Friday, April 1, 2016

33 AD
3 Days after crucifiction,


“I want those soldiers’ heads on a pike,” Pontius Pilate roared.

“Dominus,” Legion Legate Prescennius acknowledged.

There was commotion at the entrance. The doors flung open and the Praetorian Guard sprang to attention and parted their hastati.

“To what do I owe this pleasure, Caiaphas,” Pontius Pilate said.

“A court-martial?” the High Priest boomed.

“Those soldiers’ dereliction of duty is glaring,” the Governor of Judea said.

“It will spark mutiny from the legions…” Caiaphas countered.

“The legions know the punishment for such acts. I doubt one of them would dare.”

The High Priest stood before the man who had ruled Judea with an iron fist. “Dominus, all what those soldiers did was obey orders.”

“Orders? Who ordered them to sleep on duty?”

“They did not derelict duty, Dominus.”

Caiaphas doubted he would convince Pontius Pilate. “The resurrection of Yeshua of Galilee is to your advantage. It will earn you another term in office…”

Pontius Pilate raised his head.

“The one called Yeshua was not the anointed one. The people wanted salvation from the Roman rule. They wanted us to intercede to God to save them. They wanted the prophecies fulfilled. They were not patient enough. Thus, we had to give them hope… Yeshua was born.

“But he became delusional, drank with ‘divinity’. He differed with us, became heretical. We had to kill him, but he had already convinced his followers that he was Christ, the Anointed One. If he failed to resurrect, there would be civil unrest…”

Pontius Pilate shifted in his seat.

“We have his body…” Caiaphas said. “It will never be found. The people will support your re-election, they will believe you if you say Yeshua resurrected…”

***

 Meanwhile at the Castra

“Centurion,” the prosecuting officer, Praefectus Castrorum Vibius Helvius said. “You know the punishment is Fustuarium for you and the soldiers who derelictly performed their duty under your command will be put in a sack of snakes and thrown into river…”

“But I received an edict with the seal of the governor directing…”

The Consul raised his head and asked, “Are you insinuating His Majesty, the Dominus Praefectus of Judea directed you to derelict duty?”

“Apologies, Consul,” the centurion said. “I beg for leniency. If you allow me, I would spell out what the edict directed…”

“There was no edict. Tell this court how the dead escaped as the living stood guard…”

“Praefectus Castrorum!” the Consul gavelled.

The Centurion continued. “I was the Tesserariu, and I stationed a Quarternion outside the tomb as I was ordered. A messenger from the governor came and handed me an edict directing I remove the body from the tomb I was guarding and hand it over to the High Priest. I went to the Temple and met Caiaphas the High Priest.

“When I returned, I found the harlot from Magdala, Maria, consorting with the guards, drunk. Two of them were asleep, only one at guard. There was an empty bottle of Blue Lotus.

“I confronted her, but then the followers of the dead man emerged from the bushes around and seized me, beat me up and left…

“I woke up in the morning when I heard the Cornicen sounding reveille. There were two priests in dazzling white clothes standing at the entrance of the tomb. They told me to go to the Temple and tell Caiaphas that it was over.

“At the Temple I found Maria Magdalena, the harlot, with Caiaphas. Caiaphas said to her, ‘Take a jar of alabaster oil. Go with Mary from Bethany and Mary sister of James with you so they will bear witness that truly Christ is risen’…

“When she left, Caiaphas told me that he will talk to the governor so we won’t be punished for dereliction of duty. That we were heroes. The man claiming to be the messiah was one of the heretic temple priests, and that getting rid of his body was for the republic…”

“And where is the body of Yeshua?” the Consul asked.

“Caiaphas knows, and the followers of Yeshua,” the centurion said. “I overheard Caiaphas in the temple’s inner sanctum telling someone I did not see that Peter the fisherman was waiting for them, Peter knew what to do. They would sail north and never return to Judea…”

Glossary:



[i] Legion Legate -           Commander of a Roman Legion
[ii] Hastati           -           front spears
[iii] Dominus         -           Lord, Majesty

[iv] Yeshua          -           Jesus
[v] Castra             -           Roman Army Barracks
[vi] Praefectus Castrorum   Camp Prefect
[vii] Fustuarium   -           a Roman military court-martial sentence for desertion or dereliction of duty, the soldier would be stoned, or beaten to death by cudgels
[viii] Consul          -           Magistrate
[ix] Tesserariu     -           Guard Commander
[x] Quarternion   -           Four soldiers
[xi] Blue Lotus     -           Egyptian drug that it induced lassitude and blissful sleep when put in drinks
[xii] Cornicen       -           Horn blower

2 comments:

  1. Hmmmm reads like a Dan Brown's story. I like the twist in the story, as regards the resurrection of the Christian's Jesus. Though there are lots of unfamiliar terminologies used in the story which made it quite difficult for me to flow easily with the story's diction. The glosssary at the end helped to some extent. More ink to your pen Vin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your comment--- "as regards the resurrection of the Christians' Jesus"... I have received lots of flagellation for it, others thinking it's true (I read weird Bibles) and well... I like reader-writers like you... at least you see the story.

      Delete

Did you like the story? Leave me your thoughts, please. Thank you!!!