The sun is so hot. It’s been a long day. I’ve run around following Jesus as he was dragged by the soldiers. I’m tired, but he is half dead hanging on the cross now. Sitting here is the closest I’ve been to him. The crowds have been huge and being a young girl, I keep getting pushed to the back. I’d always find a way to at least hear him. But today there was no more listening. Today, there have been accusations and beatings. Oh, the beatings. I, of course, didn’t see any of it. But I did see my Jesus when he was forced to drag his cross through the streets. Why did they have to beat him so severely? When he passed the stench made me want to turn away. But somehow his compelling spirit kept my attention focused on his eyes. There was something about them – almost like he had something to say with them.
Now he hangs on the cross above me. The excitement is over so the people have started to leave. This gave me the opportunity to come close to this man who has taught us with parables and demonstrated grace and mercy in his healing touch. Here I sit at the foot of the cross. He took his last breath and offered up his spirit to God. He is still hanging there. I don’t know what to do. I’m just sitting here below and I know I should go home, but I can’t bring myself to go. He was so gentle in his spirit.
It was merely in his midst that tears were stopped, pain was relieved, and healing came. People who had been afflicted their entire lives. I remember something in his voice that brought comfort. His message made me feel like I have value. Me, a female, in a culture of male dominance. Just a few days ago the crowds pushed me to the rear. But now they are all gone. There are no more words from the teacher; no more stories to be explained. All the people have gone home. It’s so quiet. So here I sit at the foot of the cross. Finally, a little shade. My Jesus is hanging above me, the blood and sweat dried on his cuts.
I’m sitting in the shadow of Jesus. It’s so hot, and He provides shade. Like the comfort of his words. I need to go home. My mother told me to stay away from all of this. But I couldn’t. I have followed him whenever he was in our town. I am drawn to him. He talks of a new kingdom, of peace, of forgiveness – a new law for living? I am hungry to learn more, but now he is gone. He even said I could have a new beginning; he didn’t tell me, of course, but he told some others. My entire life has been planned – I’m to be a wife and a mother. If that is what God desires I will do it, but what I’ve heard from Jesus will stay in my heart no matter what.
Now he’s gone and here I sit. With all the people stirring today, I am more dusty and dirty than usual. It doesn’t normally bother me. Look at my dress, it’s a mess with dirt. As I lower my head into my hands I notice a drop of his blood has covered a spot of dirt. I can’t stop staring at it. His blood on me as I sit in the shadow of the cross. A part of Him now permanently on me.
My mother will know where I’ve been. Maybe she won’t tell my father. I heard some of the men who followed and helped Jesus say that he’s going to come again. Something about him raising from the dead on the third day. Oh, if that were true…
Blocking the sun with my hand I look up at him, hanging there lifeless, Will you raise from the dead in three days? The sun is setting. I have to get home. Looking up at my savior – please come back. I need to hear you words again.
Standing and dusting off my dress, the blood stain is smeared, but remains. I want to stay, but I have to go. I have to leave the foot of the cross. This is the closest I’ve come to Jesus. If I could stay here, I would. The soldiers are coming to take down the body. As I begin to leave, I hear the soldier in charge say something about him being the son of God. Did he believe? I feel like I’m leaving a part of me at the cross. What will the third day bring?