It was a grizzly day, heavy clouds occupied the whole firmament, even though the sun appeared timidly now and again, spilling a tenuous light on the earth of Judah.
An intermittent and uncomfortable wind swept
whole dismal scenery, lifting dust and removing foliage that fell off the olive trees and
cypresses and were dispersed along the slope, in the direction of the Kidron Valley.
The arid and irregular land showed in its horizon the profile of the mountains, with a dark
brown shade, making the day gloomier and sorrowful in that afternoon of April.
Three crosses of wood if elevated in the landscape, rising out of the ground with three men crucified. Two were in death agony with horrible screams and disturbing laments. The man on the right, known by Dimes, obstinately fought to overcome the cramps that were already taking possession of his muscles, and disabling his breathing.
German is the man name crucified of the left, anguished was debating in an unheard effort to stay free, breaking the solidity of the iron nail that fixed his hands and feet in the cross. And how much more he forced, imposing more vigor in your movements, more curses and blasphemies he yelled.
In the cross of the middle was JESUS, the SON OF GOD, totally covered of wounds and without life. The panorama was lugubrious and it only inspired compassion and pity.
Close to the Cross of CHRIST, was Mary, HIS dear Mother, and the Holy Women, and John "the Evangelist". (John 19.25-26) In the proximity, there were small groups that composed the picture. In one of them were Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea that belonged to the Great Jewish Council and that secretly sympathized with the Doctrine of the Crucified. In another group, several people cried and lamented for HIM, detesting the cruel and bloody epilogue for "That-Man" who had only made good, that only taught what was correct, and HE preached the concord and the love. Their laments were only interrupted by painful hiccups which broke the silence that covered the atmosphere of the Calvary.
More to the left of CHRIST, there was a group of curious people that stayed there in the expectation of some new facts to happen, very close to them there were scribes’ and Pharisees’ groups, among them there were some that had conspired against The LORD. They criticized and mocked OF HIM, sceptics of HIS Divine power.
Vinicius was the only Roman soldier that stayed in the place, watching the crucified. He was restless and afraid. He didn't get to control his emotions since the moment that several manifestations of the nature happened, the sun hiding in a long eclipse and spilling darkness in Jerusalem. Lightnings and thunders scratched out the space and resound with a deafening noise, as if it were to fall a terrible storm. The earth trembled and shook the houses and opened many graves, causing panic and fear, and, inexplicably, the veil of the Temple, that separates the Saint of the Saints, torn itself from top to bottom without any human intervention.
He was a simple man, of primary instruction, but he felt something very strong. He felt that those manifestations when JESUS expired they indicated that something very extraordinary had just happened. He didn't know what was, but he imagined that was related with the crucified called JESUS. Because of this he was afflicted and very apprehensive.
Cautiously he if approached of the group of Holy Women... He wanted to see what they were doing, and tried to understand their attitudes and demonstrations of pain. But they simply cried, one next to the other, as if they wanted in a fraternal way, console the weeping mutually, without however, getting to control the own weep, retaining an immense commotion which involved all them. Those terrible events with the atrocity that JESUS passed, from the Flagellation in the Praetorian, by the "Via Cruces" until the Calvary, and Your abominable death in the Cross, they were present and alive on your thoughts letting great affliction in their hearts.
Vinicius understood the drama of those people and stayed sensitized. He evaluated the great love and affection which united them, and the melancholy that took possession of their hearts. Although he didn't know anything and he didn’t understand anything about that man, he stayed mournful and desolated with that impressive scene.
Slowly he lifted the head and sought in a glance the Face of the Crucified. JESUS was with the head hung lightly to the front and maintained the eyes and the mouth closed. From the hair dark and in disorder, fillets of blood went down in His Face and doing contour in His wrinkles and scars. The Face was horribly with wounds and sores as well as the left side of the mouth and in the eyebrow; the nose was swollen and well skinned in the main extremity; in the whole body, the arms and the legs, could be seen marks of whips and signs of cruelty, caused by merciless violence. Shallow sores and deep, wounds of all sizes, bloodstained scars, full of dust that transformed HIM into a spectrum of man, even though the image of the dignity, as the profile of an honest sovereign could be seen IN HIM.
It was past 5p.m., when steps in military cadence indicated the arrival of a Roman garrison with three soldiers under the command of a man called Longinus.
Observing that Dimes and
German were still alive, they broke their legs with an iron bar. Although it was
a barbaric habit, it was used in that time to speed up the death of the
crucified. Because with broken legs they not could more to force the feet against
the cross to lift up their bodies and breathe, this way, they have died by
When approaching of JESUS, they saw that HE was already dead. But to certify, the Centurion Longinus using the lance crossed over the right side with violence and determination, opening an enormous wound and reaching the JESUS' Heart, coming out blood and water. (John 19.34)
It happened that the soldier Longinus was surprised by the amount of blood that it came down sliding over his lance that reached his hand and sprinkled in his eyes. Irritated and demonstrating disgust, he fixed the lance into the ground. And later, trying to maintain the habitual indifference and tranquility, he sought the sponge that was used to offer vinegar at JESUS, in order to clean the eyes, the hand and the lance. However it was surprised again when verifying that, although he got to remove the excess of blood, the eyes were burning, the palm of the right hand and the longitudinal extension of the lance they have stayed stained with red blood of the LORD. Distrustful and finding strange the event, it tried to hide of the companions.
The three "malefactors" were already dead and therefore the mission in Golgotha was accomplished. So he gave command voice, and soon the soldiers have stayed aligned, including Vinicius, and then they returned to the city to tell Pilates about work in the Calvary. At the long of the return, Longinus began to feel strange reactions in the organism. His arms were shaking as if he was losing force, or as if the lance was becoming heavier and due to this he felt difficulties to carry the lance. Besides that sometimes he didn't see right, his vision it was cloudy and also he felt a very big pressure in head, similar to the pains caused by a headache which caused an immense fatigue and a great discouragement in the body. He didn't understand what was happening. He was young, strong, very healthy, had fed himself regularly and, particularly, on that day, was if feeling happy, glad and with much disposition to work. For that reason he didn't understand those reactions in his body.
Marching with difficulty, he tried to hide from the companions the tension that was feeling, in order not to demonstrate weakness, and also because he didn't know the origin of those reactions. He knew that something abnormal was happening, but didn't know what was. So, he kept silence and marched up to the Roman Tribunal which stayed close to the Jewish Temple.
Arriving there, he gave the news to Pilates about the death of the crucified, and has gone to the place where the guards used to stay. He pulled a small stool and sat down and leaning against the wall; with curiosity he looked his hands and examined the lance painstakingly... They were still stained of blood. He rubbed a piece of cloth vigorously in his hands and on the lance for to clean. In vain, because the stain it remained there. Then he got up, took a towel and went to wash the hands and the lance in a water tank. He washed them vigorously, but with no success. Admired, and not knowing what to do, he if seated back in the same place and there he remained very thoughtful.
He was born with a problem in the two eyes. There were occasions that it shed so many tears which he stayed completely with the vision cloudy. Following the friends advices he tried a series of treatments, without any improvement. Now, it was with the eyes burning because of the JESUS' blood! What was happening?
In his life, although he was
sympathizer of some gods, he didn't cultivate, nor practiced any religion. He
didn't have formed any conviction about religion, and then, he behaved even with
certain indifference, when someone spoke with him about this subject. For this
reason, as it happens with the incredulous people, he was easily involved by
At that time, nervously digressed his thought recollecting a series of common superstitions, imagining the fact as indicating a curse of the Crucified and that this would be the symptom of a very serious disease,"which would condemn him to death."
But, and the blood-stain on the lance, what
And so, consumed by a whirl of thoughts, he stayed for a long time in that nook.
That day it ended like all the others, with a bugle sound calling the soldiers have gone to lodgings.
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