Sunday, December 11, 2016

From the Outside In (Installment six)

Herod, upon seeing them bring him in, was visibly tickled.  He hated the council.  He'd been wanting to see Jesus in hopes that he would perform some sign for him.  Rafael sighed, the man was a buffoon.  Herod was increasingly bored with the tenuity and danger of his position as a Roman puppet.  The religious leaders irritated him.  So did revolutionaries.  He listened to their accusations and upon seeing Jesus refuse to answer any of them, began mocking him.  He sent Jesus back to Pilate.   Herod had no idea that there was anything significant going on.  His mind was on his belly.  He didn't like to drink too much in front of the council.  It made him say things they made him regret later.  At any rate, he wanted the noise to stop.  

Pilate, upon seeing them bring Jesus back into his court, sighed deeply.   He laughed a little seeing the robe Herod had put on him.  Maybe the old man had a sense of humor after all?   The angel retreated to the shadows to get grip on his anger.  It was no great thing to them to be doing this.  It was true, Pilate was a little afraid of the mob.  He was a little worried about what his wife had said to him. He was also amused at the way these Jews took themselves and their god so seriously.  He couldn't even figure out what they were so upset about.  The man hadn't done anything wrong so far as he could tell.  He was just more popular than them.   As far as Pilate could tell, he was only more popular at the moment.  In the end, these Jews always went back to their standard rabbis and left the rabble rousers alone. He tried to get them to let him go.  He appealed to their conscience, knowing it would turn tender the next day, and tried to give him to them as was customary.  They picked a bandit instead.  Rafael caught a glimpse of Mary, Jesus's mother, and some other women, disciples, watching from the edge of the crowd.   Their veils shielded their faces and gave them an anonymity the men didn't have.  He stopped watching Pilate, sensing what was about to happen, and went to Mary.  He wrapped his wings around her to shield her from what came next.   It didn't help much.   

Why, what evil has he done?  Pilate asked, exasperated.   A roar came in response.  Crucify him!  They shouted.  Crucify him!  Mary fell, quickly caught by the other women and held up in a manner attempting to hide her shock and despair.  Mari, they whispered, Mari, we can't be seen.   They were terrified.   Rafael made them fade into the crowd.   He wouldn't let them hurt her any more than they already were.   The people around them simply didn't notice the women at that point. They could have if they really wanted to, but they were fixated on other things. Pilate appealed to them again, wishing to satisfy their blood lust with a flogging.   It wouldn't do.   Crucify him!  They roared again.   The women carried her away, bearing her up as she was unable to move under her own power.   Rafael shielded them from notice on the way out and away from scrutiny.   

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