What follows is an excerpt from the novel, We Called Him Yeshua. Though they called him Yeshua, most of us call him Jesus.
– Anna –
Rounding a bend in the road, we came to a cluster of buildings near the top of the pass. As our caravan slowed, a man ran out from one of houses and rushed to Yeshua. “Lord, the one you love is sick,” he panted.
Yeshua cast a concerned glance toward one of the houses. “This sickness will not end in death,” he said. “No, it is for God’s glory.” He then continued walking toward Jerusalem. We silently followed.
The road curved down the other side of the mountains, hugging the steep hillside. The city gradually came into view, shining in the light of the afternoon sun. I peeked over the edge of the road—the hill fell sharply into the valley below. At the sight, my head grew dizzy and I lurched back. My stomach felt like a squirming snake, trying to escape up my throat.
An hour after leaving the pass, we suddenly stopped. Yeshua, just a few paces ahead, stood completely rigid, staring at something on the side of the road. Then, his cheek twitched, his knees trembled and … he grabbed Simon’s arm as his legs began to give way.
I looked up, past Yeshua. Terror swept over me. My breath came in rapid gasps, my heart pounded, color faded, everything turned black … then …
“Anna, come back.”
I woke to Yeshua’s face, weakly smiling down at me, his eyes moist. He caressed my hand. I stirred and felt someone holding me. I looked down to see Matthias’ hands on my hips. My head rested against his chest. Neri, Ruth, and Jared gazed down, all with deep concern in their eyes.
I pushed away from Matthias—he didn’t want to let go. Yeshua quickly took both my hands in his and lifted me to my feet.
Before me, across a narrow valley, sat the city on top of a hill, shockingly large, with the Temple spires towering above it all. Turning, I saw him again, grisly and sickening, nailed to a tree on the other side of the road. The man just hung there, not moving, guarded by two Roman soldiers.
Dried blood stained his feet, hands, and the underside of his stretched-out arms. The skin on his feet and hands was bluish-black. His shoulders looked severely bruised. Yet the man was alive—withered, dry, drained, like an empty shell, but alive. He stared down at me through half-opened eyes.
Yeshua turned me away, pulled me forward a few paces, and placed my hand in Ruth’s. We continued down the road, Yeshua in the lead. He seemed to be walking slower than ever.
– Neri –
To the left, the slope climbed behind the crucified man to the peaks above. To the right, the hill fell to the valley below. And beyond that—
“Neri,” Jared whispered, “Did you see Yeshua, when he first saw that crucified man?”
“Yes,” I said. “Looked terrified.”
Jared’s brow furrowed. “His reaction surprised me. I mean, he’s the son of God. What does he have to fear?”
“I don’t know. Maybe there’s more human in him than we realize.”
Jared looked thoughtful for a moment. “And maybe we’d rather think of him more as the Son of God, than as a man.”
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