Thomas sat at the corner of the temple square, where the High Priest for assigned duties for that week, Nocebo, passed to offer the morning sacrifices: Two cows for the praise sacrifice, seven sheep for life sacrifice, three goats for sin sacrifice, a pair of doves for peace sacrifice, and a sack of grains and some tubers of yam, all for food sacrifice.
In the earlier days of the Kingdom of Israel and in true accordance with the rigid laws of the Prophet Moses, these offerings used to be burned for a sweet aroma to the God Jehovah; but those days are gone. These days, only the offal and the tripe and blood were burned, the result of the ruling Roman edict. The invaders did not see why their subjects would burn fresh meat to the God Jehovah whereas the servants of the true God Caesar Augustus went hungry. They demanded a larger portion of the sacrificial meat for their own true God who had indeed conquered Jehovah and raided his temple treasury and brought the Pax Romana, the Roman peace expected to last for two millennia.
Thomas thought to himself how things had indeed changed since the Roman conquest of Jerusalem: forty years after the one who called himself Messiah was crucified, just like all those other phony lot.
“Who told them that Jerusalem was going to be liberated, either by warfare or by any peace overture? It had been five hundred years since the Prophet Isaiah came out with the prophecy of the salvation of Israel through God’s own anointed. But who told the people that it was going to occur in our time? Or that the anointed was some remote relative of David born into a manger.
Even the captivity in Egypt, after the death of Joseph had not lasted more than five hundred years before the so-called liberation of Moses. That captivity was one century short of five hundred years. And so, after five hundred years, who deceived the people that this Roman conquest was going to end in our time with the arrival on the scene of Yeshua, the son of Mary?
“And of this Prophet Isaiah, have they forgotten what happened to him? Didn’t he escape from the presence of the hostile king to hide inside a tree trunk where he was sawed in half? Did he foresee his death? Let alone the events of five hundred years?
“Before the Messianic proclamation of this carpenter’s son who hails from the criminal enclave of Nazareth, several others had appeared claiming to be the Messiah: There were the Maccabees who rose and fell. The brothers won some initial victories all right, just like all these other impostors. They tried to move the needle’s eye to snap a string within; but they missed the mark as usual, and were strung up the trees and crucified as per Roman law.
“Who told them that they could fix this Messiah mess? And as for this Yeshua and his so-called miracles, weren’t they laughable? Even children could figure it out if given the opportunity to think a little bit! The people who are desperate to throw away their yoke of oppression will follow anything to die. Otherwise, how can a person born of mendicant parents and put in a manger become a Messiah? Unless for beggars and losers?
Thomas looked left and right and spat contemptuously. He could smell the sweet aroma of the burnt intestines and liver and stuff and could feel the pangs of hunger in his stomach. He laughed hysterically about his life’s irony. In his youth, he had expected the kingdom of God to descend from heaven, where he was expected to be Lord according to the promises of Yeshua!. Yet here he was, daily sitting at the corners of the temple for his daily bread.
“The sweet aroma to God!” He exclaimed in derision, “The sweet aroma to God required the killing and burning of all these thousands of sheep since the time of Moses! How could stupidity become such a trademark of my people who have been in and out of captivity for at least four times since Egypt?
“At the time when my people were eating poisonous quails dropping from the skies with disease, Moses was commanding the people to burn the flesh of unblemished animals for sweet aroma to God….All for exactly what purpose?
“And now this shadow of residual stupidity is preserved with the burning of the offal and blood. Very soon, the hair of the animals will be the only thing which will be burned for this unchanging God.”
Thomas laughed hysterically again and again, looking left and right to make sure that nobody was listening to his blasphemous thoughts. He then began to chew his last supply of weed, the leaves that brought enlightenment to Moses and the prophets that made them hallucinate about God. Then in a state of catatonic mental delusion, he recalled all the miracles of Jesus and how hilarious they all were……and even childish.
“ I don’t blame myself, “ he exclaimed loudly. “I was too young and brash, and I was promised a whole kingdom of gold…..a fool’s gold at the end of a mere rainbow called God’s kingdom!”
Then sinking deeper into cheerful delirium, he cried loudly, “ His first miracle was a fluke. It was no wine, I tasted the water myself! Everybody wanted to humor the young mad Yeshua, and so they all pretended to be enjoying wine. And the charisma of the young Yeshua led to the mass delusion. And the people at the wedding were sold the foolish story of the sweet wine……water having been turned into wine! Who heard of such nonsense?
“The miracle of the feeding of five thousand people was even worse in that it was the most laughable of all. After Yeshua blessed the two fish and five loaves of bread, the crowd saw the gesture as a signal for them to eat their own food from their sacks, and so they then took their food out and ate. And how fifty people turned into five thousand people was the real miracle: The miracle of gross exaggeration and manifest hyperbole……..
“But beyond all belief was this whole childish hoax of the resurrection of Lazarus. This hoax was incredible from the beginning to the end, and resulted in a near death fiasco for Lazarus. Foolish Lazarus and clever Jesus planned the whole damned thing. It all began when the people of Nazareth did not accept Jesus as a divine prophet. And the two men thought that if they could fake a resurrection, they could put the people’s doubt to rest forever!
“I could see through the trick all right. Even when Jesus said sarcastically to the people that the man Lazarus was not dead, they still believed the opposite to be true because of ignorance. The man Lazarus agreed to drink a critical measure of hemlock which put him in a coma and made him appear dead. But he was not dead! That is why there was no scent when the tomb was opened after four days. Jesus needed more time for the effects of the hemlock to wear off, hence his strategic delays before arriving on the scene. He also needed to heighten the drama to glorify himself. There was also the vital question of his own crucial experimentation and eventual resurrection: One day, if he mounted the Roman cross as all these false Messiahs before him had inevitably been crucified, he must, unlike them, resurrect just like Lazarus…….And there should not be any snag in the secret scheme: He must outwit the Romans at their own game!
“By the time Jesus commanded Lazarus to come from the tomb, the man was still alive, although in a partial comatose; and when he caused the wrapper around him to be removed, Jesus knew there and then that the experiment had succeeded: He would mount the cross of the Romans in like manner and emerge alive, in keeping with the experiment he had performed on poor Lazarus….”
Thomas then fell asleep from the harsh effects of the strong weed he had consumed and succinctly dreamt about the following account which he wrote as an appendix to his own gospel in a second person narration. The separate testimony is as follows, and is found attached as an anecdotal appendix to the foregoing account:
There was this blind man faking his own blindness. He had great wealth hidden in a secret cave this side Jordan, all accrued from begging from the people. So, in the middle of the night, Yeshua met this man in a small tent along the shores of the River Jordan.
“We are all tricksters, aren’t we?” Jesus greeted him with a chuckle.
The blind man burst into laughter and replied tersely, “Like Moses and all the rest!”
After a pause, he applied the sap of the rubber tree to his eyes.
Watching him carefully, Yeshua stated wistfully, “You are no fool!”
Antaka replied, “There is this talk among my peers that you have undermined our trade!
Since Moses set up the obligation of arms-giving, our trade has thrived and prospered. We pretend to be blind or crippled or leprous, and the people in turn give us arms in exchange for our play-acting. Now you are going about the streets, opening eyes, making cripples walk and healing lepers. What is wrong with you?”
Yeshua replied, “You and all your folks have done all these things not out of malice. But given that you have saved so much money because of your fakery of blindness, isn’t it time to retire and enjoy your booty?
“Not with me,” Antaka replied. “I need some more money before I can be healed.”
“The game is up my friend,” Jesus answered. “Some of your friends are going about revealing your secrets to the high priests, and very soon, everything will come out. You will be caught and stoned for sure.”
Ataska looked up sharply, “You don’t mean this, do you? Nobody in Jerusalem knows how I do this all the time to fool people for their money!”
“It is a common sap from the Aruba tree friend. Heat it on fire and let it become a sticky mass. Then spread it over your eyes., Jesus explained. Were you to mix wet sand and rub it hard on your eyes and wash it with water, your fake blindness will vanish.”
Ataska was visibly shaken. He was silent for a while. Finally, he whispered with contrition, “What do you want?”
Yeshua looked upon him with a sly smile and said, ‘The people will not stay ignorant for long. With these Roman sceptics going with their own self-doubt, you must act quickly to save your own skin. And I will help you, if only you will help yourself!”
Yeshua then paused momentarily and added quietly, “I will meet you on the way to the synagogue by this side Jordan. Play along and you will be saved from being stoned.”
“What is in it for me?”Ataska asked Jesus in a subdued voice.
“Fame in the future boy,” Jesus answered. “Wherever my name is mentioned, there your name will be mentioned too . And you get to enjoy your loot hidden in your secret cave near the River Jordan…….. You and your family.”
Jesus rose to leave.” Peace be upon you!” Ataska rose to speak, but Jesus was already at the door.
“I don’t need you. You need me.” He glanced contemptuously at the half-risen Ataska and headed to the entrance of the small tent..
“What was this all about? Thomas asked Yeshua.
“We are faking another miracle Bro. The faith of the people is waning again. It must be rekindled.”
“Even after Lazarus?”
“Even after Lazarus. I hear he has broached the secret to his sisters who are no longer serving with humility .”
“So what is the plan now?”
“To heal the blind man in there,” Jesus replied.
“How do you plan to accomplish this? “
“Think about it. You are too wise….A man of doubt.”
Totally confused, Thomas quickened his steps to keep up with the faster Yeshua.
By Dr. Samuel Adjei Sarfo,
Dallas, Texas. USA.