BETRAYED BY A KISS (PART TWO)
.Before Dave’s eyes was the image of The Good Shepherd holding a lamb in his arms, nestling protectively from danger. A lamb in an inn. It didn’t seem odd here. Back home you wouldn’t expect to see a lamb in a hotel.
“Let’s ask the chappie who just brought in the good news and hear what he has to say.”
They approached a group of men surrounding the news bearer and asked to be excused. “Forgive us. We are strangers here. When you said that Jesus of Nazareth was seen, who saw him and where?” The man now obviously embarrassed by the guffaws and laughter that followed his announcement, tried to make light of his statement. “It was only a rumour.” Dave was sorely disappointed. He suspected the truth; the man was feeling uncomfortable among his friends.
They went outside for some fresh air. No sooner were they outside, than the newsman himself followed behind. Catching up with them, he apologized for not being more co-operative. “I heard Jesus had appeared to the disciples right here in Jerusalem, saying ‘Peace be unto you’. The disciples had got very frightened, thinking they had seen a ghost. You know he was crucified on Friday and this morning two women found the tomb empty. They said an angel spoke to them and told them not to be afraid, that He is risen. There was a lot of excitement in the town after that.” But where are you folks from?
“We are from the future.”
“Dafutuah?” “Where is that?” Benjamin had met people from all parts of the world, but had never heard of such a place.
“Light years away.” Dave knew that he couldn’t explain to anyone in this time zone that their present was his past, and that his present was their future. He quickly changed the conversation:
“We would like to see the Mount of Olives tomorrow.” The thought of receiving a handsome reward for his services prompted Benjamin to agree eagerly to be their guide. Before they could move someone came running to the door of the inn and shouted “the tomb is really empty”. Dave and James went back inside the inn, almost on the heels of the news bearer. “The soldiers are saying His disciples came and took Him away while they were asleep.” The newcomer was plied with numerous questions.
It was a tiring day and time for bed. James fell asleep at once. Dave was experiencing too many emotions to just drop off. When he eventually did, he dreamt he saw soldiers on the Mount with lanterns and torches and weapons. Judas moved towards Jesus and kissed him, at which Jesus asked, “Do you betray the Son of man with a kiss?’
It was time to get up. They had to return to their time capsule at dawn the following day, and Benjamin had promised to take them early this morning to the Mount of Olives. Reuben and Sarah greeted them warmly. “How was your sleep?” “Great.” Having hurriedly despatched a hearty breakfast, they were off on their quest.
Reaching the Mount of Olives, Dave experienced the most joyful sensation. It was here looking over the city of Jerusalem that so much transpired: the Sermon on the Mount, the teaching of The Lord’s Prayer, the apostles witnessing the Ascension. The mixture of emotions was too much, Dave sat down and wept. The olive groves provided a restful, peaceful atmosphere to the surroundings and Dave knew he had to pull himself away.
It was time to return to the inn. Their mission was accomplished. They had to return and convince those in authority not to forbid the Christians teaching religion in their schools. Everything was authentic, as the Bible proclaimed. The inn was still bustling with noise and activity. Incoming visitors were bringing news of other sightings of Jesus: at the Sea of Tiberias and in Galilee.
After dinner the two foreigners thanked Reuben and Sarah for their hospitality. They had no denarii and were willing to pay in gold. Reuben nodded his approval. James placed a crucifix of gold on the counter. Reuben couldn’t believe his eyes. Christ on the Cross in gold! “Sarah, look!” She clutched her chest. Where? Lost for words, they just stared. “Thank you. Thank you.”
“We leave tomorrow before you are up. So goodbye and thanks again.”
“Goodbye! Bon voyage” Reuben looked at the crucifix and sighed, “Betrayed with a kiss.”
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