Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: THE SECRET
By Kenneth Heath
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Caiaphas, the High Priest danced with delight as the nails thudded through the Nazarene’s hands and into the wood. ‘At last’, he thought, we will be rid of this troublemaker. Surveying the broken man before him, he marvelled that he was still alive. Blood was running down his face from the crown of thorns that had been savagely thrust into his head. His face was so swollen and bruised from all the beatings that he was virtually unrecognizable. Both eyes were almost swollen shut and there were raw bleeding patches of skin on his face where the soldiers had ripped out his beard and his torso was drenched in blood where the forty-nine lashes had ripped his back open, revealing the muscle, organs and bone beneath. They should have whipped him some more, he thought, as the soldiers began to lift up the heavy cross. As they dropped the pole into the hole prepared for it, the Nazarenes body twitched and writhed in pain, protesting against the violent treatment it was receiving.
Gazing up at the cross, Caiaphas read the sign that was nailed above the Nazarenes head.
Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.
‘King of the Jews’ he snorted, ‘What a joke’, he said as he walked away.
Suddenly, the words on the sign sunk home and Caiaphas gripped his chest. It felt as if an icy hand was crushing the life out of him. What had he done? How could he have been so blind? The truth was right in front of his eyes and he had missed it. Should he say something? Should he put a stop to this? Turning to Pilate he said, “Take the sign down, please, take the sign down.”
With a dismissive flick of his hand, Pilate refused.
Caiaphas turned to him again, and said, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
Caiaphas turned away in horror, finally realizing what he had done and staggered off towards the Temple. He wanted to be sick, he needed to vomit. “What have I done, how could I have been so blind?” he said, speaking to himself as he tripped on a paving stone. Then the strange words that Jesus had uttered earlier began to make sense.
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He,”
Deathly pale Caiaphas entered the Temple. On entering the Holy of Holies, he reached for the sacred scroll, a scroll handed down only from High priest to High priest. Within was the secret known only to the succession of High priests through the ages. The scroll contained the Holy name of God as given to Moses and recorded by Aaron. A name so Holy that they dare not use it, instead they use an abbreviation Y.H.W.H. (Pronounced Yahweh) Carefully unrolling the ancient scroll he laid it upon the table and began to read the sacred words.
Just then the sun was blotted out and the ground shook violently. Terror filled his heart and he cried out in fear. Time passed and the sun reappeared exposing the torn curtain between the outer hall and the Holy of Holies. God was angry he thought as he turned to the scroll and read the words that would condemn him for eternity. The Holy name of God is:
Yeshua Hanazert Wemalik Hayadah
Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews
With trembling hands he replaced the scroll in its ornate box, vowing never to reveal what he had just discovered. This was a secret that he would have to take to his grave. He could never confess to the people that he had been instrumental in killing the King of Glory, the Great I Am, the long awaited Messiah. It would be better that his people never knew the awful truth; they would just have to go on looking for the Messiah, and perhaps one day He might come again.
Jesus was lifted up so all men might see, but he has come down off that cross, the Saviour for you and me.
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