Each tail of the whip whistled a slightly different pitch as it sliced through the air. The susurration ending dully with a drumroll as each barbed end bit into waiting flesh – a spray of blood fanning out to land on the faces and feet of the onlookers each time the lictor drew back for another blow.
A king? They would not condone such mockery of their precious state. Again and again the flagrum found its mark, not stopping, as the law prescribed, at 39, but continuing. On and on.
Opening the skin until it hung like fringe, exposing muscle beneath. Muscle that was so recently used to lift the bread and the cup. Muscle that once lifted arms to gesture to the waves – calming them as a frightened child. Muscle that once opened the scroll to announce its fulfillment. Muscle now letting go of its life, pouring it out upon the stones.
A reprieve made only of a scratchy cloth draped over open wounds – soaking in the life, sticking to the flesh. Thorns piercing the scalp and sending more blood running, matting hair and stinging eyes. Blows inflicted by a makeshift, eagle-less standard that no one would search for when it was lost. The cloth torn away again as the taunting continued – releasing more of the precious liquid. The legionaries’ hands covered in thick redness as they fought and then gambled for the cloth, fully unaware of the utter pricelessness of the staining liquid.
The heavy tree forced atop fleshless back, splinters like needles bringing more blood. Step by tortured step it seeped into the ground, drop after drop imprinted on the soles of feet that followed behind.
Knees scraped open as they hit the stones below leaving more blood behind on the road. The Cyrene called in to carry the tree when it’s bearer could no longer stand. The blood dripped down over his shoulders, transferring strength and new life.
The climb making His heart pound with increased elevation, blood pouring through every wound.
Arteries straining as nails carved their way into wood below.
Running, pouring down the tree; rivulets pooling and pushing through the dusty ground to find more recipients kneeling or standing there below.
Final rush as pilum is thrust. Water and blood spilling to earth pushing the rivulets further, wider, faster down The Skull.
Reaching into eternity; I am plunged beneath the fount. Cleansed, saved, adopted, redeemed.
Written in response to The Literary Lion’s weekly flash fiction challenge word: bleeding. Obviously this is NOT based in fiction but on the truth of God’s Word. However, it is my imagination of the sounds, sights, and feelings that would have occurred based on the Biblical depiction of Jesus’s last hours. So to write about something so precious to me and try to make it succinct enough to fit into 400 words or less – I had to try.
Warning: the video below is extremely graphic – it contains scenes from The Passion put to Hillsong’s Oh, Precious is the Flow. I promise, I didn’t see it before I wrote. After I finished writing, I was only looking for the song that inspired my title to include here, but when I saw the song put with images so very similar to what I was seeing in my mind, I just had to use it. Some of the scripture is in Spanish (I think), which I can’t read, but I am trusting that whoever wrote the scripture in did it correctly for those of you who can read it. (Please feel free to correct me on my amateur language identification if necessary – I would appreciate it.)