Dust and grit blew everywhere that day, in my eyes and ears, stinging my weather-beaten face. As a shepherd, I was used to being outside but this was something else.

The noise was tremendous, crying, shouting, jeering, it was hard to think.

Looking around I saw the crowd was mixed, some soldiers, women, children and lots of strangers who spoke with different dialects.

There was a lot of confusion which was surprising as usually the soldiers broke up crowds gathering in case of trouble starting. There certainly was an atmosphere of trouble brewing that day!

I was jostled and pushed by others impatient to see what was going on, I almost fell but managed to regain my footing. Some young people climbed trees for a better vantage point, knowing this was impossible at my age I waited.

A buzz went through the crowd and a great murmuring, I could not catch what they were saying so great was the noise.

“What is happening?”, I asked the tall man wrapped in a garment like the type fishermen wear.

“He has arrived,” he said as he brushed away the tears that ran down his face, “He is here.”

Silence fell over the crowd as though everyone had suddenly been struck dumb. It was eerie. The sky darkened and thunder rolled in the distance. The wind had dropped and a strange stillness enveloped the crowd, even the children stood silent, gazing at the man.

He was badly bruised and bore cuts where they had beaten him, his feet bled from walking on the rough stones, they had taken his sandals. Sweat ran down his forehead and mingled with his blood, and yet he stood quietly and submitted to the rough treatment of the soldiers.

Pushing him to the ground they lay him spread out on a wooden cross and producing large nails hammered his feet and wrists to the cross.

He made no sound.

I knew all of this, I was there.

A Parishioner