Voices of the Passion and Easter - Matthew

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 know the price of things. It was a trick that I picked up when I was working as a tax collector for the Roman occupying government.

I knew that it was a civil service role that would never cause me to have friends, except with other tax collectors and outcasts from society. It was a great surprise then when Jesus came along and commanded me to follow Him. There was something automatically wonderful about Him that caused me to leave the tax booth and follow this Man. You see, I know the price of fame and hanging on the coattails of people who are on the way up.
In the first couple of years, whilst we were travelling mainly through Galilee, His message was very popular and people flocked to be near the Master. Then it started to go horribly wrong as people thought that He should be starting a revolution against the Romans and the religious authorities were gunning after Him. It came as bit of a shock to the other disciples, but I had been in an unpopular group before, so this was not a new experience. I also know the cost of disillusionment.

I was slightly surprised when Jesus said that He wanted to go to Jerusalem for the Passover feast, but went along with it. Jesus talked about being handed over to religious authorities, beaten and then put to death. Although we could not really appreciate what He was saying, we decided to be with all the way. I was half-expecting some rough treatment but certainly not for Jesus, of all people, to be put to death. Surely, that would be a price not worth paying.

The rest of the events were awful with my close friend Judas choosing to betray the Master which I certainly did not expect. When the armed men came into the garden to arrest Jesus, I almost wet myself with fear. It was with shaking legs that I ran as fast as could from the scene. I did not want to be associated with Jesus, His mission or that dreadful outcome anymore. I was not sure that I even wanted to be in the company of the other disciples.

They persuaded me that we should all meet up in the upper room so that we could protect each other – I’m sure that it was a worthy thought but, since most of had fled the scene of Jesus’ capture, it was slightly ridiculous.

With the door firmly shut and stoutly locked, Jesus appeared in the middle of us and His first word was ‘Peace.’ Up to that moment, my heart had been racing from fear, but my pulse settled down and I worshipped my risen Lord.

He had died to restore me to my Heavenly Father by forgiving me of my sins. It had been a price worth paying.