*Authorsnote. Pondering on the love of God and his grace and forgiveness I was inspired to write this piece from the fiction angle of Ahaz the criminal who received forgiveness on the cross beside yeshua. Enjoy
THE FATE OF AHAZ
“Ooooouuuccchhhh…..” Was the sound that came from Ahaz as the nail drove into his hand?
Clang! Clang! Clang! Was the sound of the iron nails as the harmer pushed them further into Ahaz’s skin.
Even though he was in pain, Ahaz had a brief moment of humor. The soundtrack of the moment was “Clang! Ouch!” as he cried out in anguish. Ahaz didn’t want to cry or shout but there was nothing bearable when a Nail was being driven into your hands – it was natural stimulus to shout. He had sworn not to cry at all through this crucifixion process – he didn’t cry in jail or trial or even when he was being flogged but now at the crux of it couldn’t steel himself.
Tears began to flow. This was the end of his life! Like the old Wise Sage said “Everything was vanity”
Ahaz’s life flashed before his eyes in a blur. He was born thirty three years ago about the same time Jesus “The Messiah” who was presently beside him was born. Ahaz grew up hating Jesus. When Jesus had been born, the king had ordered the killing of all boys age two and below. While Ahaz had heard that Joseph and Mary had run away with Jesus, his own parents risked it and dressed him in female clothing while hiding him from anyone. Ahaz had grown up to meet a much oppressed Jewish society where the Romans oppressed the Jews at will. He had noticed it right from when he was a little boy running on the streets and being harassed by Roman boys to growing up and watching his own father beaten to death by Roman soldiers for a useless acclaimed crime he didn’t even commit.
That night Ahaz swore to himself not to obey the Roman authorities anymore. He left the synagogue because it was obvious that Abrahams Yahweh had forgotten them and they had to fight against the Romans. Those days Ahaz had lay in bed angry every day. Angry that Yahweh would call them his chosen people and leave them at the mercy of Roman infidels who didn’t worship him. That Yahweh was punishing them for the sins of their parents and not giving them a chance. He had concluded that Yahweh was dead and had forgotten about his people.
That was how Ahaz’s journey as a rebel begun. He joined the rebels and disturbed the Romans any chance he got. He knew it was only a matter of time before he died but it was better than living a life of total oppression.
Ahaz remembered his first encounter with Jesus of Nazareth. He and his group had just circled a tax collector by name Joshua and were trying to rob him. It was a ‘noble cause’ because they hated tax collectors and rightly. Tax collectors were Jews that oppressed other Jews on behalf of the wicked Romans they deserved no sympathy. Joshua had been begging as well as some Jews and Jesus of Nazareth simply asked them to release him. The mob had almost turned on Jesus because he was always preaching peace and another kingdom and yet claiming to be the Messiah Yahweh was sending to deliver them but the Roman soldiers came and dispersed the crowd. Ahaz had been jailed not long after that.
And today here he was beside the very man he had mocked and spited who was actually the Messiah. After seeing all the works Jesus did Ahaz believed he was a messiah. He still had his doubts but the works he had seen and heard of were wonderful. The day Jesus had healed the man born blind Ahaz had been there. A principle of his particular band of bandits was to take care of the destitute and so Ahaz had been there to feed the blind man when Jesus put mud in his eyes and told him to wash and the man came back praising God. Ahaz had not become a disciple of Jesus that day only because he had a reputation as a freedom fighter and he was yet to see Jesus save Israel and here he was with Jesus about to die. Ahaz knew Jesus was not of the world and would do anything to follow Jesus into the afterlife but he didn’t want to ask because he knew Jesus remembered him and what good after life did he deserve after all? When he spent his life causing trouble.
Just then Gad the leader of another band who was being crucified with them spoke up
“Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
Ahaz didn’t know how it started but he replied in reflex
“Don’t you fear God since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong?”
Then he summoned courage and said,
“Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom?”
For a split second everything paused as Ahaz considered what Jesus might do. The people down had been spiting and insulting Jesus – it was possible Jesus could just strike him down immediately in anger or would condemn him already. Ahaz wondered to himself why he even eventually asked but then faintly at first he heard Jesus begin to answer
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise”
Today you will be with me in Paradise. The words Rang in Ahaz ears again and again. The hope he had lost since that day his father died began to ring in his heart again. Jesus had just offered him forgiveness when he didn’t deserve it. When he had opposed even Jesus’ ministry amongst other nefarious crimes and murders. He was going to be in Paradise.
Later on before Ahaz would die, he would cry tears in appreciation to Jesus for saving him and dream into unconsciousness what Paradise would be like.