Back in the high priest’s chamber, Malchus stands waiting for his next orders. His head is bowed, eyes to the ground by law; his breathing is shallow still, his thoughts skimming along the surface of the sounds of accusation breaking over and around him. Sounds he hears with two good ears.
Ridiculous, wild statements, outright lies, preposterous tales fall to the floor around Jesus, but don’t seem to touch him. That’s the carpenter’s name, then. He’s heard stories about a Jesus. This is him? Finally one claim–“He said, ‘Destroy the temple and in three days I’ll rebuild it!'”–rang true.
Caiaphus standing in his weighty robe of authority, uses his most commanding, intimidating voice. “I order you, by the living God, to tell us the truth. Are you the Messiah, the son of God?” Continue reading
Rousted out of bed in the dank midnight, he fumbles into his robe and follows as he’s ordered. He didn’t quite catch why it was that he was part of this group. Now as they wind their way up the hill, the torchlight flickering on the path is not enough to prevent stubbed toes and stumbling over rocks.
They’ve been commanded to be silent, so any injury produces no more than a close-lipped grunt. Some pebbles roll away from their passing, but there is no other sound. He tries to glance before and behind without tripping. It appears that all the household slaves are here, as well as Caiaphus’ armed guards, and some others he’s seen in the Temple courtyard. A variety of swords and cudgels swing from beefy fists. But not from his. He is not permitted to own a weapon. Where are they going? It looks like a grove of olive trees. He can see the outline of their twisted shapes against the moonlit sky. Continue reading