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It was a moment of profound and ancient holiness.

Gabriel could sense the power of the Holy Presence in unusual force in the room, though it seemed to have no effect on the disciples.

They all became quiet.  The ceremony was not yet at an end.  The supper was over, and it was now time to recite the ancient story of liberation from the tyranny of Egypt and to drink the cup of rejoicing.

It would be a blessed time of remembrance that evoked childhood memories in each one of them.

Why is this night different from all the rest? the youngest would ask.

But Yeshua did not speak of the ancient story at all.  Instead of looking to the past, he spoke of the future.

For the next few hours, Yeshua taught them many things while they sat together over the Passover Seder.  He spoke at length about the Paraclete, the Holy Presence, who was to come.  He spoke of his going away, and the disciples were troubled and sad.

“Don´t be upset,” he said.  “You have always trusted in God.  Trust also in me.  Everything that I am doing is for your good.”  This was a new thing, to trust also in him.

But Simon Peter said, “Lord, where are you going?”

“Where I am going,” Yeshua said, “you cannot follow me now.  You will follow me later.”

“Why can’t I follow you now?” Peter said.  “I will lay down my life for you.  I would be ready to go to prison with you, and even to death.”

“Lay down your life for me?” Yeshua said.  “Simon, Simon!  You have no idea of what is in store for you.  Satan has got his wish to sift you all like wheat and test your faith.  But I have prayed especially for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, even if your courage does.  Once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.”

For once, Simon Peter didn´t know what to say.

Then Yeshua looked around at them and he said, “You will all lose faith in me this night.  It is so written in the Tenach.   I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.   But mark my words well.  After my resurrection, I shall go before you to Galilee.”

It came as an explosion, forceful and strong.  Simon Peter could not contain it any longer.  “Maybe all the rest will lose faith in you,” he said, “but I will never lose faith.”

Before anyone else could speak, Yeshua spoke, his eyes dark.  “I tell you the truth, Simon Peter.  By the time the cock crows tomorrow morning, you will have denied three times that you know me.”

“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you,”  Simon Peter insisted. There was a wild look about him, his eyes wide and fierce, daring anyone to doubt his loyalty.  And he wasn´t the only one.

“Do you think for a moment that I would -”

“I will never –“

“You know that I will be faithful.”

Yeshua quieted the room with a gesture and then put his hand on Simon Peter’s shoulder, squeezing gently.  Looking at the rest of the disciples, Yeshua said to them, “When I sent you out without money or provisions or extra sandals, were you short of anything?”

“No,” they said.

“Well, now, if you have money, take it and if you have provisions, do the same.  If you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I will let myself be taken as a criminal, just as it has been foretold.  It is happening right now, as we speak.”

“If there´s going to be a fight,” Judas, the Zealot, said, “we are ready.  There are two swords right here.”

“That is enough,” Yeshua said, which, to the credit of some of the disciples, confused them even more.

*****

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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
http://www.desertwarrior.net         info@desertwarrior.net

Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.

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