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Looking back, I am possibly one of only a very few who could have pulled off such a caper - successfully traversing the city during lockdown, slipping past the patrols of soldiers without being caught. And killed.
Tactics used by the powers that be didn’t seem to change much over the years - any excuse to terrorize and brutalize the tax-paying public, I figured. The entire city was on high alert, with total lock down. Martial law, with an unknown number of patrols of inebriated, foreign solders.
I was sad…very, very sad, more than I can speak; what is beyond ‘bereaved’? Only a few days earlier, I watched as my new mentor, my lord, had been publicly and brutally executed.
It had only been a few months since he first looked into my eyes…in kindness, in understanding, in compassion. From that single moment, I knew in my heart THIS man could be trusted. Completely.
Beginning at that moment, I followed him wherever he went, along with many, many others. We listened as he spoke, and we learned. Soon we were helping and encouraging others best we could, no matter who.
One of the many wonderful things this man taught us – ‘By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
But now, he was gone. Dead and buried, perhaps to be soon forgotten by most. I would never forget.
For a few days, I had stayed in hiding with the ‘followers’ that remained in the city. But now the Sabbath had passed and I wanted to pay my respects…at the burial place. Regardless of the danger. I thought maybe i would feel better if I was nearer his body…just one more time…even if just for a few moments. Maybe I would whisper to him, as if he was still there…listening…caring. He would have liked it if he knew that I prayed while there…to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as he had taught us to pray – Our Father, who art in heaven…hallowed by Thy Name…Thy kingdom – come! Thy will – be done…on earth as it is in heaven…
My plan was to silently and stealthily cross the city on foot, before dawn, slipping through the shadows, eluding the patrols. To be caught likely meant to be killed.
But to die in devotion and service to him, would it not be worth it? Had he not also taught – ‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.’
I was pretty sure I could pull it off, but to endanger oneself to potentially face death for another, no matter how much love….that took a LOT of faith! I thought of the many times he spoke of faith – ‘without faith it is impossible to please God….’
It’s funny in a way - I never thought I would again have occasion to use the old skills of furtiveness, stealth and cunning that I had acquired used almost daily in the many, many years I lived in evil and darkness…possessed by seven demons. I had renounced my old ways when my lord looked into my eyes. Right then and there I chose to give up my old life and my old ways. To follow him.
My oft proven skills notwithstanding, fear was still a factor, especially since two of my best friends insisted on travelling with me. I couldn’t tell them ‘no’, but I was concerned because neither had a background as…sordid…as mine had been. One was named Salome, and the other, a woman I absolutely adored, was the mother of my lord. I could tell Salome was especially nervous; I couldn’t really tell what was on the mind of his mother…it was almost as if she was in anticipation of something.
I gave careful instructions regarding stealth and working the shadows and remaining silent…and the route we would take. We decided to bring along some spices, thinking we could maybe do a better job of preparing the hastily entombed body of my lord.
Well by the time we got underway, it was perilously close to dawn. The dark clothing we wore would not help for very long. We moved slowly and carefully along the route I had prescribed, freezing anytime we detected any unusual sound.
Finally, as dawn was breaking, we were in sight of the tomb. At first our hearts were broken and we froze, seeing two soldiers guarding the tomb! As we watched, another man arrived, dressed in bright white…
Watching what transpired for another moment, and listening to the third man, I cast aside all fear, and ran as fast as I could directly back to the safe house, with no longer even a single thought of concern for patrols of soldiers.
At the safe house, I ran inside, roused Peter and John, and in a moment all three of us were running back to the tomb, broad daylight. Again – not a single thought for our own safety and well-being.
Tell me - what was it that we could have seen and heard to have caused such a dramatic change in my heart, and in the hearts of Peter and John and the others…from fearful to so very bold? - Mary Magdalene
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" (John 20:1-2)