Death and resurrection are what the story is about and had we but eyes to see it, this has been hinted on every page, met us, in some disguise, at every turn, and even been muttered in conversations between such minor characters (if they are minor characters) as vegetables – C.S. Lewis, Miracles.
The end was near
The young man, half walking half running rushed past the sidewalks heading towards the temple. His feet hit the cobblestones making a thud sound that echoed in his ears with every step. He had to find the men. He had to give back the pieces of silver, if only to appease his conscience slowly digging its hands in him. He replayed the last moments in the garden.
What did I do?
He was conflicted as he approached the huge temple doors. He stood outside, staring at the golden architecture, gathering courage to do the right thing. He found his way to the teachers, they sat together, talking in low whispers. Guilt clenched his stomach into a hard rock. He announced his presence with a stutter,
I’ve sinned. I’ve betrayed an innocent man
One of the men shifted his position, irritated by the interruption. The one sitting at the outermost part of the circle, hurriedly blurted out,
What is it to us?
That is your problem.
Another one added with a shrug. An unbothered look spread across his face.
The young man was mortified. His hands felt heavy, he looked down at them and the thirty pieces of silver they held. He slowly dropped the pouch. His head hurt. His eyes buzzed. His legs fled. As he turned back one last time to look at the courtyard, he could hear the clanging sound of the coins on the temple floor. The weight of wickedness followed him close behind. Heavy as lead
He picked up his pace as he approached a gathering crowd. Without a sense of direction, he ran. Maybe he could outran the shame and the self loathe always following close behind.
When they found him, he was up on a tree, his body dangling, face contorted in grimace. Tear streaks on his cheeks. Judas Iscariot had found himself guilty. The sentence was death.
Outside the city walls, was a simple unattractive hill. Not far from it were tombs cut into the rock, housing the shrouded but decaying bodies of those who had died.
Skull hill had never been so abuzz before. Three men hung on wood. The Galilean Jew lay in the middle. They had plaited a crown from branches of a thorn bush and set in place on his head. His flesh was torn apart from the flogging. He looked down at the crowd below his feet, his heart breaking at the sight of his mother and the disciples. He charged John, one of his disciples, his mother’s care.
Mary looked up at her son, great sorrow burrowed within her heart. She couldn’t do anything for her baby boy and it tore her to pieces. She silently watched as they lifted up a sponge full of sour wine to his lips. The skies were turning dark as light slowly began to fade away. The morning sun was dead. Having seen that everything was complete. He offered up his Spirit. He bow his head as his eyes closed.
A sign lay above his thorn-crowned head reading, “Jesus the Nazarene. The King of the Jews.”
The tomb where he lay, was borrowed for three days. After which the stone was rolled away. God had robbed the grave.
1st Corinthians 15: 55 (NKJV)
“O death where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory?”
This piece is a reflection of my thoughts during this season and what I’m most grateful for. That Jesus wears the crown of victory.