As surprised as I was when the news hit my mobile, there was still a lump in my throat. After the arrest, I knew that it would be a matter of time before they’d come looking for the rest of us. Thankfully, with the Passover in full swing, and the numbers in the city swelling, I could hide in a few places, and hopefully get the benefit of time causing some measure of forgetfulness. I only hope that the images we sent to the brothers weren’t intercepted.
The plans were in my head already, but here I needed to act. I told my wife of the situation for as much as I had known. Then asked her to take my mobile and destroy it. I’d keep the SIM card, and would be very brief and random when I’d use it to let her know where I am. I pulled the emergency mobile from the drawer, kissed her and the kids, then left under the cover of the rising sun. I was still excited about last night, and here I’m already running for my life.
Making my way through some of the early crowd, I made sure to keep the SIM in one pocket and the new(ish) mobile in the other. If at any point there was another announcement made about registering mobiles, I was fine with the mobile being taken or destroyed. Not the SIM, I needed that until I could get to one of the brothers and have it duplicated. Time was of the essence, I’d already been tipped off that one of the brothers was seen near where they held him for the night. Not sure if that image was posted, but it sure did make the rounds through a few text social circles.
By this point, I’d not eaten in nearly half a day. The news was now everywhere you could turn. Weirdly enough, there was very little about the officials looking for his associates. They seemed to be more concerned with him, the multiple trials, and later the show of blatant disregard for his lineage. In some of the video coverage, I could see mobiles being used to record, then Roman soldiers as well as religous officials snatching the devices out of the hands of people. They didn’t want this to get out, but they wanted it to be seen. This can’t end well.
Finally making it to the safe house, I pop my duped SIM into the emergency mobile and shoot some MMS messages to my wife and kids. I wanted them to see that I was ok. Hopefully, their devices aren’t being traced, but I have little time to care. I just need them to know that I’m ok. And then, almost like a symphony, all of us in the room hear all of our mobiles go off at the same time – all of us received the same MMS message. Was it them? Did they know where we were at after all? No one dared to even open the message, let along click off the prompt that a message was received. One of the guys who ran out of the house when the messages initially came in reentered the room saying that everyone has received the message. “Open it, look what they are doing to him!”
It was only a 30 second clip. But that was all that we needed to see. There he was, I think. In the face it looked like him, but the body was badily bruised. He had something on his head, but I couldn’t tell – I’ve got a simple mobile without a good screen. It looked like he nearly fell with some beam on his back, but then some other guy grabs the beam from him and then the scene cuts. We all looked at one another terrified. We knew what was next. This kind of message only comes out for certain kinds of capital punishments.
My mobile had been off for a few hours. I needed to relocate and didn’t need any cell towers tracking my movements. Better that my IMEI simply shows up in a different region with a different SIM than traveling across regions. It was around noon when mine and all the mobile around me beeped again. There was another MMS. This one felt different. The sky had darkened before it came in. I had this feeling in my stomach that I lost something very important.
I clicked to look at the message. There he was. Just… hanging there. The recording wasn’t clear, but he said something (John 19:30, Luke 23:46). Then he just hung his head. It was over. Right before this clip cut, a Roman soldier entered the scene. He didn’t look so strong, he looked convinced (Luke 23:47-49) – as I did that day on the Sea of Galilee – he wasn’t a normal man at all. Jesus was a lot more than that. But here, as plain as every recorded message of his that I had and had received from others, is gone.
People who’ve attended those crucifixions say that its different when you are there. I knew Jesus personally. I don’t think that I could have been there at all. The pain would have been too great, I’d try and pull him down or… something. I can’t think about that now. I shoot a message out to the brothers and some of the sisters, we need to figure out what’s next. Surely, in a few days when the Passover is done, we’ll be targeted. We’ve got to have a plan. That’s what he would have wanted, right?
Part two, what happens on Easter Sunday, continues the story.