When two Roman soldiers are relieved of their watch on Sunday morning, they are as surprised as the oncoming watch to find they have been standing in front of an open and empty tomb, the rock rolled back… and unaware when that might have happened! Yet this is just one more crisis for Pontius Pilate, wracked by guilt over his dishonorable act, and puzzled by the political intrigues and mysterious forces that made his actions inevitable. But there is more to follow for him, much more!
The lightning flashed outside with an audible hiss, filling the hall
with brilliant blue fire that left the eyes dazzled, followed
immediately by booming thunder that shook the marble columns in the
governor’s Praetorium. The five bearded men in counsel with the
governor started at the sound, and looked fearfully over their shoulders
at the tempest that had begun to break outside. However, they all
suppressed the desire to rush to the open balcony to see where the bolt
had struck from the darkening sky.
“Close!” said Pilate, “Very close!” Normally himself fearful and
superstitious about lightning, the Roman governor felt that this strike
had come from Fortuna herself, the goddess of good luck. The blast had
emphasized his words perfectly. “As I was saying,” continued Pilate,
in the Greek lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean, “there will
be no violation of your Law, which Rome has always respected. My
soldiers were to terminate the execution just about this very time. The
criminals will be hauled down and given to their families for burial.
They must be buried by sundown, or they will be held in camp outside the
City until your sacred time has passed. Rome would certainly never wish
to profane any of your Sabbaths, much less this Passover Sabbath, which
you hold so sacred.”
Oh, and you do hold it so sacred, scheming by hook or by crook to show
me in contempt of your Law and stir up rebellion on this Passover
Sabbath. You scheming bastards would have been pleased to have the
streets run red with blood! But I outmaneuvered you at every turn. And
now, in a few hours, your very own Law will hold you inactive, bound to
prayer and ritual, while the spark of rebellion that you so carefully
kindled flickers out.
Excerpted from "Come, Follow Me: A Story of Pilate and Jesus" by Lewis McIntyre. Copyright © 2016 by Lewis McIntyre. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
This is the first literary work published by Lewis McIntyre, a senior engineer and a retired Naval aviator living and working in southern Maryland with his wife Karen, who doubles as his editor, literary critic and inspiration. Besides writing and working at Patuxent River, Lewis enjoys biking, running, hunting and amateur radio.
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