Monday Rewrite: Sacrifice

He stands in the temple court, can hear the cries of the lambs being slaughtered. Can smell the blood and hear the flapping of the wings of pigeons. Money rattles, and sacrifices change hands.
He flinches as he rubs at a splinter in his finger. A sign of his work. Then another splinter slips deeper into his being, a splinter in the shape of a cross. Another sign of another work.
So much blood here, so many sacrifices. Soon another sacrifice will replace them all. The life blood of another will run and it will lubricate the gates of heaven, causing them to swing wide.
He shivers as a whip cracks in the street outside. The Romans are coming through, make way for the powerful ones. He catches a brief glimpse of swords and armour. So strong and yet so weak.
Soon the powerful ones will nail up a new sacrifice and it will be enough, enough for all the animals suffering here. Enough for all the people suffering too. Enough for all the sins and all the mistakes and all the wrongdoing.
And it will usher in a new age of sacrifice, another kind of laying down of life. Living offerings. Daily worship, lives laid down for others. Small sacrifices changing the course of things. He glances down, blood runs at his feet. Soon it will be his.
A rumbling sound distracts him, someone’s dragging a table loaded with money and scales. It sounds so much like something else, like a stone rolling away, leaving a tomb wide open, so that a resurrected body can walk free.
He works the splinter out of his finger and slips back into the street. But with every step, every smile, every kind word, that other splinter, that other cross-shaped sign, works its way more deeply into his being.

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