I woke up suddenly, startled and shaken. I stared at the ceiling, momentarily relieved, thinking my nightmare about Jesus was only a dream. But angry voices coming through the windows of our residence brought me back to reality. And my heart sank. I had been deeply disturbed by the news of Jesus’ arrest as I retired for the evening. I didn’t know why he had been taken and accused of crimes that could cost his life. He had helped so many in need.
From my window, I could see the judgment seat where my husband Pilate, the Roman governor, conducted public hearings. I heard him shout: "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?" And I knew this could only mean that events throughout the night had not gone well for Jesus. Pilate may have naively thought the hostile crowd would free him. But the mob had been enraged by wild accusations from the jealous chief priests and elders, so they screamed for Jesus to be crucified. Some of these were the same people who only weeks before had followed him everywhere receiving healing and hope.
Jesus stood there so alone, despised and rejected. He was not a criminal. I knew that, and my husband knew that, but things were out of control. Someone had to intervene. So I grabbed a servant by the arm and told him to go tell Pilate not to have anything to do with those proceedings, and that I had suffered greatly because of a dream about Jesus. But it was too late. My husband gave into their demands. In a cowardly attempt to rid himself of any responsibility, he washed his hands in front of the crowd, declaring he was innocent of Jesus’ blood. I moved from the window and slumped to the floor, weeping. My soul ached for this compassionate, humble man who traveled everywhere healing and delivering the oppressed.
As Jesus hung on the cross, the brilliant afternoon sun gave way to an ominous darkness. Then as Jesus gasped his last breath, the earth shook, splitting rocks and leveling structures. Tombs broke open, releasing dead people who came back to life. All of Jerusalem had been brought to its knees. But not for long. These terrifying events weren’t enough to stop the brazen Jewish leaders. They scrambled through the rubble to Pilate and foolishly conspired with him to secure Jesus’ grave so his disciples could not steal his body and claim he rose from the dead.
Three days have now passed and Jesus’ followers are indeed proclaiming he is alive! They insist they have seen him! Those who came back from their graves now walk the streets of Jerusalem. I am overjoyed! I dare not tell my husband, but I will not rest until I learn more about this amazing man who defied death and promises eternal life.
By Joyce Catherwood