I can barely stand because I am so heavy with guilt and shame, but there I am, weighed over, torn, bruised and broken. My hair is unkempt, and there is dust on my face. An angry crowd of spectators is encircling me, and in my hand there is a ticket thatís been handed to me. On this ticket are inscribed my sins and all of the crimes that I have committed, and of course my price, my penalty- death!
I hang my head in shame as the crowd surrounds me. They are my accusers. They have seen me commit these atrocities. They have caught me in these very sins. They know of the evils that I have engaged in. I have been exposed and for that they laugh. They jeer. They begin to call out my sins in mocking voices:
They know very well of my sins.
They kick dust at me, tossing small stones at my face. I shudder at them, and cower under the weight of their condemnation. They point their fingers and stare with scornful eyes. Their grimaces contort in satisfaction. I notice them slowly begin to close in on me. I know that they seek to satisfy the penalty for my crime soon. They tell me to lift my ticket, and as they roar I can feel their spit land on my face. I close my eyes shut and clench the fist that contains the ticket. My hand is shaking. I know that they seek for me to pay.
Their voices grow louder, and I can now feel their hot and bitter breath upon me. It stings as they continue in their pursuit against me. It is time now. I know that I cannot put it off any longer. I have sinned. I have done the crimes that are written upon this ticket and I must pay.
I shut my tear filled eyes and I lift my shaking hand out toward them. I expect a quick snatch or a rough tug of the ticket from my hand. Surprisingly instead, what I feel is a hand suddenly over mine. The very fist that contains my guilty ticket is now being held? I open my eyes and struggle to see past my stinging tears. Before me is a Man, quite different from the onlookers and accusers, and in His eyes is the deepest of compassion. I blink hard. I want to capture Him clearly to make sure that this is not some apparition before me, but the tenderness of His hand on mine is very real. All of a sudden, His hand slips off of mine. He seems to smile at me even though His lips have made no motion, and neither has He said a word. Then I see it. In the hand that He has drawn back to Himself is my ticket. My hands have been emptied!
I am so confused right now, as you can imagine. See, that is the ticket that says all those horrible things like "liar", "thief" and "fornicator", and the Man before me is none of those things. Thatís my guilty ticket that Heís holding. But, before I can protest, they who were once my accusers are now encircling Him. They begin to yell at Him and all the while He remains timid and calm, with His eyes still completely fixed on me.
Oh, the brokenness I feel when they spit on Him, and toss angry words and punches. I yell for them to stop. This man is not guilty. He has not committed a crime. Donít they see that? I thrust my hands forth to lay hold of Him to get my ticket back but the crowd is too strong against me. Without warning, they start taking Him away. The Kind, Gentle, Timid, and very Innocent Man is being lead away by the multitude. "DEATH!" They scream.
He is still looking at me the whole time that the mass swarms and seeks to suffocate Him with the very threats that should belong to me. Yet His eyes never accuse. I am crying loudly now; my heart is aching like never before. I watch them drag Him up a hill willingly, and I canít stop sobbing because I am the guilty one, you see. The Innocent Man is holding my ticket and He is about to pay its price for me.