The carpenter was busy on the day that the procession, led by a man on a donkey, entered Jerusalem as the crowds cheered and waved palm branches. He was too busy earning his living which included making weapons of death. He had made a small fortune from the means of punishment and torture, and his work instilled fear to the sinner. The carpenter had barely heard of this man who now rode into the city, although his name was well known by the poor, the sick and the dispossessed.
But the public are fickle and the man on the donkey, would be dead by the end of the week, hanging on a cross, and still the carpenter would be oblivious of his name.
After the man had been tried and found guilty, by public opinion, he walked through the streets of Jerusalem again, this time stumbling under the burden of the cross he had to carry. Hemmed in on either side of the narrow road, he was jeered and spat at by the crowds. It was at the point when he could walk no further, that a bystander came forward. He could not bare to see this man, this good man, stumble and fall, bleeding and exhausted in the road. He took up the cross and walked behind the broken man, to the place of execution.
His clothes, his cloak and his dignity were taken from him, and he lay on the ground, on the wooded cross and gave himself up to die. As the hammer drove the nails through his flesh, and the wooden cross hauled upright, the executioners steadied it with their blood smeared hands.
At the foot of the cross stood the dying man’s mother who only a week before had spoken with pride of her son’s work, his passion for those left behind in the society in which she lived. She was proud, but concerned, as any mother can be, when their child chooses a way to live that is different. Now she clung to the cross, looking up at her son as he breathes his last breath.
Lord God, I lift up to you those who suffer at the hands of others…..
and for those who are willing to take up the struggle for justice and peace…