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Ee By Gum Lord!: T' Crewcifixion

On this Good Friday Arnold Kellett re-tells in his native Broad Yorkshire the Gospel account of the crucifixion of Jesus.

At-after t' sodgers took t' prisoners aht to a place knawn as t' Skull 'Ill what t' Jeews called i' their tongue 'Golgotha', an't' Romans called 'Calvary'. It wor a grim sooart o' place, just ahtside t' city walls, an' nut far from a rooad throng wi' fowk just t' spot fer makkin a public mockery o' some poor sowl.

Well, as sooin as the' get theeare, t' centewrion jumps off 'is 'oss an' starts bawlin' aht orders to 'is men. T sodgers lig t' cross-beams on t' grahnd, then shove t' three prisoners on top. Ter gi'e Romans the'r dew, the're deeacent enough to offer t' victims summat to 'elp ter deeaden t' pain a sup o' wine mingled wi' myrrh. But when they offer it ter Jesus 'e shaks 'is 'eead, an' says nay, but 'e's bahn to tak t' full brunt o' t' pain an' sufferin'.

So the' stretch aht 'is arms, sam up the'r 'ammers, an' bray gurt nails through 'is 'ands an' feet, fastenin' 'im ter t' wood as calm as yer please. The' thowt nowt abaht it. It wor summat the'd 'ad ter do umpteen times afooare.

Jesus cries aht wi't' agony, but 'e says some words an' all words 'at mak t' sodgers feel ashamed o' thersens. Wheeareas t' two thieves cuss and sweear, Jesus starts ter pray fer 'is tormenters.

'Fatther,' he calls aht, 'Fergive these lads the' dooan't understand what it is the'r doin'!'

It wor just nine o'clock when the' shoved t' crosses inter t' sockets. All t' centewrion an' 'is men 'ed ter do nah wor ter stay theeare an' wait fer three men ter dee. So ter pass t' time on the' gat aht the'r dice an' started gamblin' fer t' clooase 'at the'd
stripped off Jesus specially t' coit, 'cos it wor a grand bit o' material, an' t' whole coit wor wowen aht of a single piece of 'ome-spun.

Bi this time quite a crahd 'ad gathered, an' some on 'em preeasts an' Scribes an' Pharisees an' such-like started makkin' a mockery o' Jesus. 'Why doesn't ta come dahn from yon cross, then? Eh? Come on! Tha mun save thissen! Nay! If tha's t' King o' t' Jeews, tha can sewerly come dahn from yon cross! Do that an' we'll believe thi!'

'The're reight,' muttered one o' t' thieves. 'Nah, Jesus. If tha's what tha reckons ter be t' Messiah, an' all that tha could save thissen, an' us two inter t' bargin!'

'Thee shut thi gob!' shahted t' other thief. 'Ah'm capped tha's nut flaid ter face t' Judgement o' t' Almighty, same as I am. Nay, us two are gettin' nowt ner mooare ner wi deserve. But this gentleman's done nowt wrong!' Then, varry quiet an' serious, like, 'e said ter Jesus: 'I believe tha's a king. When tha comes inter thi kingdom, Lord, tha'll remember me, weean't-ta?'

'Ah will that', said Jesus. 'This varry day, lad, tha's bahn to be wi' me i' Paradise!'

Then Jesus saw 'is mutther, Mary, standin' theeare such a sorrowful object an' young John tryin' ter comfort 'er. 'See, Mutther', said Jesus. 'Theeare's a neew son fer thi. John'll look after thi, dooan't thee fret! An' then 'e just said ter John: 'From nah on, this is thi mutther! Look after 'er, lad!'

Well, when it gat ter bi abaht nooin-time, t' sky began ter come ower all strange an' dark, an' it stayed like that fer three 'ahrs. Then, all of a sudden, at abaht three o'clock i' t' afternooin, Jesus started tryin' ter recite one o' t' Psalms abaht t' Sufferin' Servant. 'Eloi, Elot, 'e began an' e'd spokken i' such a lahd voice 'at some o' t' fowk standin' theeare gawpin said: "Eark at 'im! E's callin' fer Elijah ter come an' 'elp 'im!'

Then Jesus said summat else t' only time 'at 'e iwer complained. 'Ah'm thirsty', 'e said. 'Mi throit's clemmed.' So someb'dy ran off an' sooaked a sponge i' wine. Then the' shoved it on t' end of a stick, an' reyched it up to 'im ter moisten 'is lips.
Then Jesus yelled aht wi' a sooart o' cry o' triumph: 'It's all ovverl That's t' finish).' An' just as 'e wor breathin' 'is last, some on 'em 'eeard 'im gasp aht: 'Fatther, Ah yield mi sperrit inter thy everlastin' arms.'

An' suddenly the'r wor a rumblin' an' a tremblin' one o' them theeare earth tremors an't' Temple wor shakked that much 'at t' curtin i' front o' t' sanctewary wor riwen i' two an' all t' fowk standin' theeare wer' flaid ter deeath.

T' centewrion in charge o' t' job wor as 'ard as nails, a proper owd campaigner, afeeared o' nowt. But 'e seeamed sickened when 'e saw 'at Jesus wor deead. 'E stood theeare fer a minute, lookin' reight full up, an' then instead o' bawlin' aht 'is orders, 'e just said all reverent, like 'Tha knaws the'r wor summat abaht this Jesus ... Aye, 'e wor a reight grand chapl No wonder fowk said 'e wor t' Son o' God!'

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