This is my second story in the series, “Ignored Characters from the Easter Story”. Enjoy.
From Luke 22...
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered,“No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Curse those thorn bushes! How long must I walk through this dark, wet forest? My legs are being torn to shreds trying to find my way! There is no moon tonight. It is a very silent night indeed. A man named Judas is leading us through this thickness. His torchlight keeps flickering as he slinks through the trees like a snake; in fact, he reminds me of a snake…dark, sneaky, slippery. We are searching for that man…what is his name? Jesus? Yes. He claims to be the Son of the Most High God! Ha! Who does he think he is?! Blasphemer! What kind of leader has a follower who betrays him for money? A false one! Yes. A false one. We shall see what kind of man he is.
I trudge on, squinting in front of me, groping for the light ahead, the sweat from my brow makes my eyes burn. My mouth is parched; I can barely swallow. The stench of angry men—men on a mission—reaches my nostrils. All I can hear is sandaled feet crunching upon wet gravel…moving, moving…when will we stop moving? I must keep in step with the High Priest. By now, he is likely spewing venom. He will not give his power to that false prophet “king”!
I see the torch clearly now. Judas has stopped. Why have we stopped? Have we found the criminal? He sees him! Judas tells us that he will give his master a kiss. That is how we will know him. Taking a deep breath, then letting out a resigned sigh, Judas goes forth. His hands are shaking. Before he reaches him, the man, Jesus, stops and stares. His eyes display the excruciating pain of the imminent rejection. How can he know already that this disciple is a traitor? “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Judas reels back—almost as if he has been slapped—the kiss unfinished but the deal done. Suddenly, there is commotion amongst Jesus’ followers. I move to front as I hear the rustling of metal. I also raise my sword. I am ready; adrenaline is charging through my veins! I see the unmistakable swoosh of a weapon in the corner of my eye! What is happening here? I thought this man was peaceful!
In an instant, I feel cold metal against my head! My ear! My ear has been cut off! My ear has been cut off! It is lying at my feet. Darkness. Darkness. Darkness closes in around me. Spinning. In and out. Can you hear me? My shoulder receives the rush of blood. If I could just lift my hand to stop the bleeding...oh my head…dizziness…falling…my body hits the ground hard. Everything fades.
What is happening? Who is this man helping me to my feet? I feel as if I have just awakened. I am so confused. I touch my spinning, dust-covered, blood-plastered head. Wait--no blood. My ear is intact. My shoulder is dry. I am standing. I am whole. Was it all a dream? No. Everyone is as they were. Everyone is staring at me. Everyone—including Him—the One who calls Himself the Son of God.
“What did he do?” I ask the High Priest? No one speaks. He has healed my ear! It is soft and cool. A sword had removed it and he touched it and restored my ear! He made me whole again! I am living! He has given me life!
Still they cuff him and seize him. They will still arrest him. My right hand is still on my ear.
He has the power to heal? Could he really be a king? Could he really be Messiah?
I hear him speak softly as we walk. He is not resisting. “When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Am I a part of this darkness? Have I been the deceived one? Does this man know the way to the light? Is He the Light? Has my restored ear changed my eyes?
I must follow. I must follow him. My heart beats quickly. I am convinced He is Who He says He is. What have I been doing?
I yearn for truth. I yearn for light. He is the Light. I know this now. What am I doing? He really is the Lord! He really is the Lord!
Oh, my Lord! My Lord! Your hands touched my ear but saved my soul.
Will your blood be spilled for me?