My name is Pete. I once lived a simple life- every morning I woke up, took my nets and headed to the shores of the Great Lake together with my little brother, Andy, to fish…for fish. Even though we did not make much, we made a difference in our family, and as such, we were contended and happy. I loved the wakeup call of the rooster. It was my cue that it was yet another dawn to go and build the nation. I did not have a girlfriend. It was rather obvious why. Hell…sorry…Heavens no, am not gay. It’s just that where I come from, marrying a hunter of aquatic creatures is not exactly every girl’s fantasy. That’s just me. I cannot speak of my brother. So every morning, even before the sun and the moon started playing Tom & Jerry, we would set out into the deep waters and do what we were born to do.
However, for the past three or so days, I have been transformed into a liar, an outlaw, a pansy, a prospective slayer, an ear-slasher and a traitor; all these in the past seventy two hours of my freaking life. Make no mistake folks; I feel no remorse for all those things that I have become, because I did for a good course. A course that will see the lives of men and women alike passionately redeemed for all time. Given another chance, I would become all these things again. All of them, except one…the last one. The one that involves me being a turncoat. You see, folks, when you grow up one day and learn the teachings of Cicero, you will find out that a nation can survive its fools- but not treason from within. An enemy at the gates is far more formidable, because he carries his banner openly. But a traitor moves amongst those within the gates freely. His sly whispers rustling through the alleys. He speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. A murderer is less to fear…for a traitor is the plague itself.
Many people have attempted to try and understand why my brother and I abandoned our hometown and all that we had ever known. Minds still ponder as to why we dropped our fishing nets to tag along some stranger we barely even knew. Well, the answer is simple. The grass was greener on the other side. When my boy Jay C told us that day to get into the boat again and go back into the lake for another try at catching some fish, I looked at him like…
‘Dude, are you kidding me right now? We’ve been freezing our asses since cock-crow and caught nothing!’
Well, I did not exactly say that. I simply obliged, though I kept my reservations about the outcome. I mean, is it not said that it’s only a mad man who does the same thing over gain, and expect a different result? But what the heck…we could always get lucky the second time, right? Turns out that asking Andy to prepare for another sail was not such a bad idea after all, because when we threw our nets in, we caught so much fish that we had to ask Johnny and his twin brother James to help us out. I had never caught so much fish in my entire life, and looking at the much we had harvested that day because of Jay C, it dawned on me that this was no ordinary man. Later on as we pulled up the boats at the shore, He told us that from the henceforth we would become fishers of men! So we left everything and followed him. Ridiculous and stupid as it may sound, trust me when I say, we never looked back ever since.
Last Thursday, a unit of Roman soldiers made a courtesy call on us, and asked to see Jay C. They arrested him and cuffed his hands. They did not have to do that. I knew he would never break out even if he wanted to. He had already resigned himself to this fate. A fate worse than death itself. He had always yearned of how one day all these things would come to pass. I never understood him. Most of us did not. But now here I was, witnessing his final moments just as he had portended. The night was nippy and throngs of irate people collected with every passing minute. I had followed the mob, though in disguise because I feared suffering a similar fate. I was curious to know what they would do to him. I was alone. All the other guys in the brotherhood had gone into hiding, including my own flesh and blood Andy.
Jude was obviously not amongst them…He had turned his back on us and chose money over substance. I yearned the pits of suffering to come his way tenfold and shuddered at the thought of what I would do if I ever lay hands on him. I would first slice those lips with which he had betrayed Jay C.
Then with my hands around his neck and my knee heavily thrust onto his chest, I would cut his air supply with a tight squeeze and gladly watch as life slowly faded in his eye…and pay no attention to the fumbling of his legs or the attempt by his hands to loosen my grip. Still, I would never relent. I would look deep into his eyes and make sure that the last thing he sees is the bitterness he has caused me in his betrayal. Even then after he is mortally incapacitated, I would press harder, just to get the reassurance that he is very dead. Then I would rise up and look at his lifeless body and smile.
‘This man was with Him,’ a feminine voice interrupted my thoughts.
I looked up, only to be confronted by a pointing finger of some servant girl. I pretentiously looked back to check whether she was referring to someone else behind me. I knew it was me she meant, but at that moment, when the possibility of being skinned alive and served to the dogs was at bay, I had very little choice but do as our politicians have always taught us to do when caught with a hand in the cookie jar. Deny! Deny! Deny!
‘Woman I do not know this man.’ I retorted almost immediately.
A little later, someone else came up to me and claimed to have seen me with the dudes in the brotherhood, but again I denied. Some people started looking at me weirdly. Like they wanted to have my ass for supper. But I gave them that look of refutation, and then coiled back into my cloak. I sat there quietly in solitude. Memories of how far we had come with Jay C, how he had made us view life differently and all the cool magic tricks he had taught us started coming back to me. I remembered how I once saw him walk on water. I had been so foolish to imagine that I could be like him, and stepped into the waters in the middle of the lake. I remember how I had drowned, and he saved me…after gulping a few gallons though. I sat there reminiscing of the day he had taken us to the top of the mountain to pray; how he had been transfigured right in front of our eyes. His face gleaming like the radiant sun, and his garments, white as the light. I remembered the voice telling us to always listen to him for he is the ‘son of man’ with whom God is very well pleased.
It was while I was still lost in deep thought that another chap came up to me, about an hour later.
‘Certainly this fellow was with him…just look at him. That nose is unmistakable of a lover of fish. He must be from the other side of the lake,’ he asserted.
‘Really? My nose…that what you are going for now? Yes I am a fisherman, and yes my nose is handsome. But as I have told you, I do not know this man. Never seen him before in my entire freaking life! What’s wrong with you people? Do you really want me dead that bad? Eh? I do not know what the…he…heavens…you are talking about!’
Just as I finished saying those final words, a cock crowed. Jay C turned and looked straight at me. His eyes were weary and miserable. He looked tired, and all his energy drained out of his system. It was that look that tore my heart asunder, for with it came a reckoning revelation. I remembered what he had told me at the last supper.
‘Before the cock crows today, you will disown me three times.’
Nothing is more wretched like the mind of a man conscious of guilt. It needs no accuser. It speaks for itself, just as it hurts its own body. Jay C had been right; and seeing him in that desolate state in the hands of a bloodthirsty mob, in addition to the treachery by his boy of so many years, I felt like I was no better than Jude. We were both the same. The only difference being that he had sold him out with a kiss, and I with my words. I deserved nothing but death, for equivalent expiation of the lie that I had told. I withdrew from the gathering with a bleeding conscience, my eyes stinging with the welling of tears. I wanted to be alone…to weep. I kept on walking, without a dolt’s comprehension about where I was going. All I knew is that I did not want to be anywhere close to that heartless rabble. That callous mob. But what petrified me most of all was seeing my friend in that shape. Nonetheless however further or faster I changed my steps, I could not run away from that look he gave me. It irked my mind so bad I couldn’t think of anything else. A lump stuck in my throat, thus placating the raging tears that had long begged for release.
I came to hours later. The Sanhedrin council had ordered the soldiers to present Jay C to the Pontius Pilate. Those lying bastards falsely accusing him of insurrection, subverting the nation, opposing tax payment among other many things that can only be said of Kenyan politicians. I kept mum amongst the crowd that gathered to await the final verdict of Pilate. As we waited impatiently for the judgment, whispers went round about one of Jay C’s followers.
‘Oh No, not again,’ I thought were done with this already. I almost turned around and struck one of them gossiping machines, but stayed my sword. That is what Jay C would have wanted, and furthermore they were no longer talking about me. Apparently, Jude had chosen his own fate- the hangman’s noose, after realizing the selfishness of his perfidy. It served him right anyway. That treacherous dog! I hoped hounds would lick his blood, and crows peck out his eyes. The beetles would feast on his eyes, and worms crawl through his lungs. I hope rain will fall on his rotting skin until there is nothing left of his but bones and a detestable memory.
Finally after what seemed to be an eternity, Pilate came out and declared that he had found nothing against my buddy. Much to my relief of course. But the crowd got rowdy, and to pacify their thirst for blood…my friend’s blood…he ordered for Jay C to be whipped and then released.
Hell…I mean…Heavens NO! What wrong had he done? What was his sin? What crime was there in restoring back to health a woman who had been incessantly hemorrhagic for over a decade? His peccadillo being he sought to eliminate the caste system that divided the people into the damned and the blessed. Last time I checked, feeding five thousand people using two loaves of bread and two fish was an act of charity that should be applauded by the realm. All he ever did was to bring back men from the afterlife. People whose absence from this world had been greatly missed. Those addicted to power, enthralled by self-exaltation; could not decipher Jay C’s words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. If they were too dumb to understand his parables, surely they could eat humble pie and simply ask for him to take a shine on them, just like the rest of us. Nobody would blame you for being a slow coach. Who knows, maybe, if he was in good cheer, he would heal your ignorance! What was he supposed to say to the crippled woman? Was he supposed to look at her in the eyes and tell her…
‘Oh, I’m sorry lady; it’s a Sabbath, business is closed on holidays and weekends. Didn’t you read the notice at the entrance? I should fire that lazy secretary. Bear with me, my hands are tied here. Surely you can crawl on the ground and eat dust like a freaking serpent for another twenty four hours and see me first thing tomorrow morning! I mean, that is what you have been doing your entire life, right?’
Reminisces of how the two politicians Pilate and Herod played catch with my friend and at last threw the book at him still disturb my mind. Memories of how the latter dressed him up fine purples and placed a crown of thorns on his head are still open wounds in my heart. They dishonored his impeccable character, and traded his freedom with that of a sworn and convicted murderer- Barabbas. They enslaved an unblemished lamb, and instead provided liberty to a wolf that dares not even disguise itself under the swathe of a sheep. Yet all this while, Jay C did nothing to stop them. He had the power to topple those two Kings from their thrones. He once commanded the raging torrents of a storm to calm down before our very eyes. But he was not going to bend that low. For the persons who brought him to his knees were tiny matters compared to the one who had sent him to endure this suffering. He often told us of his death. He knew it was drawing closer, and last week he prayed about his fears for death. He had prayed to be delivered from it; though it was common knowledge to his apostles that he had to go through with it. For it is through his passion that we are all redeemed.
He was condemned to die like an outlaw- on the cross, alongside two other bandits. They whipped him on his back until his flesh tore; the slash of the whip shredding his skin with every crack. He was made to carry on his back an over thirty kilogram wooden cross across the town, uphill. The weight broke his back, and he had to be helped at some point by one Simon at the brink of his precipice. Even on his verge of destruction, some sadist butt cracks still found it necessary to sputter their smelly spit on his face, while others battered him with stones. What happened to the rule of not beating a man who is already down? Still, he gathered the only bit of pride and energy left in him, and struggled his way up to the top of the hill, where he would be sent to meet his forefathers.
A dim moon serenaded the earth. I stood and watched with feeble waters running down my dump face as they drove an eight inch nail into his wrists and feet. My heart jerked at every fall of the hammer. I watched helplessly as he wriggled in agony on the cross. As they erected his cross, I doubted he could breathe, partly because of the pain, and partly because of how his body was forced to arch on the cross. And as if that was not enough, a soldier pierced him on his side with a spear. I stood and watched from a distance together with other women who shared the same grief with me, as he bled out till the very last drop of blood. He bled till he could not bleed any more, until nothing was left to flow but water. And then it was finished.
It has been three days since he breathed his last. I have been counting. All of us in the brotherhood are congregated in a house at a place whose location I am not willing to share with you just yet. Strange occurrences that have never been witnessed in the history of mankind have happened. Earlier today, our sister Mary and other maidens had gone to see the sepulcher, only to find the stone rolled away and Jay C’s body missing. Our homie Joe from Arimathea who had offered the tomb has denied responsibility for any of this. The ladies say that a messenger from Jay C with dazzling garments told them that he is risen. I did not believe it myself until I saw it with my own eyes. Once again what he had presaged had come to pass. My faith in his word grew the more and I cannot wait to for him to appear to us. I know he will, soon enough. I cannot wait to break bread with him in a little while.
I do not know how he did this. Though I will tell you what I know. Jay C is the firstborn from the dead, yet he did not need Richard Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. He only needed one- and that is the divine power of the Holy Spirit. I also know that those nails are not what kept him on that cross on Friday. Rather it was the deep love and affection he had for us all, coupled with his dedication to a noble course that will see the Pearly Gates accessible to all mankind regardless of the taint of their skin or by what name they call God. He died so that we could be redeemed, and as such lay a sacrifice so costly upon the alter of salvation. All because he believed that we are worthy of eternal life. He gave up his glory in Heaven, and his life on earth because he thought me and you as deserving of a second chance.
Question is, are you?