Think of the robed man. Think of him as he was stripped of his clothing. Think of him carrying a wooden cross around town, with a barbed crown on his head, being incessantly mocked by the people he thought he can change.
Think of the trial beforehand. Think of the fact that he was his own attorney. Think of how the jury would rather set a convicted murderer free than keep free a good man who is equal parts doctor, food provider, and preacher. Think of the fact that no one from the towns he visited were let in the court to his defense, which is something no court today will ever allow.
Think of him as he was left hanging on that cross. Think of the torture and punishment—undeserved and unwarranted—that he had to endure beforehand. That’s got to fucking hurt so much as to numb. Think of how surprisingly chill he was to two actual crooks. Think of how he tried to alleviate his mother’s grief, even if the pain of burying your own child is worse and more unbearable than childbirth itself. Think of his immediate family, who watched helplessly as soldiers tease and taunt the man into submission.
Think of that dinner. It was supposed to be an ordinary night, like usual. The robed man and his crew will talk about plans for the next week, itinerary, how to get funding, when and where to hold their sermons, and review that day’s progress. And yet the robed man knows he’s fucked. His own crew member, his treasurer, ratted him out. After his prayer, he gets arrested, with none of his crew there to bail him out. Even his own subordinate—the guy who got the Keys to The Kingdom from this same robed man—disowned him.
Think of what the entire ordeal must have been like to his significant other. She knows the robed man is good and has done no crime—in fact, she was saved from a life of disgrace thanks to him—and yet here he is, arrested for blasphemy, despite saying nothing slanderous or libelous to anyone. She saw him die anyway even if she did everything she could to save him, even if the robed man himself wanted to die.
Think of how, through all this, the robed man did not mind. He screamed from the pain, cried from the grief, but he took the whole process in stride. He knew his treasurer was a double-crosser. He knew the trial was rigged. He knew he was gonna lose his life. He knew that all his crew and his 72 recruits were gonna be found, tried, and executed for following what the ruling dynasty sees as a man that the world today would call, with derision, a “mindfulness expert”, and continuing what he set out to do.
And yet he took every single wound and bruise with a calm acceptance that is veiled in the mortal screams. He still managed to allay the worries of the few who believed in him. He recognized the compassion of the man who helped him out in carrying the plank on which he will be nailed. He gave a proverbial free ski pass to a thief, while in total clinical shock, hanging maybe 15 feet in the air. He recognized the fact that many of the soldiers and torturers were merely following orders, and deserve forgiveness. He knows that he has accomplished all that is needed to do, even if he’s just 33 and can do even more had he lived for 33 more.
So before you celebrate Easter, think of the robed man’s death. More to the point, think of those who sacrificed it all to try and make the world a better place, in one way or another. Few are willing to give it all; even fewer will ask for nothing in return.