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.

 

DP Challenge: Time for poetry

dear friend

Dear Friend

dear friend4

Hold me,

And never let go,

As I steadily grow.

 

Take my hand,

As I take baby steps,

Along the hilly steep.

dear friend

 

I have no fear,

Of the dog’s bark,

I know you have my back.

 

Carry me,

When I am tired,

Whisper ‘you have tried’

dear friend1

I feel safe,

In you I can confide,

Because you are my friend.

dear friend3 dear friend2

 

DP Challenge: Why can’t we be friends?

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

valour1

Valour

valour

I am tired,

I have no more fight

Left in me.

 

What is the point

Anyways?

I am all alone,

 

Fighting for all;

Defending the honor

Of people not worth it

 

I quit.

Not now,

After hacking down this opponent.

 

Just one more,

And then the next;

This is the last.

 

I drop to the floor,

Too weak to beat

A hasty retreat;

 

The end is near,

But no one is nigh

To tell my tale;

 

 

Who will chant

My bravery and valour

And console a widow?

 

I wait,

All is silent-

The sound of death.

 

I am alone,

The last man

Standing;

valour1

 

Bloodied,

Faint,

Victorious.

valour2

 

DP Challenge: Fight the power

all images courtesy http://www.google.com

forgive17

Trapped II

forgive 8

You know what to do,

It is right in front of you

Your heart is pulsing

With the answer

forgive3

 

It is enough,

It is okay to let go,

It’s as simple as

Unclenching your fist.

forgive6

 

You think you deserve it,

Justice has to be served

How else will you say ‘sorry’

If you don’t get punished?

forgive5

 

Open the door,

Let yourself out

Stand on your feet

And take one step at a time.

forgive

 

Let yourself live again

Be you- flawed, broken

Human

And yet, beautiful.

forgive18 forgive15 forgive9 forgive7 forgive2

 

all images courtesy http://www.google.com

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