Next installment of my new historical novel: Peter and Paul.
Fifty days. Fifty day sustained by faith, slowly waning. Yes, he came to see them on the third day, though it wasn’t really He. It was Yeshûa as He’d said He was. It was Yeshûa that seemed to walk through walls. We have been gathered in a small room, scared, all doors tightly shut, locked, and then, without a warning, He was with us. The next moment He was gone. Or it felt as though it was the next moment. When He came, time seemed to have stopped.
The women saw him to. Mary Magdalene and others. In fact, they saw Him first. Imagine…
“He was with us, He really was,” John assured the doubters. “For an instant of eternity, He was with us,” and then his eyes filled with tears. “He really was…” he seemed to beg for confirmation, looking at Shimon.
John truly loved Yeshûa. We all did, but John was special to Him.
“We all were,” John cut in, evidently reading Shimon’s thoughts. Or it could have been the expression on Shimon’s face. They all missed Him badly.
And then Didymus came. Later they called him the Doubting Thomas.
Put your finger here… put your hand into my side…
You all know the story. Thomas believed as we all did. Yeshûa was real. Real and yet…
Perhaps He was more than real?
After all He did say He’d never leave us.
I’ll never leave you…
Those words still reverberated in their ears.
In a way, He still was with them in their thoughts, their minds, their hearts… He filled every moment of their waken day; often their dreams. Only it was so hard, so very hard to accept it with one’s emotions. They all missed His presence. His physical, presence. The sound of His voice, the look in his eyes. The touch of his hand.
Still… He did come back, if only for a while.
And now, or soon, His spirit would descent on them. So it was from the time of Moses, so it will remain. Fifty days after departure from Egypt Moses brought the tablets from Mount Siam, and now, fifty days after Yeshûa was murdered He’d send His spirit to them.
It had to be thus. It had to be. Or we’d all die of sorrow.
It had to be thus.
For the Sadducees, Shavuoth always fell on Yom Ree-Shon, on Sunday, the day after Yom Sha-Bat. The Pharisees celebrated it on various days of the week. They were always different. Superior? They thought so…
The Believers, as most people in Judea, followed the same tradition as the Sadducees. They chose to celebrate this day on Yom Ree-Shon. Jews came to Jerusalem from farthest corners of Judea, Idumea, Perea, Samaria, and even Galilee and Decapolis—though the journey was hard for many. People would travel for days, on foot, carrying their food, to be at the Temple on the Feast of Shavuoth. It was a national celebration of their glorious past; of the evidence that Yahweh was their One God, One Protector. That Yahweh was that which unified them all.
For Shimon’s friends, all ten of them, the last few days felt like living in the antechamber to Sheol. More brothers have disappeared, without any explanation, seemingly without a justifiable reason. They were not even active proselytes—hardly ready to take on new responsibilities of the New Teaching yet, it seems, that the powers of Sheol were mobilizing against them.
Sheol—the abode of the dead.
Sheol—where the dead buried the dead, never allowed them to come alive again. So the Master had said. Or at least He warned against the dangers. But some didn’t listen. Some didn’t believe that none of this world is real. Not even Shimon, though he’d never admit it.
Shimon the Rock. Kepha, would never admit it. But he tried to believe. He tried hard.