So Much Blood: A Bystander’s Tale

Click here to read a free short story: So Much Blood: A Bystander's Tale by Jamie Rohrbaugh | FromHisPresence.comLet’s end our Holy Week series with this, shall we? I have never written fiction before, but the Lord downloaded this short story for Easter while I was meditating on the flogging of Christ some time ago. I pray it will bless you as we remember and honor the suffering of Jesus. – Jamie

I stand in the courtyard as an angry mob mills all around me. I’ve found a post to lean on the outskirts of the crowd, and I think I’m safe here. The cobblestone pavement is gray and cold. The sun has just come up on this spring morning. But the chill in the air pales in comparison to the chill in my spirit.

They’re angry at this man, this prisoner. They’re angry and they want to kill him, and nothing seems to get in their way. Not truth, not right, not justice, not the law. They’ve abandoned all sense—common and uncommon—and are shouting murderous threats. I ought to leave, but I can’t… this is too big, too sensational, not to see how it turns out.

My thoughts interrupted by a new wave of noise, I look up and stand on my tiptoes so I can see. A soldier is coming—wait, he’s coming right toward me. He’s pulling the prisoner, but the prisoner isn’t fighting him at all. Huh; strange prisoner. Most folks would be fighting to get away, or at least fighting for fair treatment, but not this one.

The soldier approaches me and the crowd parts. Oh, wait – it’s not me he wants. It’s the post I’m leaning on. I’m not sure what they want with the post, but I move to the side. Don’t want to get in the way of the Romans; it’s better to just move when I’m told.

I can only move a few steps away. The crowd is too thick for me to get away. As I reposition myself to the side, I catch the prisoner’s eyes by accident. I’m shocked by what I see there. I see no anger, no bitterness, no defending himself. Instead, I see clear eyes, pure eyes, eyes that look into the very depths of my soul. I’m shaken by His eyes.

The soldier pulls the prisoner up to the post and ties him to it. I’m on the forefront of the crowd now. I’m not sure what’s about to happen, but I hear more shouting coming from the Roman garrison. The crowd parts again to let another soldier through. This soldier is big and muscular. The sneer on his face tells me he’s not used to being messed with, and I certainly am not going to get in his way. He’s carrying something—

Uh oh.

It’s a whip.

Not just any whip, either. It’s a Roman scourge.

My heart sinks in my chest. I’ve never seen a Roman scourging, but it looks like I’m about to. The soldier comes up, shouting and sneering at the crowd. He’s getting them riled up again. Then, barely looking at his intended victim, he pulls back that huge arm. The scourge whistles through the air as the soldier throws his whole arm into the blow, lunging forward and striking the hapless prisoner.

I wince. No matter what this prisoner did, you can’t help but feel his pain. Blood wells to the surface. His flesh begins to tear, then rip, then come completely off. What began as a trickle of blood becomes a river. It’s running down his body, down his legs, onto the pavement. There’s so much blood it spatters and splashes into the air with every lash.

Some of it starts to get on me. I close my eyes. Don’t faint, don’t faint, don’t faint. So much blood. I see the blood on my dress, on my sandals, on my bare feet. It’s everywhere. The people standing around me are getting splashed, too. We can’t get away.

I try to stay calm. I don’t want to make a scene and get pulled into this. Somehow I manage to imagine myself somewhere else while the flogging continues. If only the poor prisoner were so lucky… but he’s not. His flesh rips and tears. When the soldier is done, you can’t even tell this prisoner was human. He’s a sopping, bloody mess. And somehow – he stands up.

I don’t know how his legs are still working. I don’t understand why he’s not dead yet. He might as well just give up; surely he doesn’t have long to live anyway. Blood is still flowing. How much blood can one man have?

I close my eyes again, and the crowd mills around me. There’s talking coming from the balcony. Shouts of “Crucify him! Away with him!” The soldiers surround the prisoner. I hear noise, shouts, commands, and then after what seems like an eternity, the noise starts to fade. The soldiers are taking him outside the courtyard. The mob follows him.

I dare to open my eyes, and I see other women come in. They come right toward me – but wait, it’s not me they want. They’re after the blood. They start to mop up his blood. I hear them whisper to one another words I never imagined hearing:

He is the Christ. Yeshua Mashiach. The Anointed One.”

Christ? This man? How could it be?

I turn, stumbling, and run outside the compound. The streets are full of people, all running outside the city gates. I’m swept up with them, running with them as if we were one body. Thousands of people run with one goal in mind. I’m not sure what it is, but I have an idea.

We pass the city walls and pause at the base of the hill. I look up. I hear hammering, dull thuds, and voices. Low moans reach my ears. I know this Prisoner doesn’t have much longer to live. The Romans know their business.

After what seems like an eternity, the soldiers lift the bloody prisoner up on his cross and secure the cross in place. He’s hanging there like so much meat. Buzzards circle overhead. My stomach turns, knowing what they’re waiting for.

Just then, a bunch of women rush past me—bloody women. I recognize them as the same women who were mopping up His blood in the courtyard.

And despite the scene on the hill, they’re still saying the same thing:

“Jesus. He is perfect. He did no wrong. He is the Christ. Yeshua Mashiach. The Anointed One.”

Then I suddenly remembered hearing the words of the scrolls that my father used to read me when I was a child:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.*

And I believe.

_____________________

*Isaiah 53:5-7

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13 Comments

  1. Jamie, thank you for taking the time and effort to release what God has shown you and placed in your heart. Your sacrifices are not in vain. I am loving these blogs and I know others do too.

  2. Wow…you so took me there with you …in every word…it was powerful, beautiful, and revealing! Thankyou…

    1. Thank you so much, Sharon. I’m so glad Papa blessed you. May we always look at Jesus!

  3. When I first became a christian, I had a hard time seeing myself as a sinner ,according to John 3:16,because I justified myself by saying that I was a good girl, never used drugs, or fooled around with boys as a teenager,I worked and went home afterwards…blah,blah,blah! A friend,who is a Pastor/counselor, gave me an assignment..she said ,”I want you to pretend you’re a reporter and you are being sent to Jerusalem on the day Christ is to be crucified. I want you to write down everything you hear people say, everything you see going on in the city. Follow the crowd to the place Jesus is to be crucified. Walk with the crowd as they pass in front of Jesus on the cross, and listen to what Jesus says to you.” That experience changed my life drastically!! I saw myself for who I really was!! I saw how much Jesus loved me!!! This is only a short version of my assignment and my experience!!!

  4. Karen James says:

    What a Powerful reading! I felt as though I was there, and yet I was because I died that day too. Thank you Jamie for your revelations. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. Adeola Odutola says:

    Jamie I believe your short story. I once saw a real picture of His crucifixion. It was printed by the Navigators in 2002, it was nothing like the airbrushed one’s being peddled about. It is exactly as you have described Him. That picture made me ask God a question,” God I know You, I know Jesus is your Son but what is He to me?” He has answered me in every way only God and Jesus could have in my innermost being ever since. God answers. Lord Jesus enable me walk in a manner that glorifies Your name. Amen

  7. IRMA NORTJE says:

    WOW! Amazing Grace, Amazing Love Thank You Jesus, thanku Jamie

  8. This is fantastic, it was like being transported back to the time of Jesus crucifixion, thankyou for opening our eyes Jamie

  9. Christian says:

    This is so apt. It must be a revelation indeed. God bless you for this.
    Pls do I have your permission to share? I believe someone else needs to read this.

  10. Elizabeth Tuinidau says:

    Wow!!!!!What an amazing wonderful short story❤💯.I do really loved reading it and it reveals to me how important His Blood for me.Hie eyes as you described meant so much for me.He never said anything😭😭😭😭😭❤🙏.He was silent along the way to the CROSS.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH SIS JAMIE.THANKED OUR ABBA FATHER FOR YOUR LIFE,FAMILY AND MINISTRY.BE BLESSED.

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