An Easter Story....

8:11:00 PM

How was your Easter? A couple years ago I wrote this short story for a contest so I thought I'd share it with you all to remind us of the reason we celebrate Easter. :)

Rolled Away
 by Ashley Nicole
I awoke with a start. It was another nightmare. But that didn't change the facts. I had been living in a nightmare the past few days. He was gone. Dead. In the most horrible way possible. I could see His face, compassion and kindness flowing out of His every being. I first met Him when He was teaching. Some other children were with me. The men wanted us to go away, but Jesus told them to let us come.
But that was weeks ago. Now He was gone. I can still remember with vivid memory the time He healed two blind men by the way, or the time He rode into town on a donkey, or when He stormed the temple, or when He washed the disciples feet. It seems so far away now... like a dream that ended all too soon. 
Sitting up on my mat, I looked around the room. Peter was seated on the other side of the room. I couldn't tell for sure what he was doing because it was so dark, but it sounded like he was crying. Since the Master's death, Peter had kept to himself and had fallen into a deep depression. He felt a deep conviction about his betrayal. I decided to leave him alone.
Instead, I turned my thoughts to Jesus when he was still alive. I especially liked the time he washed the disciples feet, because that was my job when I was a servant. I hated this job especially, but since Jesus washed the disciples feet it didn't seem so bad anymore. He was a servant, always serving and not asking for anything in return. I think He was trying to teach the disciples something about serving and humility.
Everything Jesus did was to teach some sort of lesson. Like all the parables he told. I liked listening to stories, so when the disciples told me what they meant, it really helped me. 
I heard a rustling of feet and saw Peter lay back on his mat. I guess I better get some more sleep, I thought, and realized that I was more tired than I thought. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
"Benjamin, wake up boy." Andrew started to pull me up off my mat. I rubbed sleepy eyes and looked around. It was still dark outside and the others were just getting up and rolling up their mats. I quickly rolled mine up and placed it in the corner. 
"Mary is going to the tomb with spices to anoint the body. She needs a strong young man to push the stone away from the door. I told her you would go with her." James patted my shoulder. I sighed, but I dared not argue. I would rather be with the men instead of with Mary and her friends, but at least it was something to do. "Hurry along so you don't miss them," James added and pushed a piece of bread into my hands. 
The walk to Mary's house was short but it gave me time to wake up fully. When I reached Mary's door, I hesitated, wondering if I should just walk in or knock first. Right when I had decided that I'd better knock, Mary Magdalene opened the door.
"Oh, there you are, Benjamin. Mary was afraid James  forgot to tell you." Her eyes were red, as if she had been crying all night and in her hand she held a basket. From the smell of it, the basket contained the spices James had told me about. 
She walked out, Mary and Salome following her. "Will you hold the basket?" She offered it to me and I took it. The walk to the tomb was mostly uneventful except for a short earthquake that only lasted a few seconds. I don't even think the women noticed.
When we got to the tomb, we were all surprised to see the stone already rolled away. I wondered who had done it, for it was greater than I would have been able to move. I handed the basket to Mary Magdelene and stepped aside. The three women entered the tomb and when I heard a shriek I knew something was wrong.
I ran into the tomb. But my run was quickly cut short. Standing inside was a sight I had never seen before and do not care to describe. He was saying something to the three.
"Be not afraid: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him. But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you in Galilee: there shall you see Him, as He said unto you."
I don't know how we got back to Mary's house; it was all a whirlwind to me.
"We should tell James and Peter," Mary Madgalene said, and again we ran to the house the disciples were staying in. By the time we got there we were all out of breath. I quickly threw the door open and led the ladies to the upper room. 
Peter jumped when the door flew open and squinted at us. 
"What is the meaning of this?" He asked, his eyes red and swollen.
"Peter... you must... listen," Mary gulped mouthfulls of air. All the other disciples looked toward us.
"What? What is it?" James leaned in. 
"We were going to the tomb," Salome spoke up.
"And the stone was rolled away. And He was gone," Mary Magdalene was sobbing.
"And we saw a man," Mary said. "Who told us that Jesus was risen." Mary said quietly.
"Wait, what? Jesus is gone?" Thomas said.
"Yes, He was gone. I saw with my own eyes." I said, when none of the women offered an answer. Peter's eyes got wide.
"I must see for myself." Peter said, running out the door. James followed him. The women left, weeping.
"Do you really think Jesus is alive?" Andrew whispered to no one in particular.
Similar questions filled the air. Peter and James came back in.
"He's gone." Peter said.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
I decided to sleep some because of everything that was happening. That didn't go too well. A couple minutes after I had laid down on my mat, Mary came in. She looked like she was in a daze almost.
"What is the matter, mother?" James came and took her by the hand. 
"I have seen Him," Mary said quietly.
"Seen who?" James asked.
"Jesus. He is alive. I saw Him. He talked to me." Mary smiled at the thought.
"What!? Where?" Philip practically shouted.
"It was at the tomb. He spoke to me. He was there." Mary said.
"Take her out of here, James." Peter said quietly. "I've heard enough tales."
"You don't believe me!" Mary shouted as James led her out of the room.
Maybe she's telling the truth, I thought but quickly brushed the thought aside. If Peter didn't believe her why should I?
John entered the room. "Everyone! We better shut and lock all the doors; the leaders are looking for us." John said, quickly closing the door behind him. 
"Where is Thomas? I thought he was with you." Bartholomew asked.
"I don't know, he was with me, but he just disappeared." John shrugged.
"Hopefully he makes it back." Philip sighed.
I pushed myself to my respective corner to try and stay out of sight and pondered Mary's words. What if Jesus really was alive? Suddenly I felt the presence of another being in the room. Had the leaders found them? Then, I saw Him. Jesus. Is it a ghost? I thought. 
"Peace be unto you."
It was His voice... how could this be?
"Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have." He stretched His hands out and showed His hands and His feet. Everyone was in awe of the moment... not sure whether to believe or not. 
"Have you here any meat?"
Luke reached into a cupboard and pulled out some broiled fish and part of a honeycomb and handed it to Jesus. He sat down and ate. It was almost like normal again; Jesus sitting with us, eating. We spoke little; what was there to say?
As silently as He had come He disappeared. John checked all the windows and door. they were locked. We sat, wondering at this new revelation. 
Just then there was a quiet knock on the door.
"Opened up, it's me, Thomas," he added a louder knock.
Phillip jumped up and opened the door. Thomas entered and quickly closed the door behind him. 
"Where did you go, Philip? I couldn't find you anywhere," Thomas looked somewhat frustrated. Then he noticed the sober atmosphere of the room. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"Thomas," Luke said under his breath. "We have seen the Lord."
Thomas looked like someone had struck him. "What do you mean you've seen Him?" Thomas was starting to get angry.
"Jesus is alive, He was just here before you came in," John said, starting to get excited.
"No, except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, ans thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." He said angrily and then he stomped out of the room. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I longed to see Jesus again. I knew He was alive, but it had been 8 days since He had appeared to us. Thomas was still firm in his doubt that Jesus was alive. I wish He would just appear so I wouldn't have to hear Thomas arguing with the others. Which is what they were doing right now; fighting. Suddenly, I felt it. The same feeling I got before when Jesus was in a room.
The fighting had stopped; maybe they felt it too.
"Peace be unto you." 
I looked over at Thomas. His mouth was open and his eyes were wide. Jesus moved toward him.
"Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither they hand, and thrust it into my side: be not faithless, but believing." 
Thomas fell to his knees. "My Lord and my God."
"Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
When Jesus ascended to heaven, I couldn't help but feel sad at His going. But for some reason I remember something He said: 
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
It was a comfort to know He was coming again, hopefully one day very soon. This month has been a whirlwind, but I'm not living in a nightmare anymore. And it all started with the stone being rolled away. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
Epilogue:
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20: 30-31
Do you believe?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
Note to the reader:
This story is biblical fiction, which means I used the Bible as my story line but I added more detail and some dialogue. Even though I added some elements, I tried to keep as close to the biblical account as possible. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!
Bible passages were taken from the King James Bible. Some of the dialogue that I used were actual Bible passages so if you want to check it out, please do! I mainly used the book of Luke and John for dialogue. 
To the glory of the risen Christ forever and ever!

<3 blue topaz

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