Gamaliel was deep in thought.

For the first time, it all made sense to him. It was the cross that bothered him the most.  Saul said something once about the cross being a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. But even if it all made sense, was it true?

Gamaliel shook his head.  He just wasn’t sure, yet.

His heart yearned for it all to be so.

He stopped.  It was true.

He wished in his heart that it was all true.

But great theological discussions meant nothing if they did not meet the test of the light of day.   The real question always came back to Yeshua, the Maschiach.  King of the Jews, Lamb of the World, or simple country Rabbi caught up in the religious politics of the big city?

No, not the latter.

He handled himself pretty well in the big city.  No one took advantage of him.  For some reason he had allowed it to happen.  He had encouraged it to happen.  He claimed that he was the Son of God.  That was heresy, pure and simple.

Unless it’s true.  The thought came unbidden into his mind.

Yes, he said to himself, unless it’s true.

And if he rose from the dead, he would have to be who he claimed to be, isn’t that so?

Yes, that’s also true.

Gamaliel glanced up at Benjamin and then looked around at the rest of the room.  They were all asleep!

It was so strange that Gamaliel almost laughed out loud but then he didn’t, because it was strange.  It was late but not that late. Of everyone in the room, Gamaliel had least expected Benjamin, in the midst of the discussion, to fade away.

The candles flickered as a draft moved through the room.  Just as Gamaliel leaned forward to wake Benjamin, he heard his own name whispered in his ear.

“Gamaliel.”

He turned his head sharply at the strangeness of having someone so close to him and not know it.  But there was no one there and his breathing became ragged and shallow.

O Lord God, deliver me from this evil.

“Be not afraid, it is I.”

The voice was audible, there was no doubt.  Gamaliel had never before heard the voice of God and he responded like a little child.

“I am here.  I am Gamaliel, your servant.”

As the Spirit of God came over him, Gamaliel also slumped in his seat and, with his mouth open and his eyes wide, he looked into heaven and witnessed the greatest story ever told.

*****

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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.