For the last 22 years the people of Benque Viejo have been re-enacting the Good Friday passion and death of Jesus, bringing to life the envy and malice which spurred Jewish leaders to insist on the execution of Jesus by crucifixion.
“Crucify him!” they roared at the Roman Governor, until Pilate relented, and gave in to their demand.
The trial, at 10 o’clock in the morning, began at the Governor’s House, a stately building facing the Benque Viejo Boulevard, where a large crowd had assembled.
On the verandah, facing the street, stood Pilate, the Roman Governor, and Jesus, his hands shackled, beside him.
The trial was held to determine the fate of Jesus. Pilate defended Jesus because he could see that malice was the cause of all the resentment. But when the High Priest and elders stood up to him, it was Pilate who backed down.
In the end he signed a proclamation giving his official approval for execution by crucifixion.
Jesus is led away to be put to death by hanging him upon a cross. He already has a crown of thorns thrust down on his head, and he has no sandals on his feet.
The heavy cross is laid on his shoulders and Jesus staggers off beneath the weight.
The Roman soldiers urge him on with vigorous lashes from their whips and the macabre procession gets under way.
The sun is beating down fiercely, scorching the pavement beneath Jesus’ feet. Yet he moves on with high resolve to see this thing through.
The Romans are unrelenting with their blood-soaked scourges, and it is not long before Jesus falls the first time. He would collapse a second and third time under the weight of the punishment, until finally he arrives at the place of his execution, the church yard where already three crosses are erected, one for Jesus and for two thieves who are being executed along with Jesus.
At Calvary the soldiers strip Jesus of his outer garments, leaving him with only his loincloth.They leave him panting on the ground, his body convulsed with pain as they deal first with the two thieves.
Each one is ”nailed” to his cross, but no nails are used.
There is a small platform on which the soon-to-be-executed victims are allowed to stand after they have been hoisted up, using a pulley.
While this is happening, the Romans allow the Mother of Jesus and others who accompanied Mary to approach and comfort Jesus.
They wipe the blood from his face and after the soldiers grab Jesus by his hands and feet and dump him on the cross.