Week 6: All Things Made New
How does one sleep through the darkest night? Anna didn’t know. Sweat and tears marred her face. Her hair stuck awkwardly to her chin and cheeks, painting a rather unattractive picture. Anna was crumpled on the earthen floor in her father’s room. It was where she had fallen asleep last night. She was still clutching her father’s cloak from the night before. For a moment, Anna couldn’t remember what day it was. The atrocities from the days before had crushed of all the world’s time. Sunday, it was Sunday. Everything came rushing back like a crushing wave. Anna knew her life would never be the same again. She quickly arose. Her knees throbbed and her back ached, but she would have to deal with the pain. After brushing her hair, Anna grabbed some of her mother’s aloe and ran to the tomb of Jesus. The sky was still dark, and the stars continued to sparkle with a wink of hope. Anna strode faster, passing the notorious Olive tree. Her heart unexpectedly exploded and she began to cry. Everyone who she had cherished was no gone: her mother, her father, Luca, and now Jesus. What was to become of her? As Anna hurried to the tomb, she wearily searched her mind for any of the old prophecies that her father had told her. If only she paid more attention!
As Anna bended the curve before the tomb, thoughts of worry flooded her thinking. How was she to get away from the guards? She reached the tomb, but then the earth vomited the ground. Anna fell to the ground. When Anna rubbed her eyes and came to her senses she saw the two guards passed out on the ground. The boulder had been moved over and an angel was seated on it. Out of the corner of her left eye, Anna tried to look at him, but he was so bright that she couldn’t for long. He was bright for lightening. It was as if he had just been in the presence of God Himself. Anna covered her face with her shawl. Darkness was now a memory of the past. The true light had come, shattering any form of din that dared to stand in the way.
“Anna, do not be afraid. Jesus sent me to tell you that He is alive, just like he told you.” The angel’s voice rippled and flowed like water. His words were deeply ethereal creating a presence of awed reverence.
Anna continued to shake. She couldn’t yet process the angel’s words. Could Jesus really be alive?
The angel swooped down from the large boulder and gracefully took Anna’s hand.
“What I tell you is true. Come and see.”
Together they walked into the sepulcher. Anna tenderly touched the empty bed. When she turned around, the angel was gone.
Anna ran out of the tomb. She had to tell someone!
Anna’s sandaled, sweaty feet flew across the dusty road. She wasn’t looking where she was going, and she collided into Luca.
Unlike her normal self Anna sputtered out, “Have you seen Jesus? He’s alive! Can you believe it !”
“Yes, Anna. Yes. I’ve seen Him.” Luca’s voice softened, and his eyes glowed with a level of understanding that Anna had never seen.
Anna backed away. She was afraid to get to close to him again. Anna could see that Luca had seen Jesus. The change in him was undeniable and it made him more attractive than before.
“Anna, I’m sorry about what happened before. I know I wasn’t man enough to tell you to your face. But I’ve changed. Now I’ve met Jesus. You were always right. He is the Messiah. I’ve seen Him. I touched the nail scars on His hands.”
Anna smiled. Her prayers had been answered. The seed she had planted had not gone to waste.
“Anna, Sophia and I have decided that some stories are best meant to be closed. Sophia and I are going are separate ways now. But she wanted to thank you for your help the other night. I’m supposed to be going to a meeting with the chief priests and with the head centurion. But I think I’m going to quit being a Roman solider and do something simple like being a carpenter. I’ve heard so many rumors. All the Roman soldiers are trying to find a way to cover that Jesus really is alive. I’m not about to spend the rest of my life living a lie.
Anna smiled and nodded slowly. How could this be happening?
“I’m going to see Jesus. Won’t ‘you walk with me?”
Anna took Luca’s extended hand and together they faced the dawn. With their eyes fixed on Jesus they knew they would not fail.