MOSHE’S HOME VISIT
The tomb had been open for two days. It wasn’t the only one. Many of the large stones used to seal the tombs had been shaken loose by the great quake. The residents of the ancient city were unnerved. It would be a while before anybody entered the graveyards to do repairs. That was a certainty now that night had fallen. The rumours had spread rapidly making even the most sceptical jittery. The dead had been seen walking the streets they said, searching for family members and old acquaintances. Of course, nobody believed that sort of foolish talk. It was rubbish, manufactured by a few to put a scare into everybody. Still, just about everybody thought a quiet night indoors was the wisest choice for a few days.
An hour or so after sunset, there was movement in the tomb. At the low entrance, on which the words ‘Moshe Levi’, were carved, a figure appeared crawling on hands and knees. Once out, it clambered to its’ feet and looked around. Then it lifted its face skyward, stood motionless and appeared to be listening. Finally, with purposeful stride, astonishing for one who had been dead five years, it made for the graveyard gate.
In the small two roomed stone house on Bar-llan St, the widow Miriam Levi watched her grand - children Jude and Mary play with a leather ball. She was always delighted when her daughter allowed the children to stay over-night. She was not the sort to be bothered much with loneliness, but the children’s presence did lift her spirits. The small amount of damage the earthquake had done to the mud and branch roof of her small house, had been rapidly repaired by neighbours. It had taken some effort to keep visitors and neighbours from prattling about the appearance of the dead in the hearing of the children. No doubt they would hear eventually, but hopefully by then the gossip would have reached the status of fairy tales.
The knock on the door made Miriam jump. Who would be out visiting tonight? She was aware of the silent agreement by all to stay indoors once the sun went down. Before she could stop him, young Jude rushed to the door and called out “who is it”? There was a muffled response from outside but Miriam did not hear the words. Jude came to her, a bewildered look on his face. “It’s Grandpa”, he said. Miriam was frightened. She struggled to keep control for the children sake. They must see her cope with this with as much composure as she could manage. “It’s not Grandpa”, she said. “We won’t open the door”.
She walked them to the table and they all sat holding hands. The knock came again, not violent, but firm. They sat in silence, the children glancing at Miriam occasionally, and she, trying desperately to keep a calm demeaner. No further knocks came and after a few minutes Miriam felt herself calming down. “What’s happening Grandma”? Mary asked. Miriam was struggling for a suitable answer when suddenly a man was in the room. “It’s alright Miriam”, he said, “It’s me, Moshe”.
It certainly looked like Moshe, and he looked well. He carried no sign of the desperately sick man he had been in the last few days of his illness. Miriam could not get any words out, her mouth was too dry. “He looks very peaceful, she thought, and his peace is touching us”. She noticed the fear had left the children’s faces. Now they were just curious. Moshe spoke again. “Myself and some others, we are the risen. We are passing on to Paradise. The Lord has told us to visit our families and friends, that you might see the reality of the resurrection”.
“I can’t stay long”, he said, looking at each of them in turn; his smile widening and eyes lingering longer upon Miriam. “I leave the Lord’s peace with you. I will be waiting for your arrival”. Then he was gone. The tales of the dead walking the streets of Jerusalem persisted for a long time, fuelled by the discovery that some of the open tombs were found to be empty.
(Based on the events recorded in the Bible: Book of Mathew, chapter 27 verses 50-53