Saturday, January 28, 2017

From the Outside In. (Installment Eight)

Then it was over.  Rafael watched as they carried the body down from the cross and quickly laid it in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb.   He followed.  He watched as they pushed the rock over the door and began his vigil.  The air was cold and still.  He waited.  He passed the night in silence and about halfway through that Saturday he began to work.  Rafael began to loosen the shroud, light pulsing from his hands as he prepared body for Jesus' return.   The flesh began to heal.  He waited a little while more.   He was hoping  he would be able to sense the return of Lord's spirit, but nothing was happening yet.  One of the angels guarding the door looked in, wanting to know if anything was happening.   Rafael waved him off.  He peeled back more of the shroud. He staunched the wounds that had started to bleed again, but left the scars as he had been instructed.  No breathe yet.  No Jesus.  Rafael washed his hair and cleaned off the dirt and the blood.   He took the clothing he had brought with him and dressed the body.  He waited.  Watching impatiently as the sun went down.

Rafael leaned over and kissed Jesus' forehead.  He heard a shocked gasp and Jesus' eyes fluttered open.    Overcome, Rafael embraced him, crying, and Jesus pulled away.  He looked at the angel with compassion in his eyes and softly said,  "Don't do kiss the women when they come, the shock will kill them."

"Lord..." he muttered.  "It's not, you're not, the body's not ready yet.  You must rest, Master."  He watched him crumple up the shroud at the foot of the slab, and stand up.  

"I have to go meet my brothers."   He leaned over and kissed Rafael on the forehead and told him what to tell the women when they came to the tomb.   Then he left.   Rafael sat there for a few minutes, trying to process what just happened. Michael came in and patted him on the shoulder.  

"You alright, brother?"

"He just got up, told me what to do to send the women to him, and left.  Wouldn't sit still for even a moment.   I'm not even sure he's.."  Michael put a finger to his lips to stop him talking. 

"He got back up and started working, right?"  Rafael nodded.   "Rafi, he's fine.   That's what he does."   

Rafael started to speak again, to protest, when he heard something rustle outside.  "It's them, Michael, let's stand aside while they look around."  They faded into the back wall of the tomb.  

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