St. Peter’s Holy Week Blog
With apologies to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and most of all, to St. Peter
The best day of my life! At last, the recognition the Teacher deserves. After all the years of work he has put in, all the good things he has done for people, and nothing to show for it but criticism, nit-picking and red tape, today made it all worthwhile. Crowds lining the road; men, women and children throwing flowers and stuff, and shouting - at last - some well-earned praise. I think we have turned the corner; now we have moved to the City, this could be the platform for something really big.
The day the Teacher went off on one! He really laid into the rip-off merchants and upset everything. I've never seen him so angry, but I think a lot of people agreed with him. All that business about using the special currency is just an officially-sanctioned fleecing of the poor; the Temple really is no place for that sort of thing. Odd thing happened on the way home: he cursed a fig tree for not having any fruit. It seemed a bit unfair, out of season.
That fig tree was dead this morning; that opened a few sleepy eyes! Perhaps he did it to remind us of his power, so that we don’t get frightened if things turn ugly. The authorities don’t have anything that can touch him. This is a marvellous city, the buildings are fantastic. The Teacher was not so impressed: the day was coming, he said, when the whole place would be ruined, and there would not be one stone left on another. No doubt he is right, but I sometimes wish that he were not so direct.
More arguments, more red tape, more officials getting narked. “How can you say this?” they ask; “On whose authority do you say that?” Carp, criticise, moan and complain, that’s all they ever do. Why don't they just listen to him? Still, I think we are winning; a lot of top people are on his side, even if they dare not come out publicly. Atmosphere is tense, though, a bit like a thunderstorm that's about to break. The sooner the better, I think, then we can really make progress.
Tonight was supposed to be a feast, a celebration, but the Teacher seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Things started badly, when he had to do the servant's job and wash everyone's feet; it was really embarrassing. Not sure who slipped up there, but really somebody else should have done that. He was very solemn, talking about going away, and he asked us to remember him in years to come by breaking bread together and sharing wine. I couldn't really follow all that he was saying, but then that's nothing new! Then he said someone was going to betray him. I tried to cheer him up, and remind him that he had a lot of very loyal friends who would stick by him, and he said I didn't know what I was talking about; by cock-crow tomorrow, he reckoned, even I will have turned my back on him. I am writing this in what they call the Garden of Gethsamane; it's cold, I'm tired and I can hardly stay awake. We seem to be waiting for something. It's very eerie out here. I wish I knew where Judas had got to.
I am in such agony that I can hardly write. They came for him at midnight. I tried to defend him, but it all went horribly wrong. I panicked; we all did. They took him off to a sort of impromptu court hearing. I hung around outside; I think I thought he would escape somehow and I could meet up with him. Some people started questioning me, guessing that I was one of his men. I had to duck and dive a bit, or I might have been arrested as well. But that's a slippery slope: in the end, they asked me point-blank, and I swore I'd never met him. Even as I said it, a cock crowed, and the sound of it went through me like a knife. I knew that he had been right about me: I was just a fair-weather friend, like the rest. Everyone knows what happened next: they took him out and executed him. He was just too big for our world.
There is a huge hole in the world, and I am falling into it. Two days ago, I was second-in-command of the greatest thing to happen on earth; now, I am a useless nobody, less than a man. It had all been so easy, out in the country; but then we played against the big city boys, and we lost. It all ended so suddenly: I betrayed him, denied him outright, and then there was no time to make it up. He is gone. Judas has committed suicide; maybe I should, too. The women are preparing spices to anoint his body tomorrow morning, as soon as they can get to the tomb. They are so practical; they may not see the big picture, but they do what needs to be done. What is the use of the big picture?
I am a wreck. No sleep last night. So much has happened, I cannot take it all in. The women came back earlier, saying that the tomb was empty; Mary said she had seen him, alive, and he had spoken to her. I checked out the tomb: it was empty all right, just his grave-clothes were left there. I cannot imagine what is going on. I am going to start making tracks for home now. Maybe I will have more to write tonight.