Jesus, I wish I had not been there;
yet I am glad I was.
Do I sound confused?
It was just chance that I was in the crowd
when they were leading you out of the city.
It was just by chance that they picked me out.
Just chance... wasn’t it?
And I had to carry your Cross.
I didn’t want to,
Yet you were so in need and so weak,
So I did, and though I cannot say I was pleased to do it,
I was glad I was with you, walked beside you, and helped you bear the load.
And what a load to bear!
And to what a place we were headed.
And what cruelty and screams and agony and horror!
Yes, I wish I had not been there;
yet I am glad I was.
I will never be the same,
and just as I followed you up the hill,
and helped you bear the burden,
I will go on following you, whatever that means,
and will still take up the Cross.
I am not even sure I really know what that means,
but they tell me it is the kind of thing you said.
And as I take up my cross and follow you,
I suspect that there will be times when I wish I had not,
and times when I will be more than glad I did!
And I know I will never be the same again.
By David and Jane Denniston
The crucifixion of Jesus
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, “Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!” Then
‘“they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’”
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?’
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left.