Sunday, December 4, 2016

From the Outside in (Installment Five)

"Prophesy, if you can!  Who hit you?"   The soldier sneered with a slurred voice.   Rafael turned and ran back to the house in dead heat and Michael caught him at the door, nearly clothes-lining him with his arm.   "No.  You know we mustn't." Michael held him back.  "Look at him, he's exhausted."   Michael didn't mean the Lord, he meant the soldier.  Rafael stopped fighting and studied his face.  He was sick of the dirty business before him.  The man was tired, tired down to his very soul.  He was irritated that the "revolutionary" he was being forced to guard like he was a rabid dog was a peasant rabbi with dirty clothes and a swollen lip.  He took note that the tunic was nice, but he didn't figure he'd be wearing it much longer.   Quintus, as he was called, was trying to distract himself from the role he was to play in what he was afraid was this man's immanent demise.  

The other man, Titus, took a blind fold and covered Jesus's eyes, hitting him the face.   This went on for a while until they tired of abusing him.   What did he think he was going to do anyway?   Take down the mighty Roman empire?   Rafael saw this on his face and resisted the urge to whisper "eventually, yes" into his ear.  Michael leaned over, smiling a little for the first time that day, and said "just don't" into Rafael's ear. 

Night passed into morning.   

There was something that was supposed to be a trial.   Rafael watched, stunned, as the men did something they no longer wanted to do, simply because they had started doing it.  The whole council conferred, in their jealousy, and decided to take him to the Roman Governor.   Pilot was annoyed at first when he saw them walk in with Jesus as a prisoner.   These were the same men who annoyed him with their religious scruples and their sensitivities.  He listened to them, and examined Jesus.   He didn't see him as a threat.   The council, on the other hand, posed annoyance after annoyance and usually had the power of the mob on their side.  Usually.   He didn't want to get involved.   Rafael looked at Michael a little stunned.  Pilate?  Is it possible he wants to do the right thing?  Michael leaned in a little bit, and remarked that the man probably wanted to go eat and avoid the council, who he did not like and knew that they disliked him.   He sent them to Herod.

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