THEY TOOK JESUS to the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest, which seemed a little strange at first, but it was the middle of the night.

I watched as they closed the door behind them, and looking around, I saw a group gathered around a fire warming themselves. I stayed at the edge of the group, eavesdropping on their conversation. From what I could gather, Caiaphas had gathered allies together to stop Jesus. The group consisted of other priests, elders, and religious leaders, all from different backgrounds, but they were all committed to seeing Jesus stopped.

I thought they’d give him a stern warning and let him go, but from what I heard around the fire, the decision had been made regarding a more permanent solution. Jesus had to die. They just had to figure out how. Killing Jesus was outside their authority. They had found witnesses willing to lie about Jesus, twisting his words into blasphemy. But, even though our law required the death of blasphemers, Israel was no longer governed by the law of Moses. Instead, we were governed by the law of Caesar. And Caesar didn’t care about those who offended Caiaphas or his God.
I was leaning in to hear more when someone tapped me on the shoulder. “Aren’t you one of his followers?” I turned and saw a young servant girl looking at me.

“One of whose followers?” It just popped out, I hadn’t planned on denying him, but now there seemed no way to take back my words.
“The one they arrested, I’m pretty sure I saw you when they arrested him.”
“Nope, it wasn’t me. I have no idea what you are talking about.”
The girl turned to those around the fire, “He’s one of his followers. He’s the one who cut my cousin’s ear off when they arrested his friend.”
“Seriously, lady, I have no idea what you’re talking about. That’s crazy talk. You could get someone killed.”

Before anyone else said anything, I stepped into the shadows.
It was close to an hour before the girl left, and I made my way back to the fire. Picking out someone who hadn’t been there earlier, I asked if they had heard what was happening inside the house. The man told me that he heard that the temple guards had beaten Jesus, and now Caiaphas was sending him to Pilate to be tried for treason.

“Treason, that’s ridiculous.”
The man just looked at me, “How would you know? You’re one of his followers, aren’t you? I thought you had a Galilean accent.”
“Just because I’m from Galilee doesn’t mean anything. I swear I don’t know him. I mean, I know who he is, but I don’t know him personally.”

I turned to walk away as the sun just began to show itself in the east.

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