This is part two of a fictional account of a man on the fringes of Jesus Christ’s ministry grappling with the events of this holy weekend, all those years ago.
You can read part one here.
I woke up tired and disappointed.
The crowds were gone. The mood had changed. Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified, and with him the hopes and dreams of his followers. I had never before considered myself one of that number, but as I watched Friday’s events I realized that was a lie.
I did believe in him. I wanted to, anyway, and so I guess I had. My heart wanted him to be the Messiah, the true one sent from God to deliver us. But clearly, he was not him.
How could God’s Christ be murdered by the Romans and Pharisees?
I was confused by my own disappointment at first, unwilling to accept what I was feeling. But as the day went on, I caught my thoughts drifting back to yesterday. It gnawed at me, wearing on me. I was trying to dance around the reality, to simply move on.
That’s the problem with hope, you see. It raises you up, and for moments you feel as if you can fly, carried in the wind like an eagle. But hope, left to its own devices, will crash. I knew better than to do this again, to let my heart drift into another dream. And so I face the consequences.
A messiah will come, or a messiah will not come. I know what the scriptures teach, and I know that God is with us. But God has left us to wait on account of our sin. We deserve this.
I sense the battle within. A part of me clings to the teachings of our fathers, teachings about God and what he provides. But then, I look around. I see the Romans. I see our chief priests. I see the world as it is, and that knowledge acts as a cudgel against all that I grew up with.
I want to believe.
But then I see this man, this Jesus of Nazareth, dead on a cross, and I’m confronted by something deep from within. I sense this force within me, pushing me toward a dark place, whispering but one phrase. I know I shouldn’t grab on to it, but I am weak.
The voice simply says:
There is nothing to believe in after all.