A Good Friday Short Story

Black clouds billow across the bleak sky. Distant thunder rumbles beyond Jerusalem. The sun dies overhead. Spiked through, Jesus hangs, bleeding, chest heaving, gasping forgiveness to the murdering ilk gathered round beneath him.

Bitter laughter erupts to the left of Jesus. A thief’s hoarse voice says, “Save yourself and us, Messiah!” The last word oozes sarcasm even as another rivulet of blood drips down the nose of Jesus.

“Enough, Uzzi—you blaspheming fool!” This strained voice comes from Jesus’s right—the other thief. “Death deserved is ours, not his.” A deep breath, then, “Jesus, my name … is Asa. Please …” Another breath. “Please remember me!”

Messiah’s eyes creep right, find Asa there—a thief, yes, but penitent, grasping forgiveness. A surge of life swells within Jesus, and he parts blood-wet, ragged lips. Words come, haggard, whispered at first, unheard by either thief, but then Messiah’s voice strengthens and smooth-spoken syllables follow:

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