Voices of the Passion and Easter - Nathaniel

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.

Sometimes, words just come back to you and you squirm. I recall when my good friend Philip raced excitedly up to me and declared that He had found the Promised One.

My response (the words still haunt me even after all those years) was ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ It was not supposed to be a slur on the good people of that town, but it was only a small village populated mainly by those who had wandered up from Bethlehem in the south.

There had been no indication that God would bring the Promised One out of that town but, in the end, I decided to give Jesus a fair hearing. In fact, to be fair to Him, not only was He welcoming and called me a man of faith, but He also included me in his inner group of twelve. I’m not sure that He know about my sceptical remark but, if He did, He didn’t make any reference to it to me.

The first couple of years were really with Jesus being welcomed by all the population. However, the third year was tough going with opposition, especially from the religious authorities.

What bothered me was that Jesus would talk about His betrayal, being handed to the religious leaders and being killed. I just wanted to put my fingers in my ears and go ‘la la la’ loudly as if nothing was going to happen.

When we arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus confronted the religious people out to get Him. When He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple, I thought to myself that He was going the right way to get noticed and get into trouble. Sure enough, the temple guard caught up with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. However, it could be that they were not too bothered about us because they let us run away and disappear into the night.

That’s it, I thought, I was right all along that nothing good can come out of Nazareth, especially as reports filtered through to us about Jesus’ awful treatment at the beatings post before He was put on the cross to die.

How wrong was I! On the third day after His death, my gloom and despondency of following a so-called lost cause was changed beyond all comprehension. In the midst of us cowering disciples, Jesus appeared in His resurrection body.

Although His earthly ministry had been only in a small country, the impact of His death and resurrection would be felt across continents.