, he motioned to the blue sky.
He trudged on to the top of Golgotha’s hill where the soldiers were waiting for the kill. I sat down and mourned for I knew he was just a shill.
“Father, It is finished,” I heard him cry; I ran to the top not wanting him to die. Knocked off my feet as the earth spit up its prey, darkness, thunder, and tears of God must have washed the hill’s blood away.
Though he was a man I had met on the road that day, for a fleeting few moments, I knew he was different; he was special in a strange way.
Down from the hill rejoicing came the third day as Pilot’s grave stone had been rolled away. I ran to the hill, half way did I climb; then I understood why he passed me that day on the trek up Golgotha’s hill, for his love did kill my sins on that hill.
I still don’t have a song do I?
I have sent out two emissaries to ask all of the Pilgrims to consider giving a donation: 25.00..or what they can give or what God places on their heart to give, to a very good friend of mine, Belinda Burdett, so she can go on a mission trip to Austria for two weeks to help TCMI (Taking Christ to the Millions). None of you have sent one red dime! I admit I’m perplexed, disappointed, and disheartened, for I expected much better from the Pilgrims. A 1000 Pilgrims and not a dime! I wonder how many Pilgrims would respond if I was seeking donations for a homeless mutt? Belinda’s work is seeking lost souls! Please reconsider a gift!
Belinda covets your prayers! She also needs funds given to the church, on her behalf, so she can go on this mission trip. PILGRIMS! Those of you who are of like mind, please send her 25.00. or what God places on your heart. You fill out the check:
On Memo line: Austria trip 2014
DO NOT PUT HER NAME ON CHECK!!!
Send check to this address:
Belinda Sue Burdette
5705 Ensenada Ave.
Indianapolis, In. 46237
If any Pilgrim wishes to contact me, other than Family and Friends, use the comments section of the blog; or send me a message on Facebook. I’ll not open any e-mails. As far as I can tell, none can harm my computer using these methods of communication.