Happy Easter Season! I’m taking this opportunity to tell you about some upcoming blog posts I hope you will enjoy reading. I’ll be writing Biblical fiction where a real character will experience what it may have been like during Jesus’ donkey ride into Jerusalem for Passover, His crucifixion on Good Friday, and His resurrection on Easter morning.
I’d like to introduce you to Simon, the leper.
Simon rocked as he sat on his camel, the sun’s merciless glare slicing into his eyes. As he traveled the desert road from Bethany, he ducked his face into long scarf wound around his neck and wiped away sandy dirt, mixed with soured sweat. His focus sharpened, and he squinted into the distance. His heartbeat quickened and a smile spread across his weathered face.
“Ahhh. Jerusalem.” A glittering jewel, flashing like a precious stone in a king’s crown.
He dug the heels of his sandals into the sides of his camel, ignoring its bleat of protest, and charged on. He had left his wife and infant son at home in Bethany and was determined to arrive in time for Passover. His brother lived inside the city wall, and his family would make room in their cramped quarters.
But what drove his passion was the news that Jesus was arriving there, too. This compassionate man, who had touched him two years earlier and made him whole, had erased his life sentence of leprosy. A miracle of restoration back to his family, and he was intent on repaying the Lord for His mercies.
Simon had also witnessed the miracle of Lazarus coming back to life, convincing him that Jesus had to be Messiah. Although the Sadducees preached and taught against the resurrection, not the Pharisees. How could anyone not believe when Lazarus had been dead in the tomb four days? The Teacher had commanded in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” and the man, wrapped up like a mummy, had hobbled out alive. I’ll never, never forget it.
He shook his head side to side. The Sadducees were fools in his opinion—though seeing, they remained unbelieving. He laughed aloud as he trotted, remembering that recently he had hosted Jesus and Lazarus at his supper table. He inhaled a deep breath, still able to smell the lavish worship a woman, a believer, had displayed that night.
When Mary had quietly entered with an alabaster vial, no one had paid attention. But then the rich, sweet smell floated everywhere, growing stronger until his nostrils burned with the fragrance. The expensive perfume dripped from Jesus—down his hair, his beard, and through his tunic. That’s when everyone realized she had broken the vial and discreetly poured it over His head.
As some began to protest indignantly that she had wasted its value by not selling and giving the money to the poor, Jesus put up His hand. They immediately silenced.
He would always cherish Jesus’s words. “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
Questions somersaulted in his mind—what did He mean … His burial? Only dead bodies were anointed, and Jesus was very much living. He had to search for answers.
However, there was another reason for this journey besides celebrating Passover. He pictured his infant son lying at home, his stomach cavity pumping in and out as he attempted to inhale enough air for just one good breath. His fearful, brown eyes pleaded. Give. Me. Air.
He had to locate Jesus. Then his son would be healed. His heart galloped and wrung at the same time, causing tears to squeeze out his eyes and tunnel down his cheeks. Absolutely must. If Jesus could raise the dead and heal lepers, He could heal his son with a single word.
Could he find Him in time?
photos courtesy of morguefile and istockphoto