A group made its way through the city dump. Homeless children foraging through the hills of trash kept watch. As he climbed the mountain of garbage, his ministry came to mind: grace to the throw-away people; mercy to the broken; meals with the refuse. He carried his own timber. The Romans were efficient and economical executioners; the wood had probably been recycled - stained with the fear-sweat, blood, and the effluvia of death. Some whispered that it had not been recycled, but repurposed - part of a hog-pen.
At the apex of rubbish and waste, he was transfixed in a cruel mockery of transfiguration. Beside him, suffered and slowly died two other criminals. One admitted guilt or culpability; but were they truly bad men, or just victims of an unjust society? I do not know, but i will ask them someday. As the guards played poker with his clothes, the man in the center rasped through dry, cracked lips: "Forgive them Daddy, they don't understand."
The representatives of the religious infrastructure mocked him: "He didn't save others, he can't even save himself!"
The Temple guards and the soldiers of the Empire mocked him and gave him vinegar to drink: "Here is your cup of wine your majesty!"
The crucifix mocked him: "Here is your King of Fools!"
One expiring on another cross mocked him: "You're my savior? Save yourself - and save us while you're at it!."
One expiring on yet another cross intervened: "How can you mock Jesus - you too have been condemned and you suffer beside him. We earned our crosses, but he has done nothing illegal other than to try to help us. Remember me Rabbi when you assume your throne!"
The one in the center spoke again: "I will. You will sit by my side today."
(painting by Paolo Veronese)