Voices of the Passion and Easter - Jewish Guards

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.

There is no doubt that we are the toughest people from our nation – fearless in carrying out our duty and totally without any moral baggage. Our only role is to carry out the will of our religious masters in Jerusalem.

We had been given this assignment to arrest a troublemaker called Jesus of Nazareth, someone who had wandered around the northern country with powerful words and apparently healing the sick. It was fine so long as He stayed up there and kept out of our way.

For some unknown reason, He brought His followers to Jerusalem for the Passover. This festival can be a powder keg on the best occasions with so many people crammed in together in a small space and with emotions running high. He managed to upset the religious leaders by confronting them. Furthermore, He upset the moneychangers by turning over their tables at the temple – you should have seen all the feathers from the frightened doves, the frantic bleating of the lambs and the golden glint of coins on the floor in the furore.

Because this Jesus was still so popular amongst the crowds, it was decided that we would arrest Him somewhere it was quiet. We had been given a tip-off by one of His disciples that He would be in the Garden of Gethsemane. We arrived there carrying lanterns and weapons, with a few officials from the chief priests and Pharisees hidden at the back to ensure that we did our job,

We approached the group in the garden and stated that we wanted to see Jesus of Nazareth. He came forward and declared ‘I am He!’ With that, we were overawed with the latent power coming from Him that we stepped back and dropped to the ground. When we had recomposed ourselves, one of His followers called Judas (who had come with our group) went up to Jesus and kissed Him on the cheek in the act of betrayal as an additional proof of identification.

As we moved to arrest Him, Jesus pleaded with us to let His followers go safely. But, before we knew it, Peter (one of the disciples) drew out his sword and chopped off the ear of the high priest’s servant who had been at the back. What Jesus did was amazing because He rebuked Peter, picked up the ear and placed it back on the servant. When Jesus withdrew His hand, the ear was completely healed without even a scar. Although we now knew that there was something special about this Man, we knew that we had to follow orders, so we bound Him and brought Him reluctantly before Annas.

We wonder: what would have happened if we hadn’t been so bound by our command from our masters?