Mark 15:24

Then they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots for them, to settle what each should take.

before an inside fades
an outside peels away

with only one cloak
it is nothing to have none

run out of family and home
new ones regularly rise

even hammerers are kin
raising more friends all around

pause for a moment
there’s nothing new here

come place your bet
be dressed in death’s glory

life’s rhythmic way
repeats every coda

will this tale
wag a god

It is imperative to let the lead phrase of this verse linger and echo for a while. Mark’s pace makes it easy to slip right by all that this statement means.

Read it again, “They crucified him.”

It does not need an exclamation mark. Crucifixion with hammer or fountain pen is going on to this day and still too easy to overlook or excuse.

– – – – – – – – – – –

No matter how many crucifixes you see, there was no modesty panel on a cross. You were strung up in all your stark nakedness. This is difficult for us to encode and can be checked the next time you see a crucifix.

A question about the common portrayal is, “who is being protected with this artistic addition and those with Adam and Eve?”

Any response to this question will begin a wondering about where else in the tradition this fudging of reality has crept in.

In this one arena we must salute the soldiers in finding a way around rank demanding its privilege to accumulate the left-overs (are you remembering the baskets after feeding thousands?—another reference to Jesus being bread?). This same dynamic of fairness is enhanced in the early church with reports that its participants shared all things in common.

It is not necessary to return to Psalm 22:18b–19 to bolster this with some mystical foresight of the Psalmist. The scene is grisly enough as it is.

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