He knows what you did.You creep forward, pressing against the wall of fear that pushes against you. The crowd has thinned considerably in the past few hours, but there are enough people left for you to hide yourself amongst them. You keep your eyes on the ground before you, not daring to look up. The nonchalant voices around you swell as you push deeper and deeper into the gathering of bodies. No one else seems very affected by the events playing out before them. Laughter rings out, harsh and acidic, from the gather of soldiers up ahead. As you walk, you notice a crimson trickle winding its way down the hill, and you struggle to force back the nausea that rushes into your gut. You hear the cadence louder now. He knows what you did. The sounds and the smells and the heat all increase with each step you take. But you know it is not really the cacophony or the stench or the scorching sun that are keeping you from taking a full breath. It is the leaden fingers of guilt that have wound themselves around your neck, squeezing tighter and tighter until you are not sure you can take it anymore. He knows what you did.
He knows what you did.
He knows what you did.
It takes everything in you, but finally you arrive at the front of the crowd. From this distance, you can hear the soft sound of a woman weeping not fifty yards away. You lower your head, trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible. It’s ridiculous, you know it, but you hope against all logic and reason that you will not be recognized. He knows what you did. The sweat is pouring down your back now, but you no longer notice the heat, although the sun is still high in the sky. Instead your feel a chill that cuts through to the marrow of your bones. You shiver violently. He knows what you did. Your treason stretches out in your mind, a panorama of betrayal and rebellion. Time rolls by slowly as you stand there, unaware of anything but your own guilt and fear and the horrific sight of scarlet streams sliding through the sand before you. He knows what you did. Perhaps it is minutes or perhaps it is an hour before you abruptly become aware. He is watching you.
For a moment you are utterly still. You don’t breathe, you don’t think, you don’t feel your heart beat. And for the first time, you don’t hear the heavy footsteps of shame sounding in your head. You realize that you don't have a choice, and the impossible happens. You look up.
You see the wood stained red. You see the body that is flogged beyond recognition. You see the pools of blood on the ground. But that is not where you fix your gaze, because from under a thorny crown, His eyes find yours. He knows. You wait for the wrath you know you deserve. As you stand there, motionlessly looking into the bruised, blood-covered face, you see His lips move. It is barely a whisper, but His words are unmistakable.
And with that, the condemning cadence is silenced. In its place is the heartbeat of Love, echoing through all eternity.