Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)
TITLE: John's Journal
By Allen Povenmire
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All quiet, for now. Peter’s sitting by himself again, sharpening that old sword and staring off into space. It seems so unreal. We were just having the Passover meal with Jesus - and now he’s dead. I’ve relived the events of the past few days over and over in my head, but I can’t change the outcome...Jesus is now dead.
We’ve spent the Sabbath in the shuttered darkness of this room, like cowards, in fear of being found. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb this morning to care for his body, and none of us had the courage to accompany her. He loved us so much and I feel like we’ve abandoned him.
Peter acts like he’s harboring an inner guilt beyond what the rest of us feel. At least he’d followed Jesus and saw what was going on that night. But he gets angry when we ask him what went on in the high priest’s courtyard and refuses to talk to us. He just sits there in the shadows, working that stone back and forth on the blade of that old sword.
The morning of his execution is sort of a blur now. On either side of him were two thieves being executed for their crimes. Jesus had spoken to one of them and, though I’d strained to hear, his words were absorbed by all the shouting and wailing around us. At one point, he looked down at me standing there with his mother, crippled with the unbearable pain of watching her son’s crucifixion. His eyes locked on mine, and he told me his mother was now my mother. How typical of Jesus, to care for others, even at the height of his own suffering.
Surely I could have done something to stop this. I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve never felt so loved as I did that night, eating our meal in that borrowed upper room, listening to Jesus speak as I leaned against him. Earlier, he’d gone around the room and had a special moment with each of us as he washed our feet like a servant would. His love for us was unquestionable.
Later that night, we walked to a nearby garden area. It was a favorite spot, one where Jesus often went to pray. The rest of the men waited at the entrance, while he took Peter, James, and me inside with him. He walked on a little further by himself. I’m so ashamed that we all fell asleep, waiting for him to return.
We awoke to see Judas Iscariot leading a mob up the hillside, carrying clubs and swords. I burned with rage when I realized that Judas was the betrayer Jesus had spoken of earlier that evening. I thought of Peter and that old sword he’d been carrying. Though I’d scoffed at the notion before, I wished then I had one myself.
But Peter is a fisherman. He’s not much with a sword. One of the high priest’s men grabbed Jesus by the arm to take him away. Peter pulled his sword out and started swinging wildly. He awkwardly lunged downward at the man’s head. The man moved just enough that the only thing Peter struck was his right ear. Evidently Peter had sufficiently sharpened that old blade, because it severed the ear completely. The man bent over, crying out in shock and pain.
We stood in disbelief at what Peter had done. Even though there was another sword somewhere amongst us, there was no way we could stand up to this gang that Judas had brought to abduct Jesus, and now Peter had struck the first blow. But Jesus quickly defused the situation.
"Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given me?”* Jesus admonished Peter. He told him to put the sword away. Then he knelt down and healed the man's ear. We were all astonished, even though we’d seen Jesus heal many before. The servant felt his ear and slowly moved his hand away. He gave Jesus a dumbfounded look as others stepped up to grab the Master and tie his hands. Fear overcame us and we all ran off into the darkness.
I’m not sure I can tolerate this painful agony much longer. The guilt of betrayal is gnawing unbearably at my gut. Jesus would never have left us this w
Mary’s at the door. Something’s happened. Will write more later.
*John 18:11 (NKJV)
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