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WELCOME to this selection of Book Excerpts from The VI Hours. This story is about Anthony, who is a young christian living in the first century. He has an interesting dream about what it would have been like to be crucified with Jesus. These excerpts begin with Anthony's Dream.
END OF CHAPTER IV (On the Road to Calvary) EXCERPT...
Though my body was tired, my mind was active with imagination. As I drifted in and out of sleep, scenes paraded in my head, like an act in a drama play. All of a sudden I was standing in the middle of a crowd. First, I noticed the noise. There was the sound of many people talking and shouting, mixed with the sounds of soldier’s rough orders, and the clash of steel armour. And then there was a fainter sound of men groaning and women sobbing, which mingled all together, and was so intense that I could hardly think. Then I felt the heat. The sun was getting stronger, and all the people pushing and crowding around me, made me feel like I could scarcely breathe. While I was still spinning from all of this, the odour hit me like a slap on the face. Perhaps it was intensified because of the heat, but the smell of sweat, and bodies, and even blood, caused me to feel quite sick.
Then I jumped at the crack of a whip quite close at hand. There was a resounding thud as it hit its target, which was the stooped and bloody body of a man, who was staggering under a huge, dirty wooden cross!
CHAPTER V (My Soldier) EXCERPT...
I asked a soldier, “What’s going on here? Who is this man, and what has he done?”
He looked at me sternly. “Haven’t you heard?! He’s Jesus of Nazareth who claims to be the Son of God.” I couldn’t believe what I heard. The man carrying the cross did not look anything like the Jesus that I knew!
Before I could think it through, I opened my mouth. “I know Him! He’s a great teacher. He has inspired a lot of people, and they say He has a special anointing from God to heal the sick and even raise the dead.”
The soldier shouted, as he turned away, “He’s a liar, and a criminal!”
I was overwhelmed. What is happening here? I could almost feel the injustice and the evil of what they were going to do. My head was throbbing trying to take it all in, but I knew I had to do... something! I ran after the soldier and pleaded, “You have to stop this! It isn’t right. You are all making a terrible mistake.”
He spun around to face me with anger in his eyes. “Who are you to accuse me? You must be one of His followers. We know what to do with you!” He turned to a subordinate and barked out an order, “Get another cross!”
There I stood in indecision, shaking. I don’t really think you could blame me. Should I run, or do I need to stay? Something was stirring deep in my conscience and soul, and somehow I felt that I needed to carry a cross too.
I looked up ahead towards Jesus. The crowd swelled around him and the Roman soldiers were prodding Him to move on, but He stopped long enough to look back at me. His eyes spoke volumes.
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