The Nazarene Way of
Jesus the Son of Man by Kahlil Gibran
BARABBAS: THE LAST WORDS OF JESUS
THEY RELEASED ME and chose Him. Then He rose and I fell down. And they held Him a victim and a sacrifice for the passover. I was freed from my chains, and walked with the throng behind Him, but I was a living man going to my own grave.
I should have fled to the desert where shame is burned out by the sun. Yet I walked with those who had chosen Him to bear my crime. When they nailed Him on His cross I stood there. I saw and I heard but I seemed outside of my body.
The thief who was crucified on His right said to Him, "Are you bleeding with me, even you, Jesus of Nazareth?" And Jesus answered and said, "Were it not for this nail that stays my hand I would reach forth and clasp your hand. "We are crucified together."
Then He looked down and gazed upon His mother and a young man who stood beside her. He said, "Mother, behold your son standing beside you. "Woman, behold a man who shall carry these drops of my blood to the North Country."
And when he heard the wailing of the women of Galilee He said, "Behold, they weep and I thirst. "I am held too high to reach their tears. "I will not take vinegar and gall to quench this thirst."
Then His eyes opened wide to the sky, and He said, "Father, why hast Thou foresaken us?" And then He said in compassion, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
When He uttered those words methought I saw all men prostrated before God beseeching forgiveness for the crucifixion of this one man. Then again He said with a great voice: "Father, into Thy hand I yield back my spirit."
And at last He lifted up His head and said, "Now it is finished, but only upon this hill." And He closed His eyes. Then lightning cracked the dark skies, and there was a great thunder.
I know now that those who slew Him in my stead achieved my endless torment. His crucifixion endured but for an hour. But I shall be crucified unto the end of my years.
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