0-50 CE · Israel · The Holy Week Series

The Commander’s Vigil

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Taken at the Shrine of Christ’s Passion

14 Nissan • Garden of Gethsemane
· An Angel of the Lord ·

I’ve lost count of the number of comforting assignments I’ve been on. But this time was different. My assignment was to minister to God Himself.

The mountainous garden that the Commander and His disciples were in was easy to find. In part, that was because a cohort of warrior angels, armed to the teeth and watching for trouble, surrounded the garden. I approached the captain and whispered the password. “Who I kiss, he is the one.” I wished I knew where Command Central got these passwords. This one in particular made no sense to me. I assumed it was from the second psalm, but the wording was twisted and not complete.

The captain nodded, pulling me from my thoughts. “Welcome, sir.”

I nodded up the hill. “How is He?”

The captain’s shoulders slumped. “He’s been praying since they left Jerusalem. About the time they got here, His humanity reacted to the task set before His divinity. If you concentrate, you can sense His emotions from here.”

I had no desire to concentrate on that yet. “Any skirmishes?”

“None yet, sir, though we’ve seen several enemy scouts. We expect a full-scale battle when the son of perdition arrives.” The captain shifted from one foot to the other.

I raised an eyebrow. “But…?”

He took a deep breath and looked me in the face. “Sir, the password has been compromised.”

“What?” I hissed. “How?”

“We aren’t sure. Some low-class devils arrived soon after the Commander. They gave the password. My instructions were to let anyone with the password enter without fail or exception, so… I…” His shoulders slumped. “But the Commander repulsed them immediately and we finished them off.”

I glanced up the hill then back at the captain. “Send a runner back to Command Central. We need a new password.”

“I’ve already done that. I expected him to return by now.”

My eyes bulged. “Are you sure the runner was loyal?”

“As loyal as they come. This cohort was specifically chosen by the Most High Himself.”

I looked back up the hill. “Is there another guard further up?”

“Only the Commander’s hedge of protection.” I raised an eyebrow at him. Sufficient though it was, I would have been more comfortable if there were more warriors on the hill. The captain cleared his throat and looked away. “The– um, the Commander wanted privacy.”

I shook my head and sighed. “Little wonder. How long until the son of perdition arrives?”

“We’re waiting for our scouts to report, but I’m expecting he’ll be here in less than an hour by human reckoning.”

I nodded. “I have a message to deliver, then I’ll join the cohort. I was told you would brief me on the assignment.”

“I would welcome you by my side, sir. The enemy will come from Jerusalem, and we expect Satan to be among them. After they attack, most of the disciples will in all likelihood go into hiding. Our orders are to follow and protect them from demonic and human harm, but we are not to interfere with their own thoughts. Michael said he has reason to believe that Peter and John in particular will need us after the Commander’s attention turns to His battle. We are under orders to protect all of the Commander’s true followers in the city and others who currently consider themselves neutral.”

“How many altogether?”

“Around 500.”

“Very well. I’ll return in time for the battle.” The captain saluted, and I laid aside my heavenly glory. I disguised myself as a young Jewish man, about the same age as the Commander’s body and slipped into the mortal realm.

As I walked up the mountain, I could easily sense the Commander’s emotions. His overwhelming agony rolled down the mountain like a spiritual fog, depressing the entire garden. Nonetheless, a bold and sweet aroma wafted through the cloud. Immediately, I recognized it as the incense of the Commander’s prayers.

A couple minutes later, the Commander’s hedge towered above me. It was a wall, really, made of spiritual white fire. It was as thick as an arm’s length, but the flames looked so much like thorny bramble that it was obvious where it got the nickname “hedge of protection”. The heat was intense but posed no injury to me as I passed through since it wasn’t a protection against me. However, if any demon was foolhardy enough to try to get through it, they would find themselves covered in blistering burns and transported to Sheol before they could say “power.”

The hedge was invisible to the mortal eye and without it, the garden was incredibly dark. If it hadn’t been for my spiritual vision and the light provided by the hedge, I may have stumbled over Bartholomew before I saw the eight sleeping forms of the disciples. None of them slept well. If I wasn’t on assignment, I would have stopped to comfort them. Foreboding had been growing in their hearts for weeks, and dinner with the Commander tonight had only served to fester that fear into heartache.

The guardian angels that stood over them weren’t much better. “Courage, warriors!” I whispered as I passed. “Be strong! The Lord is with us and for us!” Unction returned to their expressions and they gripped their weapons confidently.

Further up the hill were Peter, James, and John. James and Peter were leaning against trees, their eyelids fluttering closed. John sat sitting cross-legged a few feet from me. The incense of prayer spluttered from his spirit but it disappeared as his head dipped toward the ground.  When he jerked his head up, the vaporous prayer rose faintly again. Peter snored, waking himself with a jolt. He looked at the other two bleary-eyed, then folded his hands in a guise of prayer and settled against the tree. He was asleep in seconds.

My shoulders slumped. Of all the disciples, I hoped that these three would be able to stay awake and pray with and for their Master. I met the eyes of their guardians. “Take courage, warriors. Be strong for the sake of our God, His people, and His dominion. May the Lord do what seems good to Him!” They nodded, their eyes lighting with the righteousness of their orders, and saluted. With that, I moved towards the Commander’s anguished voice further in the garden.

Before I saw Him, I felt Him. Not just His emotions but also His presence. Even though He was wrapped in flesh, being this close to Him overwhelmed me. I longed to fall to my knees in adoration to announce my presence, but I denied myself the pleasure. I was sent to worship Him in a different manner tonight.

As soon as I saw Him, I froze. He was about ten feet away from me, sprawled prostrate on the ground. At my feet was a pile of vomit. I stepped over it as I studied the Commander.

Even in the dim light, I could see the shimmer of bloody sweat on His face. His hair was soaked in it. He shuddered violently. “Oh, Father! Father!” He sobbed, “I beg of You… This cup — Your wrath — Take it away… Please…!” He clutched His head and gasped, as though He was forcing the words from His mouth, “But… If I must… drink it…” He groaned. “Then… Your will… Your will be done.” He pushed himself up with trembling arms. It took Him nearly a minute to get to His knees. As soon as He was up, He dry-heaved. “Your will… Not mine. Not… mine.”

I fell to my knees. My mouth opened, but no words came. The Commander of Heaven’s armies sat before me clutching His chest, pain etched on His face. He had led us into innumerable battles, but none had ever affected Him like the one He was now facing as the man Jesus of Nazareth.

“Father,” He gasped, leaning His head against the tree, “If it is possible, let this hour pass quickly.”

The aroma of that prayer pushed me into action. I stood and looked around for some way to announce myself without alerting the disciples. Nearby, an olive branch lay on the ground. When it snapped under my foot, the Commander slowly raised His head. “Who’s there?” He rasped, squinting in the darkness.

I walked over to Him and knelt before Him. His face was ashen, His eyes haggard. He watched me, exhaustion outlined in His slumped form. Fresh blood beaded on His forehead. “I — ” I looked heavenward, begging the Holy Spirit to give me words.

He tilted His head slightly. “I feel… like I know you, but I can’t… remember how. Were you at the temple this week?”

I nodded. “Yes, Commander, I was. Every day.”

“Commander? Then you…” His eyebrows puckered. He took a breath and held it for a few seconds. When He released it, His breath was still ragged. “I used to know all your names. I…” He hissed in frustration. “The strength of this mind is directly connected with the strength of this body.” He shook His head. “I’m afraid that… I… I’m drawing a blank.”

“My name is not important, sir. But if it pleases You, I was at Your left at the Battle in the Valley of Rephaim.”

“Oh.” He nodded. “Yes… We… We marched… through the tops of… balsam trees.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well… What can I do for you?”

“Commander, Your Father sent me.”

He leaned forward but didn’t speak immediately. “Did He–?”

A lump rose in my throat. “His command remains. You must drink the cup of wrath.”

He lowered His head and nodded. Or at least, I think He did. He shuddered so hard I couldn’t be sure. I laid a hand on His shoulder and issued strength into Him. He gasped as the tremors stopped. “Thank you,” He whispered.

“Your Father bids You remember the words He spoke at Your baptism.”

He looked up at me, a ghost of a smile appearing on His face. “‘You are my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with You.'”

“Truer words were never spoken, sir. His love and pleasure remain.”

He looked heavenward and closed His eyes. His lips moved, and although He made no sound, prayer rose from His Spirit. My eyes watered at the intensity of its fragrance. A breeze surrounded us, carrying the music of the Holy Spirit. As soon as I recognized the psalm, I sang along.

You have answered Me
I will declare Your name to My brethren
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!

All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

The Commander covered His face with His hands.

“Sir, the Most High wishes You to know the extent of His pleasure in You. You have been most commendable in your role as the Prophet, the heir of Moses. The Lord stands willing to accept Your atoning offering as the high priest and heir of Melchizedek. Also, He reminds You of His vow to establish Your kingship on David’s throne in the highest heaven as reward for Your sacrifice.”

The Commander pulled His hands away from His face, His eyes aflame with peace and expectation.

“And then, there is Your bride to consider.”

His eyes softened, a smile tugging at the corners of His mouth. He looked toward His disciples and nodded. “My bride. The church. The world will call them ‘Christians’– little Christ– in a few years. My enemies will mean it as a disgrace and insult. But my church will take it as a compliment.”

I smiled but didn’t answer. He stared at His hands folded in His lap for a moment before rubbing His thumb over his right wrist.  He murmured to Himself, “My blood will cleanse her. She’ll be a beautiful virgin and will love to obey me, just as I long to bless her. She’ll bring joy to My heart.”

As His words faded, I continued, “I have one more reminder to give You, then a promise.” He looked up at me. “The reminder is this: in this battle, You will conquer Satan and regain the dominion that Adam and Eve’s race have surrendered.”

He set His jaw and rolled His hands into fists. “Ever since he rebelled, I’ve longed to defeat him.” Then He smiled confidently, just like He always did before a battle. “So what’s the promise?”

“Although Your Father must turn His back on You while You suffer, the Holy Spirit will move some of your followers to stay with You.” His mouth dropped open and His shoulders relaxed. “You will have some semblance of human companionship from those who love You until the very end.”

He bowed His head. “That means more to me… I can’t even…” He covered His mouth with His fist and sniffed, His eyes red-rimmed.

A light flashed in the spiritual realm and a scout appearing before us. He bowed to the Commander. “Sir, the son of perdition approaches.”

He swallowed. “Very well. Return to your post.” As soon as the scout disappeared, the Commander tried to stand, but His legs gave out. “Help me,” He ordered. I took His hand and gave Him another rush of energy to strengthen His limbs. His body was normally strong and He’d need all that strength and then some to get through this day. He nodded, grasping my wrist in a warrior’s handshake. “Thank you for everything.”

With that, He walked toward His disciples and put His hands on His hips as He surveyed them. “Still sleeping?” He called out, loud enough to wake all eleven men of them. They all stirred and looked up at Him shame-faced.

I slipped back into the spiritual realm and shed my disguise, but it was hard to leave Him. This would be the last I could stand in solidarity with Him for three days. During that time, he would go through hell, both figuratively and literally. He turned and whispered to Peter, then glanced up at me. He raised an eyebrow and nodded minutely toward the base of the mountain. I gulped but saluted and followed His order.

+ + + + +

“How is He now?” The captain asked.

“Better.” I surveyed the path to Jerusalem. “That’s them?” I pointed to a group of lights coming our way.

“Yes.”

“Any word from heaven’s throne room?”

The commander sighed. “No. So we’ll have to continue as we are.” He stepped away from the line and addressed the rest of the angels. “Warriors! The son of perdition has the right to enter the Commander’s wall by right of his status as the Lord’s disciple. The rest, however, do not. The demons in the crowd have no authority to enter this garden at all. We keep them here until the mob returns, then we protect the Commander’s followers.”

We drew our swords and waited for them to approach. Demons jumped from person to person, whispering in their ears and looking at us with glee. At the gate of the garden, a demon-possessed temple guard stopped the crowd. “We can’t take all these torches in there or we’ll risk burning the trees. Everyone except Judas, give your torches to Uriah, Amon, and Zerah.”

As the men moved to obey, I murmured to the captain, “I can’t see the son of perdition. Where is he?”

The captain shook his head. “There’s a stronger evil in the back of the crowd. Perhaps he’s with that.”

The warrior at my right said, “Sirs, Satan is also in the crowd. A scout said he’s actually possessing one of the men.”

“Which one?” The captain asked.

“The scout wasn’t sure.”

“Take two others and figure it out. Quickly!”

“Sir!” The warrior saluted and disappeared through the picket line.

One of the priests in the mob shook his head at the temple guard in charge. “Malchus, it’s a dark night anyway, and then you expect us to go into an olive grove with only one torch for all of us? Are you trying to make us fall on our swords?”

Malchus stomped over to the priest and yanked the torch from his hand. “Jesus is a clever man! If we’re going to catch Him, we need to be trickier than He is. Judas assured me that He is almost always asleep by this time, and never sets a watchman. That means that He is vulnerable right now, but only if we can sneak up on them. If even one of the disciples wakes up, they could all escape.”

“So we follow Judas up the mountain, and hope that God protects us from breaking our necks,” the priest argued, “But how will we know which sleeping man is Jesus? Do we grab them all?”

“If we grab them all and Jesus is sleeping behind everyone else, He could escape. So, Judas arranged a signal.” Malchus gestured toward the back of the mob.

The warrior returned and hissed, “Captain!”

“Did you figure out who Satan is possessing?” The captain asked. The warrior nodded with wide eyes, but the answer walked up before he could answer.

“Judas?” I whispered. Seeing the king of Sheol and demons look at us through the disciple’s eyes was positively unnerving.

Judas walked to the head of the crowd and nodded at the guard. “A little known, but common, practice is that we disciples will greet each other and the Master with a holy kiss. So, watch closely: who I kiss, He is the one.”

I nearly dropped my sword. As Judas prattled on about holding on to the Commander tightly so He wouldn’t get away, I looked at the captain. He looked like he had been kicked him in the stomach. His lips moved but seemed as unable to speak as I was.

“Sir!” said a scout behind us. “The left flank asks when they should attack. They await your command.”

“I… uh…” The captain looked at Judas then at me and shook his head helplessly.

As the superior officer, I could make the call to attack. The password had been compromised beyond my wildest dreams. Since Satan himself was inside the disciple, he had free access through the hedge. I couldn’t allow that. But what if this was a part of heaven’s will? What if the scout sent to heaven was detained by the order of the Most High? “Holy Spirit, advise me!” I whispered.

My prayer had only just disappeared into the night sky when the Breath of God wrapped around me and murmured in my heart, “See how My Servant will succeed! He will be raised up, exalted, highly honored!”

Peace poured over me like an anointing oil. Still, if I was given the option, I may have thrown myself into the Lake of Fire instead of giving this command. “Stand down,” I whispered.

The captain whirled on me, “You can’t be serious!”

At the same time, the scout said, “Sir?”

“You heard me,” I replied. Actually, I wasn’t sure the scout had. I had barely whispered those two words. I took a deep breath and called to the other warriors, “Stand down! They have the password. By heaven’s permission, they enter!” No one was happy to obey me, but they did anyway. “Nonetheless,” I breathed to the scout, “the rest of the plan stays intact. We will tighten the line as they close in on the Commander. Spread the word through the cohort, but quietly.”

“As you say, so be it!” The scout saluted, then disappeared.

“Keep your sword at the ready, but point the tip down,” I told the captain, then stepped back so the mob could pass into the garden.

After they passed by, leaving the three torchbearers behind, we followed them. As our line tightened around the mob, the demons’ nervousness increased, which made me feel good. One demon flew up to Satan and whispered to him, but the Evil One sent him away without answering.

“The Commander’s hedge is still up.”

I nodded. “That’s to our advantage. I’ll take a dozen warriors with me inside to reinforce the guardians.”

The captain nodded and assigned the warriors to me. We circled to the back of the hedge and slipped through. When we reached the Commander and His disciples, we drew our swords. The Commander glanced at us, then down the hill. “Get up,” He ordered the sitting disciples. “Here comes my betrayer. Pray that you won’t be put to the test.”

As He was speaking, the mob appeared. I could just barely make them out through the flames, although I had no doubt that the disciples, who saw with their physical sight only, could see their moving shadows. The Commander walked toward the hedge and waited for Judas to enter. Despite Satan’s safety inside the disciple, he convulsed as they passed through the flames. He recovered quickly enough, despite my prayers that he would not.

Judas raised his torch. “Peace be on You, Rabbi!” He kissed Jesus’ cheek. “I thought You would be asleep by now. You look terrible. Why don’t You lie down–”

“A kiss?” The Commander rasped, his eyes red-rimmed. “Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

“Rabbi, I–”

The Commander waved aside the attempted excuse. “Friend, do what you’ve come to do.” Without waiting for a response, He walked through the hedge to meet the mob.

“Master!” Judas called, chasing after Him. “Please! You need rest!”

The Commander whirled on him. “Stop. Rejoin your people.” I couldn’t tell if the command was to Satan or Judas, but they obeyed.

By this point, the rest of the disciples were on their feet and watching with confusion as the Commander approached the mob. “What’s He doing?” Nathaniel asked.

“I don’t know,” John replied. “But this doesn’t look good.”

Simon the Zealot clutched the sword strapped to his side. “I think the more appropriate question is, ‘Who are Judas’ friends?’ ” A few men nodded, but no one answered.

“Why have you come?” The Commander asked the crowd.

Malchus stepped forward. “You’re standing in the shadows. Come into the light where I can see you!”

“Let me rephrase my question,” the Commander replied patiently without moving a single inch. “Whom do you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth.”

“I Am He.”

That was the oldest euphemism for the Most High’s true name. The way the Commander claimed it made His Godhood so prevalent that it sent all of us spirits to our knees. We angels fell to our knees in adoration. The demons fell to the ground in terror, dragging the possessed humans down with them. Even Satan was thrown to the ground, dragging Judas with him. Even the few men who were not possessed backed away cautiously, though I doubted they understood why.

A moment passed before the Commander continued, “If I’m the one you want, then let these others go.”

I looked up just in time to see the hedge lower, then disappear. “No!” I stood, my stomach tying in knots, and called to the other angels, “On your feet! The time has come to protect the disciples!” In the seconds before the first demons attacked, we positioned ourselves in battle formation. When they attacked, we hacked them down without mercy.

“Lord!” Simon the Zealot called out, his sword drawn. “Permit us to attack!”

Peter didn’t wait for permission. He shouted a battle cry and charged Malchus, his sword clenched in his fist.

“Peter!” The Commander called.

I stabbed a demon, then looked for Peter’s guardian. He tried to chase after his charge but was instantly surrounded by demons.  “Fight and destroy them! I’ll go!” I called to him as I flew after Peter.

The demon inside Malchus’ body grinned and held him petrified. I reached Peter just as he swung, and knocked his elbow. The intended deathblow went wide, slicing off the temple guard’s ear instead.

Malchus screamed and crumpled on the ground. The demon hissed and separated from his captive. The demon jumped me, a dagger in hand. I barely got my shield up before he knocked me to the ground. As we wrestled, Jesus ran up to Peter. “Sheath your sword! Those who depend on the sword inevitably die violently!”

I rolled on top of the demon and wrenched the dagger out of his grip, plunging it into his heart. The demon shuddered, then disappeared to Sheol. Gasping, I stood to my feet.

The Commander continued, “Don’t you know I could ask my Father and He would instantly put at my disposal more than twelve armies of angels?” I looked around at the spiritual battle raging. There were only about 800 of us here, but the rest of heaven would jump at the chance to fight.

Satan growled and separated from Judas, who fell to his knees and stared around him in horror. Satan pulled out his bow and notched a flaming arrow. “Prince of Heaven, protect Your slave if You wish, but You will separate Yourself from the will and protection of Your God! Otherwise, I will shoot!”

The Commander furrowed His brow but shook His head. Looking at Peter, He said, “But if I did, how could the Scriptures be fulfilled?”

Satan blinked, his brow furrowing for only a minute before he growled, “Fulfill the Scriptures? Ah! You fool!” With that, he let the arrow fly.

“Commander!” I screamed as I flew to block the arrow with my body. Before I reached them, a spiritual boulder appeared against me. I threw my arm up, but couldn’t stop my momentum. I slammed into it and crumpled to the ground. I looked up just in time to watch the arrow thunk into a faith shield that appeared before the Commander. As the boulder vanished, I bowed my head and breathed a sigh of relief.

A demon jumped on Peter, digging talons into Peter’s mind. He gripped his sword tighter. “But, Master–”

The Commander’s face hardened. “This is the cup the Father has given me; am I not to drink it?”

Peter’s guardian arrived and hit the demon with the pommel of his sword. It snarled in pain and let go of Peter to attack the guardian. Without its influence, Peter lowered his gaze. Gently, the Commander pushed him back toward the rest of the disciples. Rubbing my bruises, I walked over to Peter and encouraged him to rejoin his companions.

When the Commander knelt in front of Malchus, a couple other guards sprang forward, swords pointed at the Commander’s throat. He raised His hands to show they were empty. “Let me do this.” with that, he touched the stub and restored the ear.

Malchus gasped and held his new ear as the Commander stood and addressed the mob. “Am I a violent leader of a rebellion that you come to arrest Me with swords and clubs? Every day I was there with you in the Temple court, yet you didn’t arrest me. But this is your moment, and darkness is the authority.” He held out his arms and looked directly at Satan. “Let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”

Satan marched up to the Commander and glared at Him. “Your surrender is a guise, and we both know it. This is a defiance that I can neither forgive nor condone in a prisoner of war. When I make Your pain worse, remember that You chose this.”

The Commander set His jaw as Satan gestured for the demons to take him. The mob surrounded Him; forcing Him to His knees, they twisted His arms behind His back and tied Him roughly. He grimaced but said nothing. One man clubbed Him over the head. A scream of pain tore from his lips as He fell to the ground, but the mob didn’t give Him time to catch His breath before they yanked Him to His feet and pushed Him toward Jerusalem.

I gripped my sword tighter. How I longed to cut them all down and free my Commander! But then He looked at me, blood dripping down His face. His expression strengthened my resolve to obey my orders.

Someone in the crowd yelled, “Grab the others! They can all die together!”

I allowed myself one more glance at the Commander, then ran back up the hill. Many of the disciples had already fled, most of the angels following them. The other disciples ran then. “Go with Peter!” I yelled to the captain. “I’ll follow with John!”

With that, we separated. John ran down the other side of the hill in terror and clambered up a tree. When some of the mob came close, I left John with his guardian and attacked the demons with them. When they scattered, I clogged the humans’ ears so they couldn’t hear John’s labored breathing. They passed right under the tree without seeing him. As soon as I knew he was safe, I went to help protect the other disciples.

Nearly an hour passed as we secured the rest of the disciples. Prompted by the Spirit, I returned to the garden and patrolled it. When I was sure it was clear, I returned to John and his guardian. “Clear?” He asked me.

I nodded. John must have sensed his guardian’s relief because he climbed down from the tree. As soon as he reached the ground, he collapsed to his knees and covered his face with his hands. “Oh God, forgive me for my cowardice.” he prayed. Tears slipped down his cheeks as the incense of his prayer rose. A moment later, the Holy Spirit surrounded John, breathed into his spirit, and cause him to stand. John wiped his tears, but as he walked toward Jerusalem, his chest still heaved.

“John!” The whisper met him at the garden gate.

John squinted into the darkness. “Peter?”

“Yeah. Where are you going?”

“To the high priest’s palace. He’s an old friend of mine, so I’m sure he’ll let me see Jesus.”

“Want some company?” Peter stepped out of the shadows, followed by his guardian and the captain.

John shrugged. “He probably won’t let you in.”

“I’ll stay in the courtyard, then.”

John nodded and the two walked together in silence.

I looked at the captain and the guardians. “Keep them veiled at all costs. They are vital in the Commander’s strategy to expand His dominion on the earth.”

Peter’s guardian shook his head. “Yes, but I wish the expansion didn’t come at so high a cost.”

I gulped. We all wished that, even the Commander. “Courage, warriors. The Commander’s death and resurrection mark the greatest victory for Heaven’s Kingdom in all of history.”

 

Thank you for reading part 3 of The Holy Week Series!
Check back tomorrow for part 4, The House of Judgment!

Read part 1: “Behold the Man” 13-year-old Alexander is esctatic to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. But what he doesn’t realize is that this festival will change his life forever.

Part 2: The Last and the First John the Disciple has eaten more meals than he can count with his Master, Jesus of Nazareth. But this one is different. In many respects, it feels like a meal to end all meals. Then again, is it a herald of things to come?

Part 4: The House of Judgment Nicodemus, a pious lawyer and friend of Jesus, is summoned to be a juryman for the trial of Jesus of Nazareth. As Jesus is tried for His life, Nicodemus can’t help but notice how unusual and, well, illegal the proceedings are. He wonders when the council will give up… or if they’ll succeed.

Part 5: The Sacrifice Joseph of Arimathea has been waiting expectantly for the Kingdom of God, and believes that Jesus heralds its arrival. But when Jesus is crucified, Joseph is left only with would-have’s, could-have’s, and should-have’s.

Part 6: The Sword-Pierced Heart When Jesus was a baby, a prophet warned Mary that a sword would pierce her heart. 33 years later, that prophecy came true in ways she couldn’t imagine possible.

Part 7: The Appearance As far as James is concerned, it’s the end. His brother, Jesus, is dead, and that is–unfortunately–that. But he’s about to figure out that God has other plans.

Author’s Note

Unless otherwise noted below, all scripture quotes are from the Complete Jewish Bible, © 1998 by David H. Stern. The following passages were quoted (in order that they appeared in the story):
2 Samuel 10:12
Mark 14:36
Matthew 26:42
Matthew 3:17
Psalms 22:22-24, NKJV
Isaiah 52:13
Mark 14:42, Luke 22:46
Luke 22:48
John 18:4
John 18:5
John 18:8
Matthew 26:53
Matthew 26:54
John 18:11
Luke 22:51
Luke 22:53
Mark 14:49

Sources and Further Exploration

Bible
Luke 22
Psalm 22
Mark 14
John 13
Revelations 5:8
Zechariah 2:5
Isaiah 52:13

Books
A Commentary on the Whole Bible, Vol. 5: Matthew to John by Matthew Henry
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible by John Gill
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong

Articles
Structure of the Legion by Benjamin Hollis
Panic Attack Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Statistics by Jim Folk and Marilyn Folk, BScN

6 thoughts on “The Commander’s Vigil

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s