sacrifice

The Sacrifice

 

I must walk this path

With tears

Of blood

From eyes

Blinded

By greed and lust;

Groping in the darkness

Of the cruelty

Of my heart;

A walk of shame

And anguish,

Each step an echo

Of reproof and reprimand;

There is no respite

The demons rage and rave

Their goal is to torture

Torment and annihilate;

Every sound is the wail

Of the blood of the innocent

Slain and spilt on the

Earth;

Peace is slaughtered

And arranged

On the altar of wealth and power;

The gods are drunk

The end is near.

ES IV

Easter Series IV- Lifted

“Do not be afraid, go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, there they will see me”

The words of the Master rang in her ears as she rushed into the city. Tears of joy ran from her eyes as she made her way through the crowded streets and caused quite a stir amongst the visitors.

The disciples were so overcome with grief and fear that the news came as a rude shock and they found it hard to believe. As usual, Peter took the lead and decided to go see for himself and John volunteered to follow. His love for the Master had increased since he had been committed with the charge of taking care of the Master’s mother.

True to the words of Mary, the tomb was empty and Peter and John left feeling puzzled. Coupled with the rumors flying about Jesus’ disciples responsible for taking his body, he was at a loss for what to do.

If the Master had indeed arisen from the dead, how come he hadn’t appeared to them? Were they not the closest people to him? Had he not called them his friends even? These thoughts waged a war in his heart.

******

Unable to bear the tension and the hanging threats on their heads, two of the disciples of Jesus decided to leave Jerusalem for Emmaus, a nearby city where they could lay low till things calmed down. Being known as a follower of Jesus was really challenging. The rumors about his resurrection was really causing quite a stir and emotions were raging. There were talks of a possible revolt against the romans.

The roads were deserted as most people were not heading out of the city yet. Normally, there would have been a lot of traffic away from the city since the day before once the Passover was over but the recent events had kept people interested enough to stay for a day or two.

The two disciples talked about these events with heavy hearts. They had given up a lot of things to follow the Master, the Messiah, and the very Son of God. Since his death however, their faith had begun to shake. There had been no sign, no pestilence or thunder from heaven against the romans or the chief priests for their atrocious acts. One doesn’t just up and kill the Son of God and live to tell the tale!

With each step away from the city, vestiges of their faith were beginning to fall away and doubts were increasing. One of them was close to tears. He felt disappointed. All the talks about the kingdom of God and how one needed to sacrifice everything and endure the wrath of the people and rejection from family really sounded like crap at that moment. Where was this kingdom of heaven now? The Son of God lay rotting in a sepulcher at the outskirts of the city, buried like a leper or someone that was deformed. The offspring of David that did not have a resting place in the city of the kings. It was all too disheartening.

Evening was giving way to the night as they approached Emmaus. They were tired and weary, more from a broken heart than from the exhaustion from the journey.

A stranger joined them as they were approaching the village. He passed by them and greeted them excitedly like an old acquaintance. Their responses were less than enthusiastic.

“What is the problem dear friends?’’ the stranger asked boisterously, “why the long faces?”

A faint wave of irritation passed over the face of Cleopas, the taller of the duo. They really were not in the mood for any chit chat and especially not with a happy go lucky stranger. Courtesy however overtook irritation and he replied “are you a stranger sir? Are you not aware of the things that have been happening in Jerusalem these past few days?’’

“What things?” the stranger asked

Cleopas proceeded to narrate the incident to him especially their shattered hopes of Jesus being the savior of Israel and of the reports by the women of how they had seen angels telling them that Jesus was alive but when Peter and the disciples had gone the tomb, they hadn’t seen Jesus, only an empty tomb.

The stranger listened patiently to their stories, his face betraying no emotion at all.

“You are not moved by these” the other disciple asked

He sighed. “You fools” he said quietly “don’t you know that all these things have been prophesied about the Christ and that he must suffer these things and afterwards enter his glory?”

They looked at each other and then at him, befuddled. He then explained to them from the scriptures the prophesies concerning the Christ and their fulfillment, from the virgin birth to the death on the cross.

When he had finished, they were at the village and he told them he had to go on with his journey but the disciples finding him a good company begged him to stay the night with them. They were eager to know more about all he had to say. All they had was some left over unleavened bread from the Passover and a half bottle of wine in the wine skin. He received it with cheerfulness.

He took the bread lifted it up and blessed it and then divided it amongst the two disciples. They froze in their seats and stared. They were looking into the face of Jesus, the Messiah. He was alive and sitting right in front of them with a smile on his face, one they were all too familiar with.

And then he wasn’t.

The savior was alive!

“My heart was burning within me when he was expounding the scriptures to us. I had this familiar feeling of having heard the scriptures being taught in a different way and with authority!” cried Cleopas.

“Me too” Simon, his companion shouted.

“We need to go and tell the others”

With that they headed back to Jerusalem. Their faith was restored and they were ready to publicly identify with the Messiah.

*******

The upper room was filled to the brim. The news of the appearance of the Messiah to Cleopas and Simon had circulated amongst the disciples and they had all gathered to hear from their mouths. The duo had told the story over a dozen times already, their words had more effect than the women’s report. Women were often not taken seriously in these weightier matters.

Suddenly the room grew quiet and everyone stopped talking. The atmosphere changed and skins pricked. Then he was there, appearing out of nowhere.

The people closest to him scampered in different directions. They were afraid it was his ghost. He had never appeared before them before and no one could do that except a spirit.

“Peace be unto you” his voice was cheerful and a smile played on his lips.

Nobody answered.

“Be not afraid” he said, looking at their ashen faces one after the other “it is I”

Still no one moved. Not even Peter, who was making his way slowly towards the back of the crowd. His dreams was replaying in his head and the look on the Master’s face in them. He was overcome with shame and guilt. He wasn’t sure the Master would want to see him. The son of perdition had committed suicide and maybe he too should have.

Jesus turned to him and caught his eye. “Come, touch my hands and my feet”

Peter was transfixed. Did the Master just call to him? No it couldn’t be. The Master’s eyes never left his and he stretched his hands towards him. His eyes were urging him forward. Unwillingly, his legs moved forward till he was standing in front of Jesus.

“Here, touch them”

Slowly, he put his hands forward and touched the holes in his hands. Then the Master took his hands and put it to his side where the spear was thrust into him. It was indeed the Master.

“See? A spirit does not have flesh and blood” Jesus said, a hint of reprimand in his voice.

“Master, it is you” Peter said and bowed at his feet. Slowly, the disciples came forward and touched his hands and his side and bowed before him.

There was a great joy amongst the disciples as they offered him food and drink. He was alive!

******

“I do not believe!” Thomas declared with a note of finality

“How can you accuse all of us of lying?!” it was Nathaniel. “We saw the Lord and we even touched his hands and feet!”

“I do not believe” Thomas repeated, and after a while added “and I would not unless I touch his hands and his feet myself”

With that he sauntered out the door.

A week later, the Lord appeared to them again and straightway he called unto Thomas, “come touch my hands and feet and my sides too”

When he had touched, he bowed and worshipped the Master “My Lord and my God”

There was a hint of sadness in the Master’s eyes. He could not believe the depth of unbelief in their hearts. He had spent three years with them and had expounded the scriptures concerning his death and resurrection to them and yet they did not believe.

“Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe” he said softly.

******

The disciples were growing restless. The Lord had arisen but he was no longer with them at all times, just the occasional appearances. What were they supposed to do now? They had spent the last three years following the Messiah, but he was no longer with them. Yet they could not ask him when he appeared to them. He was now like a stranger, and it was still hard to wrap their heads around his resurrection.

Sure they had seen the dead being raised to life but this was the man that had done it and yet he had been brutally executed and he didn’t defend himself and then he was in the tomb for three days. It was all too much to digest all at once. Nevertheless they rejoiced at his resurrection. It meant they had hope.

One day, Peter announced to the others that he was returning to fishing. Several of the disciples who were before fishermen went along with him. All night they caught nothing and the morning met them frustrated and tired. As they journeyed to the shore, they saw the Master waiting for them.

After they had dined, Jesus turned to Peter, “Do you love me?”

His heart beat faster. Scenes from the betrayal flashed through his eyes and he felt sad that his loyalty was being called to question. He deserved it, he thought dejected. Why shouldn’t it be called to question?

“Do you love me more than these?’’ Jesus asked again.

“Yes, I do Master”

“Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked again

Peter was distraught. The Lord really had no trust in him, and had to ask three times to confirm whether he was saying the truth. The Lord knows all things, he reasoned, couldn’t he see that he really loved him and that he was sorry for betraying him?

“Lord, you know all things” and my heart is all bare and sincere, he added in his heart “You know that I love you”

Jesus sighed. “Feed my sheep”

And for the second time in his life, Peter left all to follow Christ, to feed his sheep and tend his lambs.

******

It was now forty days since the resurrection and Jesus had appeared to his disciples severally and they now believed without a shadow of doubt that he was indeed risen.

It was time to go. He gathered his disciples to the Mount of Olives, in Bethany, the village next to Jerusalem, a day’s journey from the city. While there, he fellowshipped with them and blessed them.

“Go ye into all the world and make disciples of men, teach them to observe everything that I have told you, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I am with you always even unto the end of the world.

You will receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Until you receive the Power however, stay in Jerusalem”

When he had finished with the charge, he began to ascend up into heaven and the disciples followed him with their gaze till he disappeared out of sight.

And then there was silence. They kept looking upwards, with sorrowful hearts, heavy and yearning for their Master, and tears on a few eyes. The Master was gone. They felt empty and lonely. The greatest man that ever lived is no more. The Son has returned to the Father, leaving them bereft.

Two angels appeared in shining apparel and addressed them

“Men of Galilee, why are you gazing up at the skies? This same Jesus that you see taken up into heaven will return in the same way that you see him go up into heaven”

With these words, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and stayed in the upper room, rejoicing and engaging in prayers and breaking of bread.

Till the feast of Pentecost…….

bright

Easter Series III- Bright

 

Jerusalem was agog with the news of the empty tomb.

The soldiers had returned hastily at the crack of dawn and reported the events of the early hours of the morning to the chief priests. It had taken some calming down and extreme patience on the part of the chief priest to get the story out of the shaken soldiers.

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while the men were warming themselves around the fire, and cracking jokes about the man in the tomb, there had been a strange event.

Suddenly, there was light all around them and flashes of lightning appeared in the sky. They had watched with open mouth as a terrific being had descended from the sky on the wings of the lightning. His face shone like the midday sun and they could not see his visage, his garments was pure white and reflected the light. The overall effect had been that of a fearsome being. Then as the being descended, there had been a terrible quake all over the surroundings of the hill and adjoining mountains and they all fell face down on their faces unable to move a muscle.

They stared with mouth agape as the being rolled the stone away from the mouth of the sepulcher like a kid picking up stones by the brooks. What had taken ten hefty soldiers to roll unto the mouth of the grave weighed nothing. Like they hadn’t seen enough, the man that had been dead for three days walked out of the grave and the being bowed down before it.

In the next instant, they were gone and silence reigned. It had taken them upwards of five minutes to recover their wits and flee the scene.

The chief priest and the members of the council had listened to the story of the soldiers calmly and then asked them to wait outside while they conferred.

“If we allow this news to spread among the people, then the latter error would be greater than the former and the people might stir up an insurrection” Caiaphas told the others

“That will not be good” another replied “if there is any sign of trouble, the romans will not think twice before taking over completely and we would lose our hold on the people”

“I presume that we would be the first target of the people’s wrath, we would have been the ones that delivered up the Messiah into the hands of the gentiles and you know there is quite a handful of the people that are willing to fight Caesar” another added

It was then decided that the soldiers be bribed to change their story. Instead they should say that the disciples of Jesus came by night while they were sleeping and stole the body to fulfill his predictions while he was alive that he would rise after the third day.

It took some convincing but the soldiers agreed. Spreading the story could endanger their lives but they had an assurance from the chief priest that they would speak to Pilate too.

Thus, by midday, the news of the empty tomb had spread and the lie that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus.

The news was received with mixed feelings and mostly outrage, even from those that did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. The roman army were known for their discipline and efficiency. To think that they would fall asleep while on duty was incredulous. Also, the amount of noise that would be generated from the number of people that would be needed to roll away the stone from the mouth of the tomb would definitely wake a deep sleeper and not to talk about a bunch of well-trained soldiers.

Something was definitely going on and it was evident that the chief priests and the romans had decided to hide the truth and cover it up with a halfhearted lie. It was rare for the chief priest and the romans to align together on an issue. Something really was amiss.

***********

“They have taken the body of my Lord” Mary, of Magdala sobbed “and I don’t know where they have taken it to”. She didn’t bother hiding the tears, she was overwhelmed and distraught, sorrowful and angry. Her insides were roiling. How could they have done that? She thought with rising angst. Even in death, they wouldn’t let him be! Haven’t they done enough already? They had subjected him to the most disgraceful and cruelest death, would they dishonor his body too?

Fresh tears coursed down her eyes as these thoughts warred inside her. She remembered the shoddy trial- a mockery of justice, his tears and cries as the whip macerated his flesh leaving bare bones, the drops of blood that were coursing down his brows from the thorns digging into his scalps. The images made her shudder. She had sighed with relief when he had breath his last, at least then they had left him alone and the pain had come to an end. She had thought that was the end, little did she know that they had plans to dishonor his body too. What had he done to deserve such treatment?

She caught herself when she realized that she had been talking to a stranger that had entered the tomb while she had been crying and he had asked her why she was crying. She turned to him now

“Please if you know where his body had been taken to, tell me” she pleaded “I have come to anoint him” she pointed to the jar she had dropped on the floor besides her. She noted vaguely that the stranger looked familiar but she could not place where she had seen him before and she was too distraught to think about the connection. She needed to know where they have placed the body of her Lord whom they have buried hurriedly and shabbily like an outcast. They had not even bothered to wash the blood stains!

She had spent the whole Sabbath evening preparing the best spices she could concoct together to come and anoint him, and do something befitting. She would find the body at all cost, she thought determinedly.

The stranger was talking again and she turned her head sharply to look at him when he mentioned her name.

“How did you-“the words died on her lips. Standing in front of her was her Lord! She wondered how it was possible that she had not been able to recognize him earlier. Could it be that she was seeing things and imagining it all in her head? She shook her head to clear it and looked again and there, still standing a few feet from her was her Master.

Joy surged through her and like lightning she bolted up and lunged at him. He drew back and stretched his hands to stop her from coming closer. She frowned and looked at his eyes, and her breath caught. It was brimming with Joy and something else. She recognized it. It was love. Pure. Unadulterated. Tenderness.

She tried to reconcile what she saw in his eyes and his actions. Why was he putting a distance between himself and her? He had allowed her to wash his feet with her hair and anoint them with oil before.

He smiled. A knowing smile.

“You can’t touch me yet” his voice was soft and soothing, reassuring “I have not yet appeared to my Father”

His words hit her with the force of a fist and without thinking she bowed at his feet. Her Lord has risen, just like he had promised and he had not yet appeared before his Father and yet here he was talking with her.

Her heart soared.

He was talking again and when she looked at him, he was smiling that knowing smile again. “Go and tell my brethren and Peter, that I am arisen and I go to my Father and your Father; to my God and your God”

And then he was gone.

She pinched herself to reassure herself that she wasn’t dreaming. It was real. The Lord had arisen and had spoken to her.

Her Lord was alive!

She was laughing and crying at the same time. She saw her jar of oil lying on the floor and the linen with which the Lord was wrapped neatly folded on the corner. She gathered her shawl and her jar and ran as quickly as her legs could carry her back to the city, to the brethren.

She couldn’t wait to shout it from the roof tops

Christ is risen!

************

Happy Easter all and sundry!

read previous Easter Story here

ES II Gray

Easter Series II- Gray

“I am ready to die for you”

The words bounced off the walls and echoed all around the room, each succeeding word starting before the last echo had died and creating a multiple sound pattern of overlapping words with different volumes. It was dark all around and there were different noises everywhere in the unfamiliar room. The hair on his skin was prickled and the voices were getting louder and it was unmistakable whose it was.

It was his.

The voice was mocking him. It rose to a crescendo and then stopped. Everywhere became deathly quiet, not even the wind moved.

“Will you die for me now?” it was the Master’s voice. “You will betray me three times before the cock crows’’

“I swear, I have never seen him before in my life!” The words were as vivid as when he had uttered it at the courtyard in the high priest’s palace that night. The words that had emanated from the challenge of a maid, made in the presence of other servants of the house, identifying him as one of the Master’s disciples. Words that have haunted him since then.

Suddenly, a light appeared in front of him and there, hanging from a cross was the Master. His head was drooping and blood dripped from his hands and feet. The Master’s head jerked up and looked at him.

“Why did you deny me Simon?”

And then everywhere was dark again, followed by the sound of loud raucous laughter reverberating and giving the room an eerie feeling.

“Why did you do it Simon?” a voice asked, barely above a whisper “I thought you loved me!” the voice was louder now, harsher. And then the laughter again.

Simon opened his eyes and darkness greeted him. It was not yet dawn and silence reigned, interjected occasionally by the cricket sounds. His eyes were wet with tears and they streamed down his face. The dreams had become more intense. He remembered with a shudder the look on the Master’s face as he held his gaze in the dream and his words. They cut his heart like a knife.

For a brief moment he considered ending it all. Maybe in death, there will be peace, he reasoned. The thought did not last long. Surely he wasn’t beyond redemption.

I have prayed for you so that your strength would not fail.

The Master’s words comforted him and he held on to them like his life depended on them.

**********

It was the Sabbath day, the first Sabbath of the New Year. Jerusalem was filled to the brim with people from all over Israel who had come for the Passover. There was excitement in the air and everywhere in the city, people huddled in groups and talked animatedly.

The events of the previous day was still fresh in people’s minds and was the centre of people’s discussions. The camps were divided into two groups, those who believed that the Nazarene deserved to die for blaspheming against Yahweh and who supported the decision of Pilate and the other group who believed that he was a righteous man and a prophet of God and who were outraged at the brutality of the romans. There was a small minority who believed that Jesus was indeed the son of God.

One of them was talking animatedly in a group of five men standing beside the south entrance of the temple.

“Which of the prophets at his death did many wonderful signs happen like the things that we witnessed yesterday?’’

“So you believe that the man was the son of God?’’ another replied “where in the law and the prophets did you read that the Messiah would be crucified by the despicable romans?”

“How can he be the Messiah when even the high priests and the council of the Pharisees and Sadducees were against him?’’ yet another of the men replied.

“The Pharisees and Sadducees’’ the first man spat “they are nothing more than stooges for the romans! Were you not there at Pilate’s palace yesterday when they boldly declared Caesar as King?”

“Watch your tongue Gaius” the second man hissed. Just then, a group of roman soldiers marched by barking orders for people to clear out of the way.

***********

Mary sat on the floor in house of John, staring blankly at the wall. Beside her was a plate of bread and cheese and a flask of water that had been sitting there for hours. The others have persuaded her to no avail to eat.

Scenes from the crucifixion were playing in her mind’s eye and the noises and sounds were a constant companion. The agony of his voice as the whip descended on his bare back, the sight of the mangled flesh, the white of the bare bones as they stuck out, the gleam of the eyes of the soldier as he delivered blow after blow on her child’s back. The jeers and cheers from the crowd of sycophants especially sickened her. How can her stomach hold food down with the images constantly making her stomach churn?

Several emotions welled up within her. Anger, sadness, disgust and incredulity. How could anybody be that cruel? She wondered. How could people gang up against an innocent soul, one who neglected his family and dedicated his whole life to helping people? Can the human mind be that fickle? The same people that he spent his life helping were the same who shouted for him to be crucified! These and many more questions plagued her thoughts.

And you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins

The words of the angel to her that heralded her immaculate conception.

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing

Understanding dawned on her. This was His mission and this was how he was meant to save Israel. The Jews had rejected him because for all his talks of saving them, he had not for once challenged the romans, rather he had even supported paying taxes to Caesar. They had betrayed him but they had been helping him to finish his mission.

It is finished

His last words before He gave up the ghost. Those words that had seemed irrelevant now made sense to her. He had finished the work that he had come to do. He has finished saving his people from their sins. That was the essence of His death.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. The words that he spoke while alive and teaching his disciples came to her. He had come to die, that he might have many fruits.

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believes in him should have eternal life

Joy surged through her and she gasped, in between tears. This time around, they were not tears of sorrow. All the anger and hurt that she had been holding inside melted. She had been wrestling with the prayer of forgiveness that her son had prayed for his tormentors and accusers, because she felt they deserved the wrath of God and not mercy or forgiveness. But now, she could forgive them as well, they had been serving their purpose of seeing the Christ to his glorious end.

John entered the room then and stopped in his tracks as he saw her smiling. She reached out to him and he walked towards her and entered her embrace.

When they had separated, he looked at her gleaming face, a puzzled expression etched on his face.

“It is finished” she said to him “He was killed because it was his time and through his death he had saved Israel from her sins”.

Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the whole world.

The words of John the Baptist rang clearly in his mind at the baptism of the Master at the river Jordan. John remembered Andrew telling them the story and how the Spirit of God had descended on the Master as he walked out of the river after being baptized.

John sat down waiting for more and for the first time, Mary shared her experiences and the things she had hidden in her heart which she had not told another soul till then.

********

Silence reigned in the upper room where the disciples hid themselves from the leaders of the Jews. It will not be long before they think about killing all the followers of the man they had accused of being a malefactor, they reasoned. The depth of malevolence that permeated their countenances could not be sated with just the death of one man. Terror reigned supreme, the gory sights they had witnessed made them shudder at being the recipient of such torment.

Three years they had been following the Master and he had promised them eternal life and great rewards in heaven. They had slept and dined with him and had seen first-hand the mighty works of God and he had taught them about the kingdom of heaven. He had also hinted at his death from the hands of the gentiles but they had not fully grasped what he was saying. He had always talked in parables and they had assumed that he hadn’t been talking literally.

They had been too excited about the signs and wonders and the blessedness of being in the presence of the son of God that they had not paused to think about the possibility of him been apprehended by the romans and shamefully executed. Now the reality was stark and they didn’t know what to do.

There was a knock at the door. Everybody froze and fear could be seen on many eyes. Nobody moved. The knock came again, louder. Still, none moved. It came again, insistent.

Peter stood up and walked to the door. Whoever was at the door was someone known to them and who knew where they were all staying. Maybe the High priest and the leaders have finally come for them and had infiltrated yet another of them. It was sad the wave of betrayal going around, Peter thought despondently, he being one of the betrayers. This time however, he was willing to die for the Master. He would plead with the council to spare the lives of the others and take him instead. Taking a deep breath, he asked who was at the door.

“It is me, Matthias” the voice at the other side of the door answered. Peter noted a breezy quality to the voice. Could it be that he was being forced against his will to do this?

“Are you alone?” Peter knew that even if there were a thousand roman army behind the door, the answer would not be different.

“Yes” Matthias answered.

Peter opened the door slowly and heaved a sigh of relief when he saw no one else but Matthias at the door. He threw the door wide and let him in, closing the door after him.

Matthias brought news from the temple. He had overheard a roman centurion barking orders at his men to march towards the field next to Golgotha where the King of the Jews had been buried and to guard it and to seal the tomb with the signet of Caesar so that no man would tamper with it.

He further narrated how he had learned that after the Passover, the chief priest had gone to the palace of Pilate with some members of the council to ask the ruler to station the guards at the mouth of the grave so that the disciples would not go there at night to steal the body.

The disciples marveled at the malevolence of the High priest and the chief rulers. They had known that the Pharisees and Sadducees had not been on the Master’s good books but they couldn’t believe the height of the animosity. All the Master ever did was to do good to all men and to show them the way to the Father. They concluded that the high priest was still going to come after them.

Despair was registered on every eye and their hearts was overtaken with sorrow. There was no words of comfort and the future looked bleak and gray.

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting_Until_Dark

Easter Series: Dark

“It is finished”

The cry reverberated throughout the valley as he hung his head and breathe his last. Drops of blood dripped from his brows, down his face and down his torso joining with the flow from his hands and down to his feet.

It was indeed over.

There was a deadly silence. The disciples blinked in disbelief and the Pharisees closed their eyes and sighed with relief. It was over, finally.
Caiaphas words have indeed proven to be true “it is expedient that one man should die and not the whole nation” he had said at the council the previous night.

Pilate and the romans were convinced that there would be no insurrection and the Pharisees could maintain their hold on the people- Judaism will live on.

Slowly the crowd began to disperse and many huddled in groups and spoke in hushed tones.

“Is this not the messiah that we have been waiting for?” one asked with a note of incredulity in his voice. He could not come to terms with the gruesome death of the supposed savior of Israel, who just a few days ago had ridden into Jerusalem with shouts of ‘hosanna, blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord’.

“Haven’t I told you he is a deceiver just like the ones before him?’’ another answered.

‘’But he was different”

“Not different, just a better act” the other replied, with a hint of annoyance. Deep down he had wished the now dead man was the messiah, even despite his skepticism. The roman reign was becoming more stifling and Israel could do with a savior. He chided himself for allowing himself to be swayed, to have false hope.

A few stayed behind, eyes clouded with tears and waiting for something to happen. He couldn’t just die like that. He who had raised the dead on more than one occasion definitely could not succumb to death. Any minute from now he was going to wake up and smile down at them. He was the messiah! The one to deliver them from the oppression of the romans.

A woman was weeping profusely, a few feet from the rest and was being consoled by two women, who themselves could not hold back the tears. The dead man had had tremendous impact on their lives. He had given their lives a meaning and a purpose. The more they consoled her, the more she cried and uttered a heart wrenching scream of agony. How does one deal with losing someone that defines one, the source of one’s uniqueness and one’s son? How does one deal with watching one’s flesh subjected to the worst form of punishment and humiliation and dying the most shameful of death?

One of the few men that lingered behind, nicknamed ‘the beloved’ in whose care the weeping woman had been committed, walked towards her and carried her in his arms.

“Son, behold your mother’’ the words echoed in his mind as he walked away from the scene. He felt honored to have been trusted with the job of taking care of the Master’s mother. He was humbled by how much the Master loved and trusted him. Not even Simon was given the job.
Simon.

A sudden wave of sadness washed over him at the remembrance. All of them had looked up to him as the elder and most committed. He was always the one that was quick to volunteer to follow the Master and the one that had enjoyed the experience of the supernatural the most. It had been a shock to see him deny the Master vehemently. Three times.

“Before the cock crow, you will deny me three times”.

The Master’s words definitely came to pass. He felt sorry for Simon. It was inevitable that he had to commit such atrocity against the Master, just like the son of perdition had been destined to betray his Lord.

What would befall Simon now? He wondered. It had been two days and he had not shown up.

****************

The scene was now deserted and the last onlooker had gone. A man snuck out from behind a rock, his face hidden behind a veil and moved towards the man hanging from the cross in the middle. On either side was the criminals that the Master had shared a horrible death with; a guileless man dying the death of a sinner. He still could not believe the turn of events that led up till the death of the very Son of God and his own role in it.

He looked up at the mangled face and burst into tears, bowing prostrate on the floor not minding the congealed blood that had pooled on the ground. ‘His blood is on my hands’, he thought frantically and his breath came in short gasps.

‘’I am sorry Master” he said over and over amidst sobs that shook him and tears mingling with the dust.

“Before the cock crows, you shall betray me three times” the words had haunted him since then and he could not eat nor sleep. He had betrayed the Master. What was worse was that this had not been the first time.

On the journey to Jerusalem, the Master had been telling them of his mission and how he was going to be betrayed by the Jews and sold to the gentiles. It was he who had protested vehemently saying that it wasn’t possible. “Far be it from you” he had said emphatically

“Get thee behind me Satan, for you have no part in the things of God’’

Those were the Master’s words then. It hurt still thinking about them. How had he allowed the devil to use him to tempt the Master? And he had to do it again! The guilt and burden was threatening to swallow him up.

It was not until the soldiers came to remove the bodies that he was roughly pushed aside and forced to leave but not until he was sure of where the master’s body was to be buried.

Not knowing what to do, he wandered aimlessly in the field weeping. He felt lost and all alone. He contemplated returning to his brethren but he was afraid and ashamed.

He startled when a hand touched him and he gave a soft cry. His widened eyes met that of Mary, of Magdala. Her eyes, though reddened and puffy from crying were soft and had a sheen of tears. She had stayed behind to see where the Master’s body was to be buried and had followed the soldiers at a distance as they carried the Master’s body to the field that belonged to Joseph, of Arimathea. He was reported to be a righteous man and had requested for the body of the Master to be buried in his own sepulcher.

She drew Simon into an embrace and he wept on her shoulders. She compelled him to follow her back to the upper room where all the disciples of the Master had gathered.

The warmth of the brethren overwhelmed him. Not a judgmental eye greeted him. He was one of them and they knew how much he had loved the Master and they sat and grieved their Lord together. The air was filled with despair and disorientation.

Whatever was going to happen to them now? Once again, they experienced the purposelessness that had plagued them before they began following the master.

Is this the end? The collective question that was in every eye but which remained unspoken.

capture my heart

Capture my heart

Hello readers, I trust you had a great day. I am happy to feature a guest blogger today- The Virtuous Spirit. This is going to be her second poem here, the first was a collaborative effort with me: “Silent Screams”. She is a closet romantic, I must say.

I hope you like this. Drop your comments in the comments section.

*****************

capture my heart

Win my heart with sweet words

Take my pain

Fill the hollow with your song

Make me crave

Like an animal on heat

capture my heart1

 

Chase my heart with the beats I love the most

Springing from the fountain deep within you

cascading outwards in gentle rivulets

Tender, and a drawn out melody

sweeter than the honeycomb.
capture my heart3

Make me long for them all day

Wake me with tunes from your heart

delightful music that fills me and sustains

Stroke my hair, sing me that song

that will forever glue my heart to you

capture my heart2

Go on your way, don’t stay long

don’t forget to post me a line or two,

sweet words

For my longing heart

I’ll read them till I fall asleep waiting for you

capture my heart4

My heart aches for you

Pines for you, curled up alone

come back home darling

Come tease me again

with those words you wrote that won my heart

 

Images courtesy: http://www.google.com

 

On the brink of yesterday

 

Over there, just

Yonder, over the hills

Ere you get to the bridge of

Yesterday, lies tomorrow

Exceeding sorrowful and a total

Mess, chained and bound

In anguish over the deeds of the past.

 

Oh, the pains of the

Memories that haunts

Eager strokes from the whip of conscience

Raging like the tempestuous ocean

And rocking the ship of friendship

Hope is all that is left.

 

 

To Yemi, a dear friend and staunch supporter….my super fan. I promised you this… the puzzle is in the first letters of each line.

 

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