The Bethany Blog

from our Bethany Correspondent

During the run up to Easter, through the wonders of imagined technologies, we have been able to get regular updates from our Bethany Correspondent who is in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago,

From our Bethany correspondent - 1  - A few days before Passover

Hello and greetings from Bethany to you people 2000 years from now.

I'm outside the house of Lazarus, brother to the sisters Mary & Martha, all well known in the area. Especially after those reports a while back that they thought that Lazuras had died until Jesus called him out of the tomb alive. This preacher from north is still causing a bit of a stir here. He and his friends are in town and last night they had a bit of a party here. I'm told that Martha served up quite a meal. Then Mary took some expensive perfume and poured it over the teacher's feet and wiped them with her hair!

One of his followers is a guy called Judas and he took a bit of an exception to this. Waste of money, he said, could have been given to the poor. An eye witness tells me that Jesus put him in his place saying

 “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”  What did he mean by that?

Well the crowd is building up a bit now as the news gets out that he's here, what with the Passover festival coming up. Will he be going to Jerusalem? Keep checking back. I'll keep you updated with reports over the next few days. 

From our Bethany correspondent - 2 - 2 days later

Hello again,  it seems that Jesus is going to be in Jerusalem for the Passover, he went into the city in remarkable style today - though not the style you might expect. His disciples borrowed a colt - one that had not even been ridden on before - from a house in nearby Bethpage. A witness told me that they had just walked up to where it was tethered and undid the rope. Someone asked them what they were doing and they just said "the Master has need of it", as cool as that. Seemed to be good enough for the owner the colt though.

Quite a crowd had gathered by the Bethany Road entrance to Jerusalem, the word had got round. I think they expected a king riding in in triumph. Instead, he comes up the hill riding on this colt (bearing in mind no one had ridden it before, it seemed quite happy with being ridden). It didn't put the crowds off though, "hosanna" they shouted, "here comes the Son of David" and they broke branches off the palm trees, waved them and put them down in front of him as he rode past. Some learned people noted that this was just like it says in the Book of Zechariah.

What the authorities made of it we may see over the next few days, there's an air of anticipation in the crowd so that means tension for the Chief Priests. They won't want any trouble at the festival.

Watch this space, I'll keep you posted … 

From our Bethany correspondent - 3 - Next Day

Greetings from Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, for my third report to you future folks. 

Well it seems the authorities were right to be nervous of disturbances running up to the festival. My last report described the Galilean, Jesus, riding into the city on a colt with people shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David". You may have heard of "Gentle Jesus, Meek & Mild" right? Not today.  He went to the temple and when he saw all the money-changing, the selling of sheep & doves well, some say he lost it, others say they saw the fire of a righteous anger in his eyes. He took some rope and ran round swinging it and turning the tables over telling the sellers to get out. There was money rolling across the floor, sheep running wild and the air full of doves. Chaotic scenes.

One witness told me that she heard him say  “My house shall be called a house of prayer”;    but you are making it a den of robbers.’

Jesus is back here in Bethany tonight. The air is so thick it feels you could cut it with a knife. I'll let you know what happens tomorrow.

From our Bethany correspondent - 4 - Early Thursday evening

Hello again. This is my fourth report for you future folks. 

I'm standing outside the house in Jerusalem where Jesus and his followers ate the Passover meal this evening. A man came running out in rather a hurry earlier on, Nearly knocked me right over, Didn't say a word and just ran off towards the temple.

A bit later, one of the maids came out so I asked her what had happened. She told me that Jesus had been talking about someone betraying him and the disciples had all been aghast saying "Surely not I". Then Jesus dipped a piece of bread and gave it to Judas saying to him "what you have to do, do quickly", the look on Judas's face had made the maid shudder, she told me. Then he had left. That must have been the guy who ran by me.

The maid said it been very strange after that. Jesus was talking about his body & his blood, about going somewhere they couldn't come, and then about preparing a place for them to come too, all rather confusing for her, and she added that he had been talking to the one they call Rocky about cocks crowing.

Then just a few minutes ago they all came out, they had torches and someone said they were going to the garden of Gethsemene. A bit unusual at this time of night. I'm going to follow on & see what is going on.  I'll tell you in the next report.

From our Bethany correspondent - 5 - Friday morning

Well now we know what that talk of betrayal was all about. In my last report, Jesus and his friends had left the house where they had had the Passover meal and were on the way to the Garden of Gethsemene. It was pretty late, I positioned myself on the edge of the group. Jesus and some of his inner group went a little way off to pray. Watch and Pray he had said, I had a hard job staying awake and I notice many didn't.

Then the man who had barged past me last night came up the path and behind him were some of the temple guards. This man, I was told later he is called Judas, went up to Jesus and kissed him - funny way to betray a friend. The temple guards rushed in and arrested Jesus. Things got a bit chaotic, a sword flashed, someone grabbed their ear then Jesus shouted to stop & he put his hand over the ear and, well, it was as if the sword hadn't struck.

They took Jesus down to the Chief Priest. Just after dawn they came out and took him to Pilate. There's a crowd gathering outside. A lot are looking sad and scared but others are turning nasty. Pilate won't want a riot.

From our Bethany correspondent - 6 - Saturday morning

It's all over.

A rather unusual trial.  A severe beating. Pilate saying he found no wrong in the man. The crowd baying for the blood of the man who had been welcomed as the Son of David just last week - some say there were agitators out in the crowd to swing the vote.  Pilate was visibly dismayed and washed his hands in front of the crowd before giving in to the demands and sending Jesus for that most horrendous of deaths favoured by the Romans, crucifixion.  I will save you the grisly details.

The way Jesus took it all impressed many. He was heard to say "Father. Forgive them, they know not what they do" and, whilst in great pain on the cross, he even managed to ask one of his closest friends to look after his Mother.

At about 3pm, the sky came over very dark, Jesus gave a loud cry - some say he said "it is finished" and then he died. Any doubt of that was removed by a soldier sticking his spear in his side later, blood and water, indicators of death. There are odd reports that temple curtain split about the same time, the one that separates the Holiest of Holies from the people.

Usually the Romans leave bodies hanging as a sign, but his has been removed. I gather someone asked to take it way to their own family tomb. I found the place this morning. It has an armed guard on it. Clearly the authorities are not taking any chances.

From our Bethany correspondent - 7 - Sunday

It's all over.

A rather unusual trial.  A severe beating. Pilate saying he found no wrong in the man. The crowd baying for the blood of the man who had been welcomed as the Son of David just last week - some say there were agitators out in the crowd to swing the vote.  Pilate was visibly dismayed and washed his hands in front of the crowd before giving in to the demands and sending Jesus for that most horrendous of deaths favoured by the Romans, crucifixion.  I will save you the grisly details.

The way Jesus took it all impressed many. He was heard to say "Father. Forgive them, they know not what they do" and, whilst in great pain on the cross, he even managed to ask one of his closest friends to look after his Mother.

At about 3pm, the sky came over very dark, Jesus gave a loud cry - some say he said "it is finished" and then he died. Any doubt of that was removed by a soldier sticking his spear in his side later, blood and water, indicators of death. There are odd reports that temple curtain split about the same time, the one that separates the Holiest of Holies from the people.

Usually the Romans leave bodies hanging as a sign, but his has been removed. I gather someone asked to take it way to their own family tomb. I found the place this morning. It has an armed guard on it. Clearly the authorities are not taking any chances.

From our Bethany correspondent - 8 - next day

More reports are coming in from people who say they have seen Jesus since his death on the cross and the finding of the empty tomb.

Later that day, his followers were back in the upper room and they say he appeared among them, despite the locked door. There's one, called Thomas, who wasn't there who is finding it hard to believe, well, aren't we all?

Two disciples who were walking home were joined by a stranger who explained what the scriptures had said about the messiah. When they invited him in for a meal, he took the bread and broke it and they knew at that moment that it was Jesus. Curious that they didn't recognise him straight away. Then he left them and they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the others.

I am told they are going to Galilee as they have been told they will see him there. That's up in the north, outside my reporting area, but I might just tag along…

From our Bethany correspondent - 9 - a few days later

 few days ago I told you that I was going to tag along with Jesus's disciples going to Galilee as they were told they would see him there. Galilee is up in the north, outside my reporting area, so I guess I was feeling as conspicuous as they did when they were in Jerusalem. I heard that one of them, called Peter, had been confronted three times with "you're not from round here are you, you're with those Galileans" but he had denied it - & then felt pretty bad about that.

Well they did go to Galilee. It turns out that a few of them were fishermen so they took the others out on the family boats one night. I guess it was comforting to be back on the lake. The story goes that they didn't catch anything, then in the morning they saw a fire on the shore as they headed back. The man by the fire called out to them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat and I'm told the nets became so full they had to drag them to the shore.

They told me that that's when they knew it was him. He cooked some fish over the fire then some ate with them. Then he turned to Peter and three times told him to feed his sheep. Now Peter is a fisherman and Jesus a carpenter. He doesn't own any sheep. There again, he used to describe himself as the Good Shepherd. Your guess is as good as mine as to what he meant. 

more to come... ?