Washing of the Lamb
I could no longer stand to see Him like that, so I decided that I would take Him down. I had no understanding of what had happened and the events that had been recorded.
All I saw and felt was the Lord Jesus Christ beaten and murdered, hanging on a Cross - and I wanted to free Him and cleanse Him. I needed to take care of Him and treat His body with kindness. I began thinking of how I could take Him down, without causing Him to fall, as I had no one to help me.
I found a small stone and decided to first remove the nail from His feet. I went around the back of the Cross and beat against the nail until it came out, which caused His legs to fall straight.
I prayed to Him as I was working, asking Him to forgive me if I was causing Him any pain or discomfort and asked Him to help me. I did not consider that I was talking to someone who appeared dead before me, knowing He heard my prayer.
I removed the long white robe I was wearing and tore it in two. I covered my lower body with the lower half, so that I would not touch the Lord with the part that had been exposed to the dirt, as the robe was long and had dragged the ground when I bowed before the Lord.
I took the upper half which had remained mostly clean and wound it up as a rope. I wrapped it around my neck, so that I could easily loosen it, making sure it would not fall from me.
I climbed up the back of the Cross, grabbing the center piece with both hands. I then clamped the bottom center beam with the inner sides of my feet. I slowly climbed up, and then perched myself at the cross section, where the beams intersected. I took the upper part of the robe from around my neck and loosened it.
I gently placed it under the Lord’s arms and across His chest, tied it to the backside of the center beam, and then fastened the top end to my waist to secure Him.
I took the stone from my lower robe and removed the nail from His left hand, causing His arm to fall to His side - and the robe caught His weight.
I made sure I was firmly secured before I removed the last nail, as the robe was to hold the full weight of His body once it was removed.
I readied myself and then removed the nail from His right hand and His body dropped, but the robe prevented Him from touching the ground.
With His weight bearing down on my waist, I crossed my legs over the center beams, with my arms holding fast to the robe across each side of it. I wrapped my right arm into the robe, so that when I released it from my waist, I could hold His body until I could get my left arm in place and let Him down softly.
I took my left hand and untied the crossover knot from my waist, causing His weight to fall on my right arm and press my chest against the back and top side of the main beam. This nearly threw the Lord and I both to the ground, except for the strength of my legs wrapped around the cross-section.
I wrapped my left arm in the slack of the robe created when I untied it from my waist, and slowly lowered His body to the ground. His legs folded gently to one side and His body rested upon the ground. I rested for a moment, relieved that I had not dropped Him harshly.
I climbed back down the Cross and untied the robe from around His chest. I then took the robe and unfolded it and began to shake it in the air. It had dust and the Lord’s blood on it, and I tried to clean off the dust as much as I could.
I took the robe and spread it out on the ground beside Him, and then proceeded to lift His upper body onto it first. After placing His head and upper body onto the robe, I lifted His waist and legs and placed them onto the robe as well.
I knelt beside Him and wept as I looked upon His broken body. I began to break away the thorns from the crown that had been placed on His head. I carefully broke off the ones lodged into His skin and broke the crown into two pieces from the side, gently lifting His head to remove it.
I wanted to throw it over the hill, but knowing it was precious I instead laid it beside His body on the robe.
I could not stop weeping and tears continued to roll down my face. I took my right hand and gently moved away His hair away from His forehead and eyes.
I began to look around to see where I could take Him to wash His body off and remove the blood and dirt from Him.
I prayed out loud, asking Him which direction I should take Him. I walked around the hilltop, past the Cross that was to the left of His, and discovered a trail leading down the hillside. As I looked, I saw a small stream, and decided that I would take Him there to wash Him.
I thought I would not be strong enough to carry Him in my arms that far and would have to drag Him on the robe. I took hold of the foot of the robe, but as I looked down upon Him, I could not bear the thought of my Lord being dragged across the ground.
I bowed my Head and prayed that He give me the strength to carry Him in my arms, so that I would not bring disgrace to Him. I then knelt beside Him and with my right arm reached under His upper back, lifting Him onto my right knee and placed His upper body across it.
I then reached under the backside of His upper legs and with my left arm placed the rest of His body across both knees. I leaned Him towards me and firmly embraced Him against my chest and upper arms, setting Him against me; then I stood straight up with Him.
His weight strained my body and lower back, but I was determined in my heart to carry Him and kept asking Him to give me strength. I was able to carry Him to the place where the stream was running.
When I got to the stream my body was exhausted, so I knelt down slowly and fell onto my backside, as if squatting. Then I sat down and held Him in my arms across my lap as a mother would a small child.
I took a few moments to catch my breath, gain my composure and get my strength back. As I sat there, I looked down at Him and my sadness was great, as I thought about the amount of suffering that He had gone through, knowing my suffering amounted to nothing compared with His.
He had done no wrong to anyone, and I had done so much. It was completely unfair, and I became very angry at myself - and the whole world - for what we were as a people; shameful in every way and unworthy of Him, having no regard for the true nature of who He was and why He came. Mankind, in all of our pettiness and self-righteousness, sought glory only for ourselves and made Him out to be a byword, used without regard.
We talked of Him as if He were a normal man and not with the Holiness of who He was and is, and I began to get angrier and angrier as I stared at Him.
I looked around and saw nothing but barren desert. The setting reflected the emptiness and hopelessness I felt inside.
I recalled how I always believed that I was not good enough for Him. Not because of the love He had for me, or the sacrifice He had made; rather I had felt that way because of my anger towards Him, and I never recognized the truth of it before.
I was angry at Him because He was God and I was not, and because He expected me to be all of these things, and to follow all of these rules, designed to keep me from being happy; and if I couldn’t be what He wanted, I was to suffer for eternity.
I did not know what love was, and even in the times that I attempted to follow His ways, it had always been out of fear and not out of love. This only served to make me angrier at Him, because I always failed, so that I did not even try any longer.
I never truly considered the amount of love He had for mankind, or why He had come. Although the truth seemed simple, I never genuinely grasped it.
All of this I pondered in my heart as I held Him in my arms, and I could not deny the true nature of who I had been in the sight of Him. Even as I held Him in death, His very presence brought forth a truth that love is greater than anything, and He was the only one who had ever reflected absolute love.
I could now see plainly that He was love, and in love He had overcome all things that were evil. And yet, we are not able to completely comprehend the meaning of His love, or how great He was and is.
I decided it was time to wash Him, and I gently sat His body on the ground beside the stream of water. I stood up and tore a piece of my bottom robe to use in order to wash Him. The water was light brown in color and not as clean as I would have liked, but I had nothing else to use so it would have to do.
I stepped into the water, which went up to my waist, and then reached out and took hold of the edge of the robe, pulling His body closer to the edge of the stream.
I said a few words to express my affection toward Him, and then dipped the torn piece of the robe into the water, soaking it wet and wringing it out. I began to wipe off the top of His head and His hair first, removing the blood that had now dried, along with the dirt and dust.
I continued to dip the towel into the water and wash it as clean as I could, until I had washed His body down. Once the dust and dried blood was removed, I was able to see the severity of His wounds and how broken His body truly was, for it had been mostly concealed before.