Voices of the Passion and Easter - James Zebedee


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 on these events with fresh thoughts.

I admit that I would blow my top at any excuse – there was nothing more that I enjoyed more than letting someone else have a piece of my mind – and I had plenty of it to give! Why, my brother John and I even wanted Jesus to destroy a Samaritan town by fire because they didn’t offer us hospitality.

It was almost like a competition in the group of twelve as to who could get the angriest, mainly between John (who calmed down over time), Peter, Simon the Zealot and myself. How Jesus kept us all in control I will never know!

In contrast, Jesus was so calm that nothing fazed Him – which drove us even more insane. There were times when He was the man of action (such as when He overturned the moneychangers’ tables in the temple) with maddening rationality, but more often He continued calmly with the plan that He had set out.

In the last week, the religious blokes tried to harangue the Rabbi with questions that were aimed at tripping Him up, but Jesus remained so serene like being in the eye of the storm. And when Jesus said that one of us would betray Him, I was ready to thump that person into oblivion but again Jesus continued with the assurance that everything was going as He ordained.

When the ruffians came to arrest Him, again it was Him that was in control. We wanted Jesus to fight back but He refused. I get the impression that He had been agonising over what was to come for there was profuse sweating on Him that had come on whilst Peter, John and myself had dozed off (despite being told to keep awake) as we were so, so tired.

At the point of His arrest, I lost my bravado as our leader had been taken into custody. We seemed to be like a rudderless ship, not knowing where we were going – almost destined to hit the rocks. I ran through the Garden, barging anyone and everyone out of the way. As I panicked, I realised that I was fed up of shooting my mouth off and it was time for action, even though it meant betraying the Rabbi by not standing with Him in His time of need. I decided that my self-preservation took pre-eminence.

It was ironic that the news of Jesus’ death and then His resurrection came from the women who were present. In our society, women were treated as second class citizens, but they had shown more courage and commitment than I had. I felt ashamed that I had put myself first. When the Lord appeared to us disciples and in response for all that He had done for me, I resolved from that moment on that I would be willing to speak out His words of love and peace to others, and to lay down my life for Him.

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