Do these soldiers have no brothers or sons?
Could they feel nothing? Did splinters pierce their calloused hands as they held his to that wretched cross? Their muscles strained against coarse tunics. Hands and feet stained by spurts of blood of the only Son of God. How could they have committed this atrocity if they had felt anything?
17 So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol′gotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
John 19: 17-18 RSV
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the scripture,
“They parted my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
John 19: 23-24 RSV
Were their ears deaf as His words of consolation and care scraped across bruised and bloody lips? Were their hearts so hardened that they couldn't see the love of God poured out from the shadow of the cross?
25 So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag′dalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
John 19: 25-27 RSV