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The Master Yeshua: The Undiscovered Gospel of Joseph
By Joyce Luck
Yeshua was dead. He had died.
What did it mean?
All were aggrieved. Even I can remember plucking at my mother's sleeve and being sent to sit with my brothers and be quiet. I remember my father and uncles, the disciples, Mary of Magdala, my grandmother, everybody, weeping. I had never seen men cry before. It was so startling and frightening that I cried and knew not even why I cried. I don't know when it finally dawned on my understanding that my uncle Yeshua had been murdered. I am not even sure I really understood then the meaning of death.
A great storm cloud of despair cracked open in the room and later, when it dissipated, settled into a silent gloom.
It was decided that all the women and the children should go to Martha's home, for there was not enough room for so many to hide in one place, and the disciples wished to discuss matters. For once Mary of Magdala was not offended by being not included. Of course, the question of traveling on the Passover was brought up. Two miles far exceeded what was allowed.
But Yeshua would heal, or harvest grain to eat, on the Sabbath, if it was good to do so, they reasoned; and saving the women and children in case of trouble and further arrests was a good thing; and so we departed the city well after dark to go back to Bethany.
So the rest has been told to me by my father and uncle.
The disciples were sore afraid, and hid, therefore, over the next few days, in Eleazar's house. No one dared venture out lest he be seized by the Temple guards or some other betrayer, turned over to the Romans and put to death as well. Eleazar's wife would leave to buy food in one place, come back, go back out, and buy food in another place so as not to arouse suspicion that her husband was hiding almost a dozen men.
Only Simon Peter finally ventured the question that others kept to themselves. "Was Yeshua not, then, the Messiah?"
"Not now," my uncle James said, his voice sharp. Had Yeshua simply given up on the world, and in misery let the Romans have him? Or had he truly believed his mission was to die? James was later to say Yeshua said to him in Gethsemane that the world did not yet seem ready for the Son of Man. So if he was to die, he would indeed make the best of it, as written in the Prophets, carrying on his shoulders atonement for the sins and karma of whoever would believe in his word. And that his life and death were to be an example for the possibilities of human beings if only they would believe and have faith. He took heart from his beloved Isaiah, who had written of the suffering servant of the Lord, the lamb led to the slaughter, of which Miriam had spoken.
Passover ended, and the Sabbath ended. Of course, the Festival of the Unleavened Bread goes on for an entire week, but most treat only the first and last days of the feast as true Sabbaths. But those that eat the Paschal lamb must have it entirely consumed by the end of the festival.
Much later on, I was to find out that my father and uncle stole out of the house well after dark the night the second Sabbath ended (Saturday), James having been given the note from Joseph of Arimathea and having been told by my grandmother exactly where the tomb was. Joseph met them there with two men. They rolled back the stone. Then they removed the linen from Yeshua's body, for it was foul, and wrapped him in fresh linen for carrying on a pallet. They covered all with a blanket and carried him the distance to the family tomb, the men taking turns as they tired. Of course Yeshua could not be allowed to stay in that tomb! As I have written, there is no law that says you may not move a body after it has been interred, even though touching the dead makes one unclean. Ritual cleanliness they could attend to when it was safe to do so. And Yeshua belonged in the family tomb, to be gathered to the bones of his father, Joseph.
It is what Yeshua would have wished.
6/1/2015 4:00:00 AM