Meanwhile Joseph, Nicodemus, and the other brethren had come from the house into the garden to look after Jesus and take due care that he was not in peril because of his great weakness. This Nicodemus feared inasmuch as he had seen that the wounds were more inflamed and the flesh where the strong cords had been was now dark of color.
When we had arrived at the entrance of the garden, we beheld Jesus standing behind the wall and resting against it as if he could go no farther.
It was about this time that John hastened from the city, and looking into the grotto had found it vacant. For the two youths had made their way to our garden through the secret entrance to the grotto.
Peter also arrived, and both together searched throughout the grotto for signs of the body. Entering the inner part of the grotto, they found the muckender where the novices had thrown it whence they had fled at the arrival of these two strange persons.
In earnest conversation the two disciples hurried back into the city.
And Jesus had slowly walked along the wall until he had reached the little gate that opens to the valley of the Mount "Gihon". There he listened to the conversation of some women outside the wall. When he came forth and the women had beheld him, they believed that they had seen an apparition. But Jesus spoke to them that they might know that it was indeed himself.
And inasmuch as the youth in the grove had said to the women that in Galilee they should see him, one of them remembered this and said to him: "Lord, shall we obey the work of the angel, and see thee again in Galilee?"
This question astonished Jesus, for he did not know that the brethren had instructed the novice to mention that part of the country. But after consideration, he answered her and said: "Yes, inform my friends and tell them that I go to Galilee and there you shall see me."
His weakness being increased, he desired to be left alone, and the women departed. And then it was that we, his secret protectors, went to him and conducted him back to the house that he might there rest and be refreshed.
Nicodemus again tied up his wounds, gave him a medical draught and admonished him to rest himself in quiet. But Jesus feared not death, and was buoyant of spirit. Nevertheless, his strength was gone, and soon he fell into a profound sleep, where upon Joseph, Nicodemus and the brethren counseled together as to how they might care for his safety. For this purpose they sent some of the brethren into the city that they might learn the rumors of Jesus among the people.
And strangely the rumors had told of many miracles in the city. The fleeing guards having tried to conceal their cowardly fear had circulated reports of terrible events that had come to pass, and of spirits that had burst open the grave.
And the high priest had been told of these things, and he knew not what to think. He feared lest the miracle would excite the people, for the women, and even the men, had been too excited to keep it a secret, and the people already were busy discussing the subject.
Therefore, Caiaphas gave the guard money that they should report that his friends had stolen the corpse that they, (the disciples) might say he was risen, and thus deludes the people.
And all day Jesus remained in his profound slumber, and was thereby filled with renewed life. It was evening when he awakened. His wounds were now less painful, inasmuch as the balsam, which Nicodemus applied, had produced a soothing effect. He was in good spirit, and with thankful heart, he saw that his friends watched over him. Without assistance, he rose from his couch, and, being hungry, asked that he might have food.
Having refreshed himself, he said: "Now that I am strong again, it behooves me that I no longer remain in concealment. For a teacher should be among his people, and a son embrace his mother."
Joseph answered him and said: "The Brotherhood is father and mother to thee, now according to its promise to thee, and it is therefore the duty of the Brotherhood to protect thee as its beloved child."
And Jesus said: "I fear not death, for I have fulfilled it, and the enemies shall acknowledge that God has saved me, and wills not that I die eternally."
Then one of the elders of the Brotherhood said: "Thou art not safe in this country, for they will search after thee. Do not, therefore, go any more among the people to teach, for what thou hast taught will live among thy friends forever and thy disciples will publish it to the world. Remain, I pray thee, dead to the world. The Brotherhood has brought thee back to life through its secrets, therefore, live henceforth for our holy Order to which thou art bound. Live in the seclusion of wisdom and virtue, unknown to the world. We will secretly teach and assist the disciples among the people and they shall receive encouragement and help from the holy Brotherhood. And if the time shall come when thou shouldst again go out among the people, we will send for thee and inform thee."
But Jesus in the ardor of his sacred enthusiasm, said: "The voice of God is more powerful within me than is the fear of death. I will see my disciples once more, and will go to Galilee."
Then the elder said: "Be it so, as God has called you; but it behooved men that they be wise and cautious in good things. Therefore, some of our brethren shall go with thee, and protect thee through the power of our connections in Galilee."
But Nicodemus did not approve of this journey, for he knew that the body of Jesus was weakened; though his soul was strong in its courage. And the faithful physician therefore entreated him not to go lest he thereby made impossible his recovery.
But Jesus answered: "Be it fulfilled that is to be."
And Joseph wondered greatly at the spirit of Jesus, and more than ever believed in his great promises.
When evening had come Jesus started on his journey, and he wished to go alone. It being cold, the brethren gave him a warm mantle in which he wrapped himself that the officers of the city might not recognize him.
And the brethren admonished him to stop only with the Essene friends, and because of the feast not to travel on the highway. Therefore, Jesus was persuaded to go by the way of Bethania and the Ephraimitical Mountain, where Samaria borders on upper Galilee to the North.
Jesus went forth upon his journey, and when he was gone, the brethren blessed his undertaking; but, advised by Joseph, they sent a novice to follow him and on the way secretly to inform the Essene friends.
Of all that has come to pass, our friends have kept us fully informed.
While Jesus was journeying on the road to Emmaus, a few hours travel hence, his soul was filled with inspirations over the new life, and he spoke in a loud voice, so that our messenger could hear that it was of the prophecies of Daniel he was speaking.
Two men were traveling the same road from Jerusalem, and as they walked more rapidly than Jesus did, they soon overtook him.
Pages To Ponder
Crucifixion By An Eyewitness