The characters in these daily postings are fictional. I enjoy understanding the makeup of various characters – how they dress – how they talk – what they think and how they relate to others. The stories are taken from actual events which occurred during Jesus’ ministry from the point of view of those who were witness to them. The time was right for God to send His Son into the world. It was all part of His amazing plan for our salvation. I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me.
DAMIEN – A JERUSALEM BLACKSMITH
I am a Roman citizen. My years of life took place during the time when Roman soldiers were a common sight in my city. We were under their thumb. Even those of us who were considered to be part of the infrastructure of the city, were still enslaved in a manner of speaking. The Romans taxed all the merchants and craftsmen mercilessly. The Roman armies were strong and had to be outfitted with swords, shields and armor which required mass production. The smaller jobs, like making tools, hardware, horse shoes and things that could be made quickly were done in shops like mine.
Most of the iron I used was scrap metal from the larger foundries. I made molds for many of the items I made so the process wasn’t so intense. It also allowed me to make several at a time. Most of the items I sold were for the every day person. The metal was imported from other parts of the world.
One day, after filling a rather large order for the Roman army, I was approached by a centurion who commented on the quality of my work. He said he would recommend me for future projects. Of course I was honored, but my desire for more work left me thinking of my own selfish needs rather than what I would be commissioned to produce. The Romans were a brutal people. The soldiers were trained to be so. Part of their punishment for those scheduled to be executed was crucifixion. It was a means of torture that slowly led to death. The process put the criminal on display so that others would think twice before committing any crime against the state. I provided the spikes that would pierce the skin and be driven through cartilage to position the body for hanging and eventual death.
The spikes were made of scraps of metal and formed into sharp objects about 7″ long. I could make many of these spikes at a time, but had no idea what the object of their intention would be until that day when they nailed Jesus to a cross. He was positioned between two criminals who were obviously guilty of their crimes, but Jesus didn’t seem to fit the description at all. I heard Him when he preached on the Mount of Olives. His voice radiated over thousands of people. eager to hear his words of peace and love. Even though that voice was powerful enough to reach a crowd like that, it also held comfort and hope for people who had been oppressed for centuries.
I was a witness to His death. He was beaten to a pulp as blood poured from His wounds. Flies and other insects feasted on is blood. His eyes were swollen from the bruising He endured. He was unrecognizable has a human being. The mocking crowd eventually grew tired of waiting for Him to die and left the scene. My eyes went straight to those spikes and realized that I was as much responsible for this innocent man’s death as those who pounded the nails into His flesh. Still, I knew that I was forgiven for my part in it. As HIs eyes surveyed the crowd below He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Jesus was truly the Messiah I’d heard about. He had not only come for the Jews, but for all the people of the world. My heart felt the sting of death for a moment, but I am no longer afraid. Jesus didn’t die just for me, but for all people.