He was standing in the shadows, when a woman dumped a bucket of dirty water out of a window above. He heard her yell “Hey watch out below!”, and jumped aside just in time to see it hit the ground and splatter across his shoes. From the smell of it, he figured it was dirty mop water. All of this happened within a matter of seconds when he heard a whistle blow and he realized his mistake.
Just one stupid mistake and they knew where he was. Thankfully he wasn’t close to where his family was hidden.
Thinking quickly he rounds a corner into another dark ally, dodging crates and debris scattered along the way, takes a few more quick turns and continues on. Fortunately he knows this area and has been able to avoid the authorities for several years. He tucks into a tunnel that runs under the city, confident he was in the clear.
Unfortunately, someone had tipped the authorities of his whereabouts. They knew he would be out today and had people posted throughout the area he was believed to frequent. Even down in the tunnels.
It was judgement day. He was dragged out before everyone. Accused of breaking the law. Accused of hiding his family and secretly carrying documents and distributing them throughout the city.
“He is not alone in this evil business. He is only a small man in a big plot against us!” the accuser yelled.
He was brutally beaten, as they demanded he tell them where the others were. They even threatened his family trying to get him to speak. He refused.
So now chained to a pole in a courtyard, bruised, swollen and bloody, barely able to stand, he keeps his head up, before them all.
In the crowd there are those who know him. They fight to hold their emotions in check as soldiers march in and line up in a row in front of their friend. The accuser moves close to him and in a loud voice once again asks “Tell us where the others are!” He turned his head toward the voice and with one last burst of strength, loudly exclaims. “No!”
The accuser, filled with hatred, turns and walks away and turns to the soldiers. “On my mark”. The sound of the rifles being readied to fire, could be heard throughout the courtyard.
The noise was deafening as it ricocheted off the buildings. People were covering their ears as they looked on at the dead body sagging against the pole. Blood ran and filled the crevasses in the stone pavement.
As they dragged his body away and people disbursed, one man says to another “I’ve never seen anything like that before. He wouldn’t give them up. I don’t understand. Self-preservation is the only way. Why would he do that?”
“It’s sacrifice man. He cared for others more than himself.” was the reply.
~ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13