Narrator It seemed an endless afternoon.
In the crowd, I would suppose, was a priest, one of those who had given approval to the plot against Jesus. Perhaps he was not a bad man, merely ambitious, or jealous, or fearful. He became a witness to forgiveness.
Priest This is a terrible business – why didn’t that fellow Jesus just stay away from the people – he should have known we couldn’t allow him to go on like he was. He just acted like he wasn’t bound by any of the proprieties. Sometimes it seemed like he was speaking the most profound wisdom, then he would turn around and spout nonsense that no one could believe. Yes, it is a filthy business, and the filthy Roman soldiers love their sport.
Narrator And Luke recounts the first word that Jesus spoke from the Cross – a word of forgiveness:
The First Word — Luke 23:32-34: Two other criminals were also led away to be executed with him. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Text from AFB, “The Endless Afternoon” (2009); photo by Fred Holland Day, “Seven Last Words of Christ (First Word)” (1898).