March 28, 2016
I must have been bcc’d on this exchange, again; because it was a holiday weekend, and I couldn’t reach anyone to get myself off their distribution list. Thought you might want to see this…
- —–Original Message—–
First, change your contact info for me: I’m going back to the galileefishing.com address. Nathaniel is taking down the messiah.org website. Looks like we might have jumped the gun…
I’m glad we were able to meet for coffee at Zachary’s to get caught-up. I’ve been traveling full–time for the last three years, and I haven’t been able to stay-up with most of my “old life” friends. Everything I told you last Wednesday was legit: we knew it was just a matter of time until we – the 12 of us – would be moving to Jerusalem. Our businesses have been in limbo since we left work to join Jesus and support his public campaign.
We were that close – that close! – to realizing the dream: the crowd seemed to be ready to rally in support of Jesus’ rightful claim to the throne. Even the Roman military contingent in/around the city couldn’t have suppressed the multitude who were in town for Passover. On Monday, Jesus caught the momentum in the Temple grounds when he singlehandedly threw the vendors out of the Court of the Gentiles. If he could do that with those mercenary lechers and get applause from the audience, we knew he would turn the mob into a militia when he turned on Pilate and his Roman thugs.
You heard what happened on Thursday night: we were in Gethsemane for some peace and quiet – Jesus was praying, and my buddies and I were catching up on some sleep – when Judas (one of our own guys!) showed up with an armed guard to arrest Jesus. I was the only one armed – what could I do, one guy against professionals? – but I only got one swing of the blade before Jesus told me to back-off. He wouldn’t let us protect him; it would have been a suicide mission. They took him, and we split.
The next 20 hours were hellish. They convened an illegal court – after hours, on the holiday week! – and proved that justice was the last thing on their mind. They wanted to eliminate Jesus from their midst, and working in cahoots with the Romans was the Pharisees’ plan. A death sentence – with no appeal! – and immediate execution was in process by sun-up on Friday. I watched the whole thing – from a safe distance – and even had to lie to protect my cover. That’s another story…
All that said, he was executed on Friday. The weather was crazy; the earthquake in the afternoon sent everybody running. Something was going on around the execution site that nobody could really understand. It was weird. He was pronounced dead by late afternoon, and we called in a favor from Joseph to use one of the bays in his new tomb to bury Jesus. It was a rush-job, no question.
Judas betrayed us all: he had second thoughts, and killed himself. The rest of us were in hiding all weekend, wondering when they were going to come for us. Sunday morning, some of the women went to the tomb to finish-up the embalming… and his body was gone! That seemed like a tall-tale; John and I ran out there to make sure they weren’t at the wrong spot. We confirmed their story.
I’ve got so much to tell you, and I don’t trust this e-mail. Bottom line: he came back to life, and he’s showing up in different places – with some of the insiders – proving that we’re not crazy.
Six of the guys are heading up to Galilee with me to go fishing; we need a break, and it looks like we’ll be going back to work soon. But, get this: Jesus is alive! We haven’t sorted that out yet, but the surprises just keep coming… I’ll let you know when I know more!