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Comrie St,
Wanniassa ACT
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Good Friday

It wasn’t the nails, though they were bad enough. It was his head. And it seemed
to be getting worse.
When he tried to rest his head against the wood there had been a blinding pain
that made him cry out.
It had started with the beating. Blindfolded and tied to a chair in a cell. Then the
blows to the head, never knowing where the next one was coming from.
Finally, the hammer blow and the crack of fractured bone. What was that? The
centurion’s heavy, swagger stick? The man must have lost his temper, furious
that they could not break his will.

Now it is almost over. The ground seems a long way below him. The women
are there, determined and defiant as ever. And a handful of ragged children.
Street urchins who have pushed and wriggled through to the front of the crowd.
Of such is the …
One of the other men being executed shouts angrily, resentfully, accusingly:
‘Save yourself – and save us.’ And his unspoken words: Why did you not join
us? You could have led us in the fight for freedom – for justice.
There is silence. The words are more painful than the wounds. Maybe he’s
right. Perhaps it would have been different. But armed struggle is never the
answer.
The darkness is closing in now. My God, my God, it is cold. Why have they
forsaken me? If feels almost as if God has forsaken me.
The ordeal seems endless, but he knows they do not want him dead. It sounds
bizarre but he is probably the only man they ever crucified and did not want
dead. They want more than death. They want him to beg for his life. To sell his
soul. Say it was all a sham. Confess. Change sides. Turn traitor. Bow down and
worship Caesar.
Back on the mountaintop: ‘All this I will, we give you, if you will …’
Deep in his thoughts, he almost misses it:
Someone calling his name. The other political prisoner, freedom-fighter, zealot.
Whatever. But not a criminal. He is shouting hoarsely. Urgently:
‘Jesus, remember me.’ Remember me. Remember me.
Remember you when, my brother?
‘When you come into your Kingdom.’
When? Did you say when … not if? Are you so sure?
A shaft of light pierces the darkness. It’s not so cold now.
He looks down at the ground far below. There is no sign of the Twelve. Only
the women. One of the children has edged closer. The guards seem not to have
noticed her, she is so small and thin.
She stands staring up, but not at him. She is staring at the other man.
Registering what he has said. Remember. Remember me. Remember me when … 

He can see it in her eyes. She is not watching: she is listening. Listening
intently. Lost in the moment. Remember. Remember this.
A woman comes up and takes her hand. She too is listening, as the women
always do. While the famous Twelve had argued and boasted, the women
listened.
Maybe all is not lost. Maybe the women. And a child …
Shall the last be first, after all? He smiles.
And then he died.
David Rhodes

The Rev Anne Ryan has been the minister at Tuggeranong Uniting since 2010. Prior to that she was a Resource Minister in the Riverina Presbytery, and minister in settlement at other congregations throughout New South Wales. Anne is retiring from congregational ministry in July 2017.

Quote for today

...But you know Him, for He lives with you, and will be in you. John14:17

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Contact Us

P: (02) 6231 0488
F: (02) 6296 3403

Comrie Street
Wanniassa ACT 2903

PO Box 423
Erindale Centre ACT 2903 

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About Our Church

Our faith community began in 1975 as a small ecumenical gathering of people who settled in the new Canberra township of Tuggeranong. We have grown with the Tuggeranong Community, and our parish centre is the hub for our work, as a place of worship, of gathering and ministry.

We aim to help people have life to the full. We welcome people into a our Christian community where they can connect with God, with one another and with opportunities to make a difference in our changing world.

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