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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: Fulfilled Among Us
By Dara Sorensen
04/06/06


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The smell of broiled fish filled the small upper room. Simon Peter looked around and saw that the others had barely touched their plates. In the dim light of the clay oil lamps, Simon could see the uncertainty etched deeply on their faces.

He felt the same.

They had all been mourning. Then, unexpectedly, the women had come that morning to tell them that the body of their beloved teacher was missing and that two angels had told them he had risen.

He and the others thought the women were still grief-stricken. Still, he ran to the tomb to see what exactly had happened.

He nearly fainted when he saw the huge stone moved away. He entered the tomb and discovered all that remained were the linens that had wrapped Jesus’ battered body.

When he told the others, their reactions were mixed with fear and anger. Some wondered if it was an elaborate plan by the Sanhedrin to catch all of Jesus’ followers. The rest, like him, didn’t know what to think.

The light of the lamps flickered, casting shadows on the wall. Simon stared into the tiny flame, lost in thought. Was this supposed to be the fulfillment of the will of God? If not, were they all tricked by a false Messiah?

I don’t know what to believe, Lord.

A sudden knock at the door startled him and the others. He looked around and their expressions mirrored his own—the Sanhedrin had found them.

“Simon, Andrew, John! Open up! Please it is urgent!” A collective sigh went around the room as he recognized the voice of Cleopas, one of the followers.

“You will not believe what has happened!” came the voice of Eli, another follower.

He got up and opened the door, nearly knocked over by Cleopas and Eli in their frenzy.

“What’s going on--” Simon was suddenly interrupted.

“We have seen the Lord!” Cleopas exclaimed.

“He came up dressed in a long robe, his face covered,” Eli explained. “He asked us what we were talking so passionately about and I was astonished when he seemed unfamiliar with the Passover events.”

“We thought he was a recent visitor to Jerusalem,” Cleopas said. “So we told him everything, from the unfair trial up to his crucifixion and the women’s vision of angels.”

“He then explained to us, from Moses through the Prophets, that the Messiah would have to suffer in order to fulfill the Law and enter his glory,” Eli said.

“It was at supper when he blessed the food that our eyes were finally opened.” Cleopas said. “Before we could ask him any more, he disappeared.”

“Are you sure it was him?” Simon asked, incredulously. I’m even more confused, Lord.

“Would we have come here in the night to tell you it wasn’t?” Eli asked.

Simon couldn’t respond, nor did anyone.

What was going on?

Before anyone could utter a word, a familiar voice stilled Simon’s heart.

“Peace be with you.”

He turned around slowly and saw Jesus standing there before him, the light around him illuminating the dimly lit room.

He began to shake uncontrollably. He saw him die, hadn’t he? It can’t be him! This has to be a ghost!

Suddenly, Jesus responded to his thoughts, as he had many times before. “Why do you tremble in my presence? Why are you so doubtful?” He then held out his hands for everyone to see, which bore the marks of the nails. “Look at my hands. My feet are the same. Touch me and see that I am here, in flesh and bone.”

Simon still could not move, overwhelmed by the joy and astonishment welling up inside him.

Jesus turned to him and looked into his eyes, straight into his soul, as he had the very day he’d called him on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. How could I have ever doubted him? Simon felt a stray tear fall down his cheek. He suddenly remembered everything that Jesus had said, every parable, and every word. Here was the Messiah, who had suffered and died a prisoner’s death on a cross and who had triumphed over death itself. The Law had been fulfilled; the world would be changed forever, beginning in this room.

Jesus smiled and Simon knew he could read his every emotion. Jesus turned to the rest of the disciples and smiled again. “Do you have anything to eat?”


Based off Luke 24:9-44


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Member Comments
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Helen Paynter04/13/06
Great stuff - really topical, too. Small point - I don't think you need to keep mentioning Eli/ Cleopas in that piece of dialogue where they're telling what happened. COntext makes it clear that it's not Peter or one of the others, and it would add to the feeling of urgency about their story to 'declutter' it of non-essential narrative.
Helen Paynter04/13/06
Great stuff - really topical, too. Small point - I don't think you need to keep mentioning Eli/ Cleopas in that piece of dialogue where they're telling what happened. COntext makes it clear that it's not Peter or one of the others, and it would add to the feeling of urgency about their story to 'declutter' it of non-essential narrative.
Jan Ackerson 04/13/06
This a wonderful story, and I'll second Helen's suggestion and take it one step farther. Avoid words like "said," "exclaimed," etc. Instead, use short descriptive phrases. Your writing will soar! Like this:

“We have seen the Lord!” Cleopas grasped Peter's arms.

“He came up dressed in a long robe, his face covered.” Eli's eyes glittered. “He asked us what we were talking so passionately about and I was astonished when he seemed unfamiliar with the Passover events.”

“We thought he was a recent visitor to Jerusalem.” Cleopas didn't wait for Eli to finsh speaking. “So we told him everything, from the unfair trial up to his crucifixion and the women’s vision of angels.”

Marilyn Schnepp 04/14/06
I love retold Bible stories; but I like them best when they don't stray too far from the original. It was Thomas who doubted, not Peter; and I doubt if Peter was at the Mount of Olives - as the last we heard of him he had gone out and wept bitterly after denying his Lord. Anyway, a beautiful story retold with some new twists - but still touches the heart of us all. Well done.
Caitlynn Lowe04/14/06
I thought this was a very well-written piece. To politely disagree with the above comment, however, I really didn't think it strayed much from the original Bible story at all. In fact, it seemed pretty well researched. Just to be sure though, I went and read the original verses.

Sure enough, Peter was at the Mount of Olives....
"But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened." -Luke 24:12

....And it seems to me that Thomas wasn't the only one who doubted, either: "But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit." -Luke 24:37 (It doesn't spell out "doubt" but it seems to suggest it at least.)

Overall, I thought this was a well-written and fairly accurate piece. It was easy and simple enough to follow along, and I enjoyed reading it.
Virginia Gorg04/14/06
The road to Emmaus - one of my favorites. Nicely done and an easy read.
T. F. Chezum04/17/06
Well written, good job.