Criminal on the cross
(Written by Liz Rodrigues and brought to life in Dramatic Presentation @
the Orange County Gospel Fellowship 2013)
I’m nailed to a cross; the heat of the sun is beating on me. The pain is unbearable. The spikes through my hands have ripped my tendons and sinews; my skin is ripped, my bones are crush and blood is dripping from my body. I take breaths and they seem to be getting more and more shallow.
Yes, I am screaming with every bit of energy I have left; yelling at the top of my bruised lungs. Does God only hear the righteous? What do I have to lose? It’s an ongoing monolog. Get us down from here. I thought you were the Son of God. All those miracles you did. Do you have one more—now would be a good time! I don’t have much breath in me left. Do you see what’s happening here?
Do you hear them? The insults come from many tongues; from me, from the other thief. I can see he’s is angry too. We are hanging on a cross just like Jesus! Can’t you hear us? Does God answer prayer?
Then it happened. This criminal—because that’s what he is. No different than me! He begins to dialogue with the “King of the Jews”. I shout out to him, “Have you not been listening”? I’ve been talking to Jesus this entire miserable time. He begins to tell me to be quiet. I’ve been trying to get us to live and he’s telling me to hush. What has caused this fool to converse with Jesus; just moments before he was spewing insults at him?
His heart; something happened—I don’t know when it occurred since we have not been able to escape the cross. How did he encounter God? I’m mean really, I don’t recall him leaving the cross and entering the temple. Jesus is fixing his gaze on this man. He is giving him his attention; inclining his ear to him. I shout, “Jesus he’s no good”! No better than me!
I heard it. He asked him; Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom. What Kingdom; if he was a King would he be hanging on a cross?
Jesus answers him: I assure you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
God bless you!~Liz
God bless you!~Liz