Voices of the Passion and Easter - Bartholomew

I have imagined the reactions and thought processes of those people involved in the Good Friday and Easter narrative.

I hope that it will assist you to meditate and these events with fresh thoughts.

If there has to be someone in the group with common sense, it had to be me. I gave myself the reputation of being the ‘level-headed one’ in the group that had some real hot-heads (just look at Peter, Simon the Zealot and James so of Zebedee), the ‘soft ones’ (like John) and the ones that were just non-descript.

I admit that there were some things that Jesus said and did that I couldn’t get my head around. For example, there was that occasion when He washed our feet – surely, that was the role of a servant and He was the leader of our group.

Then He talked about being arrested, beaten and crucified as though it was part of His game plan – I mean, does anyone have that as part of their game plan? Afterwards, He informed us, He would be going to His Father and sending someone called the Holy Spirit to be our guide. I mean, it seemed all too incredible.

That and the spookily eerie thing He said around the meal table that one of us was going to betray Him. I couldn’t believe that and neither could any of the others. We all thought that He was pointing the finger at us personally. We were so engrossed in this self-denial that none of us noticed Judas sneaking away, perhaps we though that he was going to get more provisions.

After our walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, I was so tired (after all, it had been a long week and the food we had just had laid upon my stomach) that I took a snooze. I thought that no-one else would notice.

It was only when I heard a commotion that I bolted up straight, barely opening my eyes. I saw the burning torches and the flicker of the light upon the swords that the guards were carrying. I knew that it was danger and that I didn’t want to be part of it. When Judas planted that kiss of ‘a friend’ upon the cheek of Jesus, I realised that this was the beginning of the fruition of all that Jesus had been talking about. It didn’t embolden me, instead it terrified me, so I made for the exit post haste.

It did bother me that I hadn’t stuck behind as I’m sure that Jesus would have minded my back if I had been in trouble. But as someone else had said, ‘discretion is the best part of valour.’

This guilt did sort of bind me to the rest of the group, although I was tempted to hotfoot it back to Galilee. It was in that upper room that Jesus appeared and all the logical things He had been saying was fulfilled – His plan to die and rise again had come true. He had been thinking about me all the time, even when my only thoughts had been for me.