“Joseph, wake up.” He pounded on the door. “They’re going to crucify him, Joseph. Hurry.”
“They can’t do that without a trial,” Joseph said through the door, putting his robes on.
“They held a trial last night.”
“How could they have a trial at night, with no witnesses?”, Joseph pulled the door open.
“They found people, witnesses, who were willing to lie.”
“What is he guilty of, being the Son of God?”
“Yes, the high priest said he’s a blasphemer.”
“The Law says they cannot crucify him until a day has passed. There is still time.”
“No Joseph, they are crucifying him now. Pilate turned him over.”
Joseph stepped into the street and was soon running toward the governor’s palace. There were people everywhere, shouting and screaming, and Joseph feared for what was about to happen.
He pushed his way through the crowd but was blocked by several Roman soldiers. “No one gets closer than this,” one said.
“But I am a member of the Council.”
“We don’t care who you are. No closer.”
He caught a glimpse of Jesus, eyes swollen closed, struggling to walk, his back bloody and shredded from the lashes he received. Some spit on him. Others punched, kicked and cursed him. Several cried. The crowd surged pushing Joseph to the side. He fought his way around them and ran to the hill where the Romans held the executions. Golgotha. The skull.
Everything happened so fast. Lashed to the cross, eight-inch spikes driven through his hands and feet, suspended in front of the crowd. Joseph paid little attention to the criminals hanging on either side of Jesus. Tears stung his eyes. The lump in his throat made it hard for him to breathe.
He looked at those around him, many silent as they watched. “He is the Son of God”, Joseph muttered. “How can we do this to him?” He recognized one of the boys in the crowd and waved to him. “Here, come here my son.” The boy came close and Joseph grabbed his coat. “You know who I am?” He continued without hesitating. “Go to my home and tell my servants to purchase burial linens and spices. Quickly. Do you understand?”
“What’s happening?” Some screamed in fear. The sky darkened. For three hours it was dark, and then . . . silence. All eyes looked at Jesus. “It is finished.”
Joseph, his robes torn and dirty, ran to Herod’s Palace. “Let me pass. I am Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, and I must speak to the governor.”
“Yes, take the body and prepare it for your burial. Do it now. I want this matter ended. Do you understand?”, Pilate sneered through clenched teeth.
They took Jesus from the cross, wrapped his body in linen and placed it in the sepulcher. A large stone covered the entrance and the Romans guarded the tomb.
“Mary, hurry Mary, it’s very early and we must get to the tomb.”
“How will we move the stone?”, Mary Magdalene asked, carrying her basket of spices.
“I don’t know. Let’s just get there and see.”
“Wait, what’s this? The stone is moved. Who sits on top of it? And why are the Roman soldiers on the ground, covering their heads in fear?”
“Who are you and why did you move the stone?”, she asked.
“I moved the stone so you could see inside Mary. Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, is not here. Look and see.”
“Where is he? What have you done with him?”
The angel said, “He’s alive, Mary. Go now and tell his disciples that He Has Risen from the dead!”