Many walked by the hill that day as they hurried about their business.They were on the road heading in and out of the city. The morning was slipping by and there was much to be done. They had no time to gawk at those on the hill. Besides, they’d seen it all before.Thieves, murderers and crooks paying for their crimes.
If they had paid attention, they would have watched guards laughing and gambling. Not an uncommon activity. They would have heard sobs from those gathered - not an uncommon sound. They would have seen blood stained crosses holding convicted men - not an uncommon sight. But, they had places to go and things to do. They didn’t notice. Until the sky turned dark as night in the middle of the afternoon. Noon in fact. Was a storm approaching? Should they seek cover? Many continued on hoping to avoid what might be coming.People looked at the sky over and over again. For three hours.
For three hours, Pilate paced in his opulent quarters wondering about his wife’s dream.
For three hours, members of the religious council conferred with each other over decisions made and allegiances sealed.
For three hours, hiding disciples wept.
Then...a shout from the hill.
The earth rumbled and shook.They heard the roar as dirt moved beneath their feet and they dodged bouncing debris. They watched in terror as huge rocks split like eggshells. Women shrieked and children cried out in panic. The noise was loud and angry. The rubble flew and dust clouded. Panic prevailed. And then, it stopped.
People stood up, dusted themselves off and moved on.They slapped one another on the back in congratulations.“Praise be to Yahweh,” they said. “He saved us from death.”
For three hours that Friday.