Why Was He Crucified?
“Why did he have to die? Why was he crucified? What did he do wrong?”
“Who are you talking about?
“That man that was beaten more than any other man I’ve seen. What did he do to deserve to be beaten so badly?”
“You are much too young to understand. Besides, did your mother and I not discuss this with you before? You are much too young to watch the trials and beatings and far too young to watch the crucifixions.”
He watched as his son sat with his shoulders hunched over. He was much too young to have such a confused and troubled looked on his innocent face. He feared his son was growing up too fast in this environment. What was it doing to him? How much longer will they be here? How can he protect his innocence? How can he explain what happened, when he’s so unsure of the reality that just unfolded? The time has both rushed by and has gone by far too slow, since he first saw this man from Galilee. Why did it have to happen this way?
“Is it true?”
“Was he the son of God? And if so, which god? Why must he die just because he is someone’s son? I am your son, will I have to die one day?”
“To be perfectly honest, I am not sure how to answer your questions, except I know that you will never have to die for being my son, that I can assure you.”
“But how can you be so sure?”
This was far to difficult and complicated to make sense of. “I do know that man was more different than any other man I’ve ever seen or talked to. Even your mother had a dream about him.”
“I really liked him, father, even though I never really met him or knew him. I wanted to meet him, to walk and talk with him. He seemed kind. I can’t imagine him doing anything wrong to deserve what happened to him. I just don’t understand.”
With a deep sigh and heavy shoulders, his father said, “I agree, I don’t understand it either. Sometimes things happen in life that we won’t always understand. The important thing is to be fair and do what is right.” Had he been fair? Did he do what was right? He may never know the answers to these questions.
“Do you think it’s true that he rose from the dead? How is that possible?”
“Where did you hear that? Who told you that?”
“I overheard some talking in the courtyard today. Is it true? I mean, how can it be true, father?”
He knew he was about to say things his son wouldn’t fully understand for many years to come, perhaps he may never understand, but he knew that he needed to do his best to answer some of these questions. “Sit. Please. I will do my best to help you understand, but you must know that I am uncertain of so much of the events that just took place.”
About this time, his mother walked in the door and appeared concerned by the thick air and the looks on their faces. Her expression told me that she knew what this was about. It’s all she could think about and all anyone could talk about for the past three days. She quietly sat next to her son and placed an arm around him.
“His name, as you may have heard, was Jesus. It is said that he was a prophet, one who could tell the future with accuracy. He went throughout the land performing miracles. But that is not what is said that made him so special to some and such a threat to others.”
“Then what did?”
“It was how he made people feel. They, like you, were drawn to him, but many didn’t understand why. Some said he was just a man. Some claimed he was just a prophet. Others said he was the son of God. The one true God. The living God.”
“What does that all mean?”
“I’m not fully sure.”
This was going to be more difficult than he had anticipated. “I believe he died not for what he did wrong, but what he did right. I know that makes no sense, but you will have to trust me. What he did right was a threat to the Jewish leaders. They envied him and they despised him. They fought among themselves to explain who he was, but the real leaders drowned out the many that raised questions. It’s even said that some went to see him under the cover of night and began to follow him. This new man, this new movement was beginning to threaten the internal structure of their religious organization and had to be stopped. It all unfolded so fast, but I believe it had been secretly planned for a long time now.”
“Seems power can be dangerous.”
“It can be, given a heart set on greed.”
“They were so many and he was but one man.”
The words of his son drove into him and by the look on his wife face, he knew that she could see his discomfort, his obvious pain and wanted to comfort him. This unfairness, this injustice to this innocent man may haunt him the rest of his life.
“It is said he died on the cross before the guards got to him, that seemed very merciful. They buried him in a tomb and word has it today, that he is no longer in the tomb. He is missing.”
“Did someone steal his body?”
“That’s what many of the religious leaders believe and even some guards are saying so. The looks on the faces of the guards tells me otherwise. What happened to him, we may never know, but one thing is clear to me, something happened at that tomb that was not normal or done by any human hands. Do you remember the great earthquake and the sky turning as dark as night three days ago?”
His son eagerly nodded.
“Me too. Not normal and nothing I’ve ever seen before and believe we will never see again in our lifetime. I’m not sure he was an ordinary man, my son. I must confess that I don’t understand exactly who he was, but ordinary would not be how I would ever define him again. It seemed to me that his death would be the end of it all, but it appears to be just the beginning. I have a feeling that his followers will be sharing what they know in the days to come. The religious leaders will be outraged and this man will be only the first to die. Times are going to be interesting around here, as if they had not already been. Do you understand my son?”
“Not all of it, father,” his son said with both frustration and resolve. “Maybe if I keep listening to hear what others say and maybe I can one day understand.”
I remember how I was when I was his age, full of curiosity and I still am. My son is just like me and will not stop until he finds what he’s looking for. “Son, this is a very dangerous situation, so I want you to be very careful. Promise me.”
Somehow, he knew that the curiosity of his son, much like his own curiosity would not rest until he had the answers he was looking for.
“Father, I must admit to you, even if to no one else, I really like this man named Jesus.”
The name pierced his heart, as it rolled off the innocent lips of his son. Why did this man have such an effect on everyone? On him? He too would be listening to hear more in the days to come.
There was a strong and rapid knock at the door, breaking the somber mood of the room.
“Sir, your presence is needed in the courtyard.”
“Thank you, I will be right there.”
As Pilate got up to leave, he stole one more glance at his son. He wished he could do a better job to explain what happened and he longed to shelter his son from the tragic events that just took place and his own role in it all. He never wants his son to see him as an unjust man. But it maybe too late for such wishes. Though his son is too young to fully understand why he did what he felt he had to do. Will he hate him? There is time to show him that he is a just man and perhaps we can search answers to his son’s questions, his own questions.
“Son, I’d like to talk again about this next week, to see what you’ve learned from hearing others in the upcoming week. Perhaps I will learn something new that I can share too. How does that sound?”
“Great!” he yelled as he wiggled lose from his mom’s arms and took off running and smiling.
“The joys and innocence of a child,” he said shaking his head and smiling at his wife.
His wife asked in a more serious tone, “what do you make of all this? Do you think he rose from the dead?”
“After some of the things I’ve seen in the last few days, I’m beginning to believe anything is possible when it comes to this man, Jesus. I will be intrigued to hear more, but must be diligent to maintain my role on behalf of my Emperor and Rome. But I fear rest will elude me, if I don’t try to learn more about this innocent man that I surrendered to the men that hated him. I must go now. See you at dinner tonight,” Pilate said as he kissed his wife and went back to work.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading our post today and God bless,