About Writing this Book
The Other Thief came about after a deep conversation with a dear friend, which led to me wondering what impact that one thief's story may have had in all the years since the crucifixion.
The idea that one small request, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom." could result in getting to be with Jesus forever in Paradise is huge. (And that was after previously mocking Jesus—check it out. He did both.)
I couldn't help but wonder how many people have been helped by that story (or could be), and that led to having to write, but first study. This book is the result of serious study and creativity applied to an amazing story of God's love.
I've had the opportunity to perform The other Thief for a church's Easter service and perform it on the radio the following Easter (that was amazing). I hope you'll read it, and enjoy.
Here's a brief sample of The Other Thief
By Geno Allen ©2012
My name… isn’t important. But, my story is. It’s the story of the only thing I did right in all my days on earth. And, though that sounds overly dramatic, it’s the truth. But, the story isn’t even about me really. It’s about Him.
I’m going to tell it the way I felt it at the time. And, if you need a name to call me, you can just call me The Other Thief. Because—believe me—there are far worse things you could call me that would be equally true. But that’s not important either. The story is…. So, here goes.
I’d been arrested—rightfully. My trial was held early in the morning. There were witnesses to nearly everything I was accused of. It went quickly. The judge had made up his mind and was about to pronounce my sentence. My heart pounded in my chest, drowning out his words. My mind flooded with the brute reality I was facing.
Oh, man... I’m guilty. I’m caught and I’m guilty. This… this is the real thing. How did I get here?
The judge was speaking.
Stop thinking and listen you idiot! … What did he say? I didn’t hear him. I didn’t hear what he said! I didn’t even hear the verdict… but… … oh god. The judge’s eyes… … I’m gunna die.
I was right. The sentence was death, but not something simple. No. I was to be made an example of.
They’re going to crucify me? I can’t be crucified…! If you’re gunna kill me, hang me or… behead me… something that’s quick, something painless! On second thought… just don’t kill me at all.
My life passed through my mind in a flash of images, and everything I saw was damning—every memory—I saw all the wrong I’d done—the people I’d hurt…. I hung my head. Part of me thought the punishment fitting. The other part of me was scared to death.
They put me in a cell to await my execution, but not before the soldiers took their pot shots at me. They were brutal, and I was bruised and bloodied by the time they locked me up.
As the cell door clanged shut I shouted, “Vipers! Villains! Isn’t it bad enough you get to kill me?!” … … “I’m gunna die….”
Who am I to call them villains? Look at me… How many times have I been the villain in some else’s story? Today… today I get what’s coming to me. I get what I deserve.
“Come on… Stop whining. Man up and face this!”
I was trying to be strong—to stop being afraid, but…
Another man was about to have his moment with the guards. Through a grate in the wall I heard the order given. “Punish him to appease the crowds. Be sure the people see blood.”
I didn’t hear the man’s name, but I heard his beating from my cell. Apparently the soldiers were taking special pride in their work. I wasn’t what you could call a compassionate soul, but after the first few cracks of the whip—cat of nine tails actually… awful … I’d been whipped before, but… I couldn’t imagine. I… I didn’t so much hear the crack of the whip, just what it was doing to his body. The way he was crying out… strike after strike. His cries…
My gut twisted with each agonizing one of them. His pain made my knees so weak I had to sit. The guards—the beasts—were cheering each other on. One shouted to another, “make him bleed more, Cassius!”
In my cell all I could think was, God I hate those soldiers.
Time and again the whip struck, flesh tore, and that man cried out. For that brief period, I forgot I’d been sentenced to death. I forgot my bruises and of my self-centeredness… and my heart ached for the poor soul they were torturing.
I had no idea how many times they struck him. But it was more than I’d ever received. I was surprised he survived. But he did. They took him away and I was left to my thoughts—none of which were pleasant. I thought of all the things I’d done wrong, and wondered what that man must have done to deserve such horrific treatment. I wished harm on the soldiers who beat me, and surprisingly even more on the soldiers who beat that man. If one of them had dared stand before me right then, I would have spat in his face.
Midday approached and my time had come. They pulled me from my cell, punched me, whipped me—at least it wasn’t a cat-of-nine-tails—they forced me to carry my cross up the road to Golgotha—the Place of the Skull—where I would meet death. On that road I saw the man they were torturing. The sight of him snatched the breath from my chest.
MONSTERS! Who could do that to another human being? They’d beaten him so badly flesh hung from his body in ribbons. He barely looked like a man. They’d made a mock crown out of thorns and beaten it down onto his head.
How… how can he even stand?
I was stopped in my tracks, dumbstruck by the gruesome sight. That’s when he collapsed. And as strange as it sounds, my first thought was how the dirt and rocks must have burned as he fell on them with open wounds.
They forced another man to carry his cross, but only because he couldn’t have made the walk to Golgotha otherwise.
A soldier shouted something at me that didn’t register and then… Aahhh!
A whip found my back and I nearly dropped my cross. The soldier shouted again and this time I heard, ‘Get a move on!’