A few months back, my daughter asked me if I thought I would have believed Jesus was who he said he was if I lived during the time he lived on earth. I wish I could have answered very strongly: "Of course!" But sometimes I wonder if my role wouldn't have been a little more like this:
Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And I began to accuse him, saying "I have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king." Then I began shouting: "Crucify him! Crucify him!" With loud shouts, I insistently demanded that he be crucified and my shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant my demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one I asked for, and surrendered Jesus to my will.
The governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetoreum and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. I stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. I put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" I said. I spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After I had mocked him, I took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then I led him away to crucify him.
As we were going out, we met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and we forced him to carry the cross. We came to a place called Golgotha (which means the Place of the Skull). There, I offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall, but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When I had crucified him, I divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, I kept watch over him there.
I hurled insults at him, shaking my head and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" I mocked him. "He saved others," I said, "but he can't save himself!" I continued to heap insults on him.
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. For the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.