By: Coleton Reid
“Rabbi… where’s the lamb for the Passover? Please tell us what to do so we can get it ready.” Peter said as we walked through town.
“Peter… John… look there in the city for a man carrying a jug of water… follow him to the house he enters… then and find the owner of that house… ask him, ‘where will the rabbi have dinner with his disciples?’ he’ll show you upstairs to a large, furnished room! Prepare our meal there!” I said as they stood there with their mouths open.
Later in the man’s house…
Once everyone came and sat down around the feast, I got up and took off my robe, and brought a towel and water bucket to John’s feet “John… let me have your dusty feet and I’ll wash them.” I said to John.
“What?!” he said as he gave me his feet.
“N-NO! Why are you going to wash my feet?!” Peter asked as I walked over to him after I finished washing John’s feet.
“Right now you do not understand what I am doing… but later you’ll understand.” I replied.
“Lord! You’ll never wash my feet!” he said as he pulled his feet away.
“Peter, unless I wash your feet, you can’t take part in my life.” I said.
“Ok, then not just my feet, but my head and hands too.” He asked.
“If you’ve had a bath, then you only need to clean your feet… the rest of your body is already clean… and you are clean.” I said to Peter “But not all of you. Do you see what I have done to you? I… your lord and teacher, have set an example for you by washing your feet… you must do the same for each other… and love one another.” I said to my disciples “but… one of you here eating with me… is going to hand me over… to my enemies!” I said.
“Who could it be?” one of his disciples asked.
“Not me. I’d never…” another one trailed off.
“The one who dips his bread in the bowl will betray me… and it will be so terrible for him… he’d have been better off not to have been born at all.” I said as Judas dipped his bread in the bowl.
“What?! It’s not me rabbi… is it?” he asked nervously.
“Yes… it is you… so… do it quickly and get it over with.” I said as Judas got up and left the house. After a few minutes of silence I got up and said “This bread is my body… given for you… broken for you… this cup is the new covenant in my blood… poured out for you… but in mere hours… you’ll all turn away from me.”
“Turn away from you?! Never! Even if all the rest desert you, I never will!! I’ll die for you!” Peter said.
“Peter... tonight… this very night before the rooster crows… you’ll deny you even know me… not once, but three times!” I announced “When I sent you out in two’s, I told you to take any bread, bags, money or extra cloths… and did you lack any?” I asked.
“No… nothing.” One of them replied.
“But this time… if you have a bag, take it and take money too! And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! The ancient text says ‘he was considered a criminal’ that was written about me… and it will come true! It’s all happening right now!” I said.
Then we left to go to the garden of Gethsemane…
“I’m going back to my father, to prepare a place for you! I am the way… the truth… and the life! From now on, pray to my father in my name! I’ll send you the Holy Spirit as a friend and a helper… he’ll guide you in all truth and wisdom! I’m giving you my peace… true peace… not the ‘peace’ the world offers to you! I am a vine and you are the branches… everyone who remains connected to me… and I to them… will produce abundant fruit! But the world hates me… so you have to be prepared for them to hate you too… and to treat you just like they do me! In a while you’ll be sad… but your sadness will turn to joy! You’ll have many troubles in this life… but be encouraged… because I’ve overcome the world!” I preached “wait for me here. I’m going to find a place to pray. Peter… James… John… come just a little farther with me… stay alert… keep watch… and pray for me!” I said as I started walking on my own, only soon after to feel heavy “the weight of my sorrows is crushing the life out of me!” I said as I picked up a stick to help me balance and hobbled to a nearby rock that was almost shaped as a table. “Abba… father… everything is possible for you… so is it possible I don’t have to suffer like this… but what you want to take place needs to take place… not what I want!”
“Yeshua…” the devil said as he appeared out from the darkness “You’re a nice guy… but now you’re facing execution! Why not just reason with God? Say to him… ‘I realize now that this plan was absurd… these humans are worthless!’” he said as an angel appeared to fight him off as I continued to talk to my father in heaven.
“Peter wake up!” I commanded once I returned to see them all sleeping “couldn’t you stay awake for one hour?!” I asked him “Pray and keep watch… that way you won’t fall into temptation and sin! Your spirit is eager to do God’s work… but your body is weak” I warned, two more times I went away to pray and came back to them asleep. “That’s enough… our time is up… the traitor is here.” I said as I saw men on horses riding towards us.
“Hi… and goodbye Rabbi!” Judas said as he came up and kissed me on the cheek.
“Are you selling out the son of man with a kiss... Judas?” I ask obvious of the answer.
“THERE!... THE GUY HEE KISSED! HE’S THE ONE WE WANT! ARREST HIM!” a palace guard yelled as he and him men burst through the bushes.
“LORD! WE’LL FIGHT FOR YOU!” Peter yelled as he and the rest of my disciples took out their swords and ran in front of me.
“YIAAAHHH!” Peter yelled as he swung his sword taking off the ear of an oncoming Guard.
“AAAAHHHH!! HE TOOK OFF MY EAR!” He yelled in excruciating pain .
“PETER!! STOP THIS!” I commanded as they all stopped.
“Whaaaa?” the guard said as I picked up his ear and placed it back on his head and healed it.
“Put away your swords don’t misuse my words! Everyone who trusts in the sword will die by the sword!” I said as they put away their swords “Don’t you know that if I asked, my father would send down an army of angels? But then how could the words of the ancient text be accomplished?” I asked “and am I some sort of dangerous criminal that you have to come out for me armed?! Fine here I am… take me away! But let me disciples go!” I asked as they took me by the arms and took me away, leaving me disciples alone.
“Silence! You’re under arrest!” the guard said as they took me away.
Later in the house of Caiaphas…
“I have spoken openly in public and in the temple… nothing was said in secret… so why question me? Ask those who have listened to my teaching!” I said to the high priest.
SLAP! The guard slapped me across the face with so much force it made my whole body turn away.
“How dare you speak to Annas the high priest like that?!” he said as he slapped me.
It’s no use talking to him, take him to the Caiaphas!” another priest said.
“You said you could destroy and rebuild the temple in three days… didn’t you?” he asked me as I stayed silent “Aren’t you going to answer me?! I command you to speak! Are you messiah? Son of the living God?!” he asked me.
“I am… and you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of the almighty, arriving on the clouds of heaven!” I said.
“Hey, why are you here?” a lady on guard asked Peter as he was trying to sneak in “You were with the prisoner, weren’t you?” she asked.
“No! I don’t know him!” Peter said as I came into earshot of the conversation.
“C’mon! your accent gives you away!” She said.
“No! no! I swear I don’t know anything about him!” Peter said as a Rooster began to crow nearby. Peter swirled around to suddenly realize I had heard the whole thing as the scene from dinner played back in his head.
“NO! I DID IT!” he cried “I DID IT!” Peter said as he fell to his knees and cried, not believing what he’d just done.
. . .
The roman governor had the only legal authority to have a criminal executed, so the Jewish leaders brought their case before him seeking to execute me.
“What charges do you have against this man?” he asked, once we came through the doors and stopped in front of him.
“Well, sir… if he weren’t a criminal we wouldn’t be handing him over to you.” The Jewish leader said.
“So should I just take your word for it?” he asked.
“We don’t have the right to put anyone to death!” they pleaded.
“Listen, I don’t have time for your petty quarrels… go deal with this yourselves.” He said.
“And he’s a rebel! He’s refusing to pay his taxes to Ceaser… and… he even says he’s messiah… and king!” they said to get his attention.
“A king… well, well, well… the king of the Jews… is this true prisoner?” he asked me.
“My kingdom isn’t in this world.” I replied “I came into this world to be a witness to the truth!”
“This man hardly seems like a big threat to me!” he said waving us away.
“No! He must be put to death! He’s stirred up the people since he left Galilee!” they begged.
“…Galilee? Oh that’s Herod’s district… let Herod judge him!” he said as he waved us off.
. . .
“What’s wrong? Show me a miracle!” the king demanded, he had been excited to have me come because he had heard about everything I’d done. “Fine… no answers… no fun!” he said as he waved us out back to the roman governor.
“KILL YESHUA!! KILL HIM!” The crowd chanted, I was standing at the top of the steps of the Pontius Pilate so I could be charged by the crowd.
“LISTEN! I’VE FOUND NO REASON TO HAVE THIS MAN PUT TO DEATH! I’LL HAVE HIM WHIPPED AND LET GO!” the roman governor yelled at the crowd.
“KILL HIM! DON’T GIVE JUST WHIP HIM! KILL HIM!” The crowd roared.
“SO THE CUSTOM IS TO SET ONE PRISONER FREE AT YOUR ‘PASSOVER’… WHO SHOULD IT BE? THIS MAN OR-“ the roman tried to finish but was cut off from the crowd.
“BARAABBAS! RELEASE BARABBAS!” the crowd cheered. Barabbas was a well-known Jewish rebel imprisoned for murders committed in a violent revolt.
“HERE IS THE MAN! KING OF THE JEWS!” He said as he brought me out to stand in front of the crowd.
“CRUCIFY HIM! NAIL HIM TO A CROSS!” the crowd roared.
“NAIL HIM YOURSELVES!” he snapped “I’VE FOUND NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS MAN!”
“OUR LAW SAYS HE DESURVES DEATH! HE HAS CLAIMED TO BE THE SON OF GOD!” The Jewish leader yelled.
“ARE YOU A GOD-MAN?!” he asked me as he turned to face me “ANSWER ME! DON’T YOU REALIZE I HAVE POWER OVER YOUR LIFE OR DEATH!?” he asked me.
“The only power is what has been given to you from above… no more, no less.” I said .
“FINE! DO WHAT YOU WANT! BUT I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!! HIS BLOODS ON YOUR HANDS!” he pleaded.
“YES! HIS BLOODS ON US… AND OUR CHILDREN!” the crowd cheered as they took me away to my cell the soldiers stripped me down and put a dressed me in a scarlet robe on me, the spat and mocked me as one of them twisted together a crown of thorns and placed in painfully on my head. They held me down as one of them began to whip the flesh off my body. It felt like forever before they put on my torn up clothes and lead me away to be crucified. As they lead me to the mountain were I was to be crucified, a man named Simon from Cyrene was ordered out from the crowd by Roman soldiers to help me carry the cross. We reached Golgotha (the place of the scull) there, they offered me wine to drink mixed with gale, but after tasting it I refused anymore, they took off my clothes to be sold, and above my head there was a sign saying “this is Jesus, king of the Jews”
“AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!” I screamed in excruciating pain as they hammered two nails through my arms just before my hands, one through my legs and onto the cross.
“READY? AND HEAVE!!” A Roman guard yelled as they lifted my cross into a hole to hold me in place.
THUD! My cross hit the bottom of the hole stabilizing it in place. Beside me were two rebels also being crucified, one on my left and the other on my right.
“FATHER…. FORGIVE THEM… FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!” I yelled to my father.
“You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross if you truly are the son of God!” men cried out as they passed me by.
“He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said ‘I am the son of God’” chief priests and elders mocked.
“Hey if you’re the messiah, why don’t you save us?!” the rebel on my right cried out.
“Be quiet! We deserve to die, but his man has done nothing wrong!” the man on my left pleaded “Lord please… remember me when you enter your kingdom…” he asked.
“I tell you today… you’ll join me in paradise…” I said excepting him into heaven “Dear woman… here is… your son… John… this is… your mother…” I said selecting John to care for my mother Miryan.
“My home is hers r-rabbi!” John replied.
“MY GOD MY GOD!! WHY HAVE YOU ABANDONED ME?!” I asked as the curtain in the holiest of all rooms in the temple was torn in two… from top to bottom! “Father… into your hands… I commit my spirit.” I said to the lord as I gave my final breath as my father in heaven turned his face away as the sky’s grew ever darker, as the battle in the grave began…
When you think of Easter, you think of God sending his one and only son so die for our sins, and then three days later rising from a tomb right? I used to think of that too, until I saw the movie the Case for Christ. It’s about this atheist news reporter that tries to prove that the crucifixion is fake and how God’s not real, but in the end he ends up proving that God is very real, and that Jesus did actually die for our sins. There’s one scene in that movie that really stuck out to me though, the reporter goes and interviews a medical doctor about if someone could stage such a thing. The doctor explains that before even the carrying of the cross Jesus was put into critical condition, due to the Romans flogging him. He went on to explain that a flogging is when the Romans would use whips with metal balls at the end that would tear the flesh from the bone leaving the surrounding muscle exposed, causing him to fall so many times when he was carrying the cross. He also explains that when he was on the cross he was in such a position that he would have to pull himself up if he wanted to breathe; certainly, putting him in extreme pain.
I’m getting off topic, when you think of Easter you think one of two things, you think of the Easter bunny, and you think of Jesus on the cross. When I think of Easter I think of a thousand puzzle pieces finally coming together to form a beautiful masterpiece, that is, Jesus paying the ultimate sacrifice for us.
I remember when I was a kid growing up in a Christian home and hearing the Easter story many times. But I distinctly remember when I was four or five, on Easter, I heard the story and I threw a tantrum because I didn’t want to believe this perfect being, had died for me.
It’s funny how every time we hear the Easter story, there’s always something different that sticks with us, whether it’s something small or very big, something always sticks with us. My family goes out to the Whitby Salvation Army Church every Easter to see my dad’s sister in laws family. This year when we went out there, the pastor was preaching about Pilate’s wife, and how we only hear about her in one verse when she tells Pilate “not to get involved with this righteous man” and tells him she has had nightmares about this. But the pastor explained the significance of this, he explained how back then, the wife had no right to interrupt him while he was in the middle of a trial, but she was in such a distress that she sent the letter to him, interrupting Jesus’s trial. And the craziest part is, she could’ve said anything, she could’ve said “don’t get involved with that Jesus fella, he’s bad news.” But she actually said the word “Righteous” which in some translations means “Innocent” she called Jesus innocent. Now we don’t know whether she believed that he was the son of God or not, but we do know that she called Jesus innocent, even in the mist of all these rumors. She was in so much distress over Jesus, that she interrupted Pilate –Something a wife wasn’t really allowed to do- and called Jesus innocent.
When Jesus was taken away in the garden, he went to four other trials before he went to Pilate’s who found him innocent, sent him to Herod who also found him innocent, and sent him back to Pilate who wanted nothing to do with this after his wife sent him a letter. So he stood him in front of a crowed and offered either Jesus Christ be released or Jesus Barabbas – a well-known criminal- be released. Obviously the crowd released Jesus Barabbas, but what the bible doesn’t really say is that Pilate was on a tight leash due to his aggressiveness. So when he offered Jesus Christ to the crowd, it was also a political move so then he wasn’t on the hook for a riot. It’s kind of funny how when God wants something done, it gets done (like having an innocent man get crucified)! Just a few more of the many pieces that were put into place to make such a beautiful masterpiece.
It’s both amazing and sad to think about the difference in the crowd from Palm Sunday to Good Friday. Not even seven days before they were yelling “Crucify him!” they were yelling “Hosanna!” and “Praise God!” while throwing down palm branches as he rode into the city. It’s crazy to think that such a loving crowd, would later be spitting on the bleeding face of Jesus as he stumbled down a narrow road. A once loved man would end up stumbling down the narrow, cobblestone road, beaten nearly to death, betrayed, alone, and on his way to be nailed to a tree, by his hands and feet.
Whenever I hear the story, I always ask myself, if I was there, would I have the courage to stand up and call him my savior, or would I turn my back like everyone else. I’d like to say I would be different, but I fear deep down I would turn my back.
I started this by asking you, what you thought about when you thought about Easter? And I did my best to try and give a little bit more backstage story to it to help show the small miracles that came from the story. Now I want to ask you this, when you hear the Easter story, do you think of a thousand different puzzle pieces coming together, or do you see a man on a cross carrying all our sins?