Anastasis

The sky was dark..

The sky was dark..

This post was mainly Ifeoma’s idea. And as usual, I do not claim any err..’Correctness’ to this. Read, enjoy the story, search out the Truths. Learn the lesson.

Lightening blazed across the sky, white light tearing up the inky blackness of the Night. The air smelled like burnt cordite and wisps of smoke danced upon the sun-starved stony hills. In an escarpment stood a lone sycamore, it’s leaves long gone and it’s branches bare. From one of the branches a man dangled, his neck taut within a hempen noose. A crow perched on the man’s head, its feathers black as a witch’s robes. It’s shrill cry piercing beneath the shrouded sky.

In the city, the streets lay empty, lamps blazing in doorways behind which crouched families in hushed silence. Soldiers in full armour and with red cloaks fluttering in the stiff breeze manned street entrances, gloved hands gripping the shafts of their spears in locks of tight knuckles. The mood was of barely concealed terror and prayer stayed on the lips of every man.
Within the House of Arimathea, a man paced the courtyard, his head bowed in deep thought, an oil lamp burning brightly by his side. His slippers staccatoed on the cobble-stoned yard, yet he took no notice, for his thoughts were dark and full of rue. Through an open window, he could see his wife, with a baby to her breast. The eyes of the little one were wide, pupils dilated to absorb light, yet she did not cry. The silence which engulfed the Holy City was so intense, even babies barely whimpered and the gnats which disturbed the horses could barely buzz. The fountains ran silently and in the ponds, the frogs refused to croak. The world was holding its breath. For what? Few could barely tell.
Joseph, him of Arimathea, kept pacing. Already a rider had been dispatched to the next province with a message for his friends there. Succour was needed, Refuge was sought! He had played a gamble and suddenly it seemed likely to go against him. A jaybird has whispered to him in the early hours of the morning that a sworn group of men had been commissioned by Annas to attack his mansion. He had immediately requested a platoon of soldiers from the governor, and already Roman legionnaires stood guard over his gate. But he didn’t feel safe. Evil pervaded the land and its stench overwhelmed him. Frightened him. He needed a second option.
Jehovah knew, he believed. He might not always have declared it in the open, but he did. But he had to hedge his bets. You didn’t become this rich playing only one side of the game. It He didn’t rise by the time Night was done, then there was nothing left.

*****

The horses thundered through the night, hooves pounding in the stony desert floor. The riders bore down on their horses, jerking on the reins of the mounts, their heels digging into the flanks, trusting only on instinct as there was neither star nor moon to guide them.
Thomas Didymus rode with tears in his eyes.
“Whither thou goest? And how will we know the way?”
His vision blurred and sadness rolled down his cheeks in fat drops of wetness. Just the day before, at about the sixth hour, not twenty-four hours now, his LORD, his Master had cried in his own voice. Cried!
“It is finished!”
He had never heard his Master cry before. Anguish tore through the disciple’s heart. Pain and hurt and betrayal bore down as one. In one instant, his perfect world had crumbled. Oh, how he had believed. How he had trusted. The kingdom! The kingdom! Riches and Glory! But not this! Not this darkness. Not this emptiness. For three years, he had walked with his Master, learning and serving. Using every waking breath to worship and in one stroke, and by the flash of lightening, the world had faded to black and his source of strength was gone. Gathering a few men, he had fled the city as soon as the Sabbath was over. Tearing down the stony roads, bound for Galilee, where a boat waited to ferry them across the River. They had to run. Evil owned supremacy now. It was over here for them. By morrow, they would be hunted all over the country. And if caught, they would be crucified. Scourged and then crucified. Hung on a tree till they died. A cursed death!
Thomas spurred the horse on.

****

In the temple, the lights blazed brighter than ever. The outer courtyard was half empty, but with the usual assortment of traders and beggars and those loafers who always hung about the temple telling tales by the fire. Tonight however, the banter was quiet and the men sat warming their hands in silence while the women exchanged fearful looks and hid their faces within their habits.
The only voices to be heard in the courtyard were murmurs of the Roman soldiers at the gate and the agitated whispering of the Greeks who sold doves. But even they were hushed by the gloom of the Night.
In the inner courtyard, two men could be seen huddled in a corner talking in hushed whispers. Across the courtyard, hidden behind a balustrade from which sprouted a hedge of thorns and petals, another man stood watching in silence. His name was Malchus, and though the distance was great, his right ear picked up that Caiaphas and Annas spake.
The veil of the Holy of holies was rent in two!
At the moment in which the Great Healer has died, as the ground rumbled and the world turned to Night, the veil of the temple had torn up at the midst. So shocking was the news, Malchus nearly fell over in fear.
A stiff wind blew through the courtyard and chilled Malchus to his bones. JEHOVAH has abandoned us. We have killed His Son and now, the veil has been torn and he is gone.
But he remembered. Three Hannukahs past it was when he had heard the Rabbi speak in the temple.
“Destroy this temple and in three days, I shall raise it up..”
He had died and the temple veil had been rent down its middle, could it be? Would he then rise in three days?

****

Shaggy hair dropped down into his eyes, stringy and lank with perspiration. The room was stuffy. So many of them here. Too many. Simon, who was also called Peter sat on a cushion on the floor, his head in his hands, a babble of voices like a sea all around him.
Sea. The sea. Sea and fishes. That was his business. Not this. Not this issue of leading men and surviving a Roman manhunt. Already, a few of the disciples had begun to arm themselves. Surprisingly, it was he, brave, strong and vicious who now pleaded with them to relax and to pray. He who owned a gleaming and wicked knife.
How are the mighty fallen
Simon smiled wryly. It had taken an ear to set him to his senses. Thomas and a few of the men had already fled the city bound for Carpaneum. May it be well with them. He wished he could ask them to have faith. But he sought for faith himself and could not find. Despair cloaked his heart.
“Wherever thou goest, I will go.” Those were his words. “I will lay down my life for your sake” Those words were his too.
Yet he had denied Him three times.
“Peter, lead my sheep.”
A simple instruction. But so much weight. So much responsibility. He couldn’t! Couldn’t!
Oh Father, help us. Abba Father!

_______________________________

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
even lift them up, ye everlastung doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle…
The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.”

It Was finished.

The seals of the sepulcher burst open with a flash of lightening and a crack as the sound of the earth splitting. There was a blaze of white light and a force as that of a powerful Presence. The men who stood watch were blown away senseless. So overcome were they by the Presence. The stone was rolled away to a side, and from the tomb, from the centre of which Death held sway, strode out the LORD Almighty, Jeshua. Jesus.

****

I would not dare to profess any true knowledge of the story I have told you. My name is Christopher and at best I’m a christian like any of you, and at worst, I am a sinner worst than most of you. Nevertheless, the truth of these is evident. When we despair, when we lose hope, when it does seem as though all is lost. When we are troubled and when we are frustrated and when it looks as though there is no help in sight. Behold! The doors open. The gates lift up.

Stay true.

Peace.

You can follow the blog by clicking on the follow button somewhere on this page. You may also follow me on Twitter @Janus_aneni

Shalom.

And yeah, Anastasis is simply Greek for Resurrection. 🙂

He was risen!

He was risen!

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REVELATIONS

First off, I want to say, this post is definitely not like my usual stuff. For reasons above and beyond, I decided to write this and put it up. Do have fun, look for the laughs, read, enjoy, but please heed the message.
And yes, it is a bit long.

_____________________________________

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
– The Revelation of John 1:3

The bearded man sat upon a rock, his gaze turned out to the far sea. Below him, at the bottom of the cliff, the frothy waves of the dark Aegean crashed against the mountain rocks. The wind picked up and tossed his white hair about, tufts of sparse hair as thin as the threads of his old robes. His face was lined with wisdom and the pain of much suffering, but his eyes radiated a cold intelligence and within the flat gaze danced a wild fire, a blue flame, as angry as the surf crashing against the isle of Patmos.
This man was angry, but with a patience that would arouse envy in a Tibetan monk, he sat upon his rock and stared out to the horizon; to the point where the sky joined the sea. It was the day of the LORD and he was waiting.
Suddenly, without warning, he heard a voice as of a trumpet and he fell to his face…it was time

. Isle of Patmos, 70 AD.

***
Present Day.

It will come as a shock to everyone.

Tunde was sitting fully dressed in his room in Alakahia, a small student town beside the University of Port-Harcourt, and he was reading. The night was cool and the breeze whispered through the windows to fill the room. It was still three months to exams, but he liked to be prepared. He was in his fourth year at the Medical school in UPTH and this was no time to stint on studying. Besides, he was going clubbing in, he glanced at his wristwatch, a couple of minutes with Michael and Uche, and it seemed wrong to have so much fun without some studying to balance it out.
The night was going to be the absolute bomb. The girls were coming from IMSU, and everyone knows IMSU girls would do anything for alcohol and loud music. Michael’s father’s Nissan Pathfinder was available, since his father was out of the country, and it was large enough to contain all of them comfortably. They would roll from Alakahia where the girls were already chilling at Uche’s, then to Osmosis, Everyday lounge, Tuscany, and finally end the night at one of the hotels in Rumuola.
The roll of condoms was in his backpocket, his tablets of ecstasy lay on the table and the lone tablet of ‘viagra’ was wrapped in a piece of paper and safe in his breast pocket.
Tunde flipped the page of Robbins’ Pathology, his bracelets jangling as he did so, and a gospel tract fell out of the textbook. A car horned in the distance.

*******
The streets were dark tonight. A lone woman walked down the road her simple flat shoes making almost no sound on the well tarred road. But he heard her. Though the street lights were off and the moon stayed at thin crescent, the man was able to see her quite clearly. His dark eyes pierced through the gloom, taking in her shape; slim legs that tapered to brown leather shoes, and widened considerably to give what he assumed were very soft hips hidden under a grey skirt. She wore a grey jacket over her white top and carried a black leather bag in one hand and a shopping bag filled with groceries in the other. It was about seven o’clock so she was probably a banker returning late from one of the banks on nearby Opebi road. Sitting in the shadows, watching people pass while you stretched out a bowl and entreated them with sad eyes had given him an excellent knowledge of time and made him a self-proclaimed judge of character.
She walked past him, still moving as silently and as quickly as she could, though her shoulders drooped and the grocery bag seemed to weigh her down. She definitely couldn’t wait to get home. She didn’t see him, he knew, but he liked it that way.

*******

Deep in the Carpathian mountains of eastern Romania, a land filled with dark uncharted forests and ghostly towns where mists roll by with the sounds of legend and tales of the undead, was a MacDonald’s restaurant.
Nicolae sipped an orange juice and munched some fries and wondered for the hundredth time about his ancestry. All around him, true Romanians with every drop of blood purely Trajan and utterly Carpathian, the blood of wolves, sat calmly munching Big Macs and knocking back large jugs of spiked coffee. Bitter. And hot. Just the way the old Dacians would have taken it. And here he was, sipping an orange juice and chewing fries.
Nicolae shook his huge head.
Sipping the last of his juice, he dropped a couple of notes on the counter and stood up. Night falls quickly, and it was time to head up to his cabin. He was a mountain of a man. Six foot, six in his stockinged feet, he stood in heavy mountain boots, his clothes made of the toughest hide and strongest denim. Dusting a few crumbs off his jeans, he whistled for his dog.
The Carpathian shepherd dog bounded out of the kitchen, it’s paws making no sound as it rushed across the tables. It was not unusual to see a dog in a Romanian restaurant. It was a way of life.
Snatching his heavy parka off a rack by the entrance, he shrugged into it, while he opened the door.
A blast of icy air blew into the restaurant, but no one winced. Romanians are used to this.
Dobrou noc,” Goodnight. He greeted in his soft voice.
Dobrou noc,” someone growled back.
His soft voice. Another thing that made him doubt his ancestry. Nicolae walked out.

********

The tents of the Khoikhoi, the Kalahari people, are made with thatch and the hides of buffaloes and they function quite well. In the rainy season, and even ın the dry season, the roof holds and the buffalo hides help to trap the water. The men in the tribe repair the roofs of the hut in the morning after each rain while the women skin and dry more buffalo skin ahead of the next storm.
This evening, it was raining, whıch was surprısıng for February. Thambo sat inside his hut, gazing intently at a clay bowl as it filled with water from a leaky spot on his roof. He made a mental note to patch it in the morning. Now however, his thoughts were on something else. Tradition required the man stay outside at a time like this, but the storm necessitated he stay within the hut as his first child was birthed into the world.
Thambo tried to focus on the raindrops as they landed within the bowl, but the screams of his wife and the cooing of the midwife kept piercing through his thoughts. Around the hut, oblivious to the rain, the medicine man of the tribe walked around, a leaf between his teeth and a burning brand in his hands. The brand was made from a flower that grew beneath the great rocks and the scent of its incense made Thambo want to sneeze. The medicine man kept waving the brand and walking about the house chanting under his breath.
Another raindrop fell. Thambo kept looking.
Ekwebe,” the midwife said.

**********

The most powerful man in the world looked out the window of his office into the afternoon sunshine and wanted an icecream. Outside, across the lawn and beyond the gate,a truck with a huge icecream cone emblazoned across it’s side rumbled past on Pennsylvania avenue. The black man scratched his bare arm and thought about the cool soothing feeling an icecream would give as it melted against his tongue. He smiled to himself. If he wanted that icecream right this moment, he could have it. If he wanted. He smiled again.
He was in shirtsleeves, folded to his elbows, and navy trousers. His jacket lay somewhere within the oval-shaped office and his tie was on the desk. He thought of ringing his secretary on the intercom. Icecream was needed. No. No need. He had a meeting in a few minutes. How will it look for the Chinese Ambassador to stroll into the office and meet him, lips still creamy, nose-deep in a bowl of the finest icecream taxpayers could afford. The thought was funny. He decided to buzz his secretary.

____________________________________

“And behold, I would come like a thief in the night..”

Almost two thousand years had passed since that day when history had been fore-written and a man who was previously ignored became the author of legend and truth.
Andros Tartarvosky placed his hand on the wall of the cave. This was the cave where John of Patmos was said to have been carried by the angel as he wrote and saw those terrible visions of the Apocalypse. It was a holy place. It was a tourist site in Patmos now and for the past thirteen years he had given guided tours of its interior to visiting tourists and pilgrims. Today however had been a slow day and no tourist had ventured halfway up the mountain drive.
Andros stared out of the cave, taking in the view of the Aegean from where he stood. GOD’s creation was wonderful. He watched the sea-gulls wheel in the air and perform dives into the dark deep. Across and to his left was the cliff John was assumed to have sat when he first heard the trumpet. For a second, Andros seemed to see the old prophet as he sat, in worn robes, his hair whitened past gray, praying and hoping and looking out to sea. Perhaps thinking the same things Andros was right now. Andros shivered and blinked, and the vision passed away, replaced by an empty rock upon which danced the first rays of the moonlit night.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the side of the cave shimmer in golden hues as though a ripple of energy suddenly passed through it. The Greek took his hand off the wall in alarm.

Then the trumpet sounded.

***

In a room in Alakahia, just beside the University of Port-Harcourt, a tornado seemed to have gone through. Clothes lay in disarray all over the floor, the wardrobes lay open, doors swinging, the chairs and table overturned with textbooks strewn across the floor amongst bracelets and a wristwatch. The television lay on its side atop the fallen home theater system. Everything was scattered and none was at its place. On the mattress, an iPhone rang with a caller ID ‘Michael’ on the screen. No one was in the room though the door remained locked from the inside, and in the air floating down in slow spirals was an open gospel tract.

******

In Opebi, Salvation estate is a privileged residential area and not just anyone may enter it. The gates are guarded day and especially night by a team of security men armed with the latest in baton and flashlight technology. They were sitting around passing a marijuana joint and discussing the lusciousness of the thighs of the female banker they had just let in when a sound pierced their ears and just a few metres down the road, a bright light flashed with the intensity of a bomb test. And then all was still.
In the dark recesses of the road where a certain beggar always sat and begged and prayed for passersby, was a pile of rags and a spinning bowl. And right in front but not far away, sitting on the road and staring in shock, her grocery bag spilled all around her, was the female banker. Her eyes were wide with astonishment and her face dusty with powder from the exploded milk tin.

*********

Mbele!” the midwife screamed.
The baby had vanished. For some reason and by some manner, the baby which just minutes ago had been crowning out of its mother had vanished in a spark of white light.
“Aiiieeeah!” the midwife screamed again, jumping back in fear, her hands on her head.
Thambo jumped to his feet as the medicine man entered the hut. The midwife quickly narrated what had just happened, while the Thambo’s wife lay in a faint.
Instantly, the face of the medicine man contorted with fear. “She’s evil!” He yelled in Khoi, pointing, his voice carrying over the storm. “Kill her!”
Thambo sprang to action. Picking up the bowl of water, he swung it at the head of the midwife and grabbed his spear off the wall in the same fluid motion. The spear firmly in his hands, he thrust it deep into the belly of the medicine man.
There was no turning back now. He would protect his family.

*********

The forests are dark and gloomy, but home to precious scents all the same. Nadia bounded happily around her master, sniffing under roots and sticking her nose into any available hole. She had had a nice meal at the MacDonald kitchen, prime rib and sausage, just the way she liked it. And even spent about two minutes licking her snout to catch stray crumbs and stealing glances at the butcher’s bulldog, a stuffy little thing. She suspected he was neutered.
Suddenly a bright light blasted through the trees even as Nadia heard a sound so piercing she yelped in pain. As quickly as it began, it had ended and suddenly, her master was no more. Where Andros had stood was a pile of clothes and the boots he loved so much. The Carpathian shepherd dog sniffed at the clothes, whimpering, her snout poking at the folds of his parka from where a small Gideon’s bible protruded.
The Carpathian mountains remained gloomy that night despite the flashes of light and through the dark came the agonizing howl of a dog in pain and sorrow.

********

“Here is your icecream sir,” said the secretary stepping into the oval-shaped office.
The office was empty. The President’s jacket lay on the floor in a pile with his tie and shoes and shirt.
Alarmed, the secretary called out. “Sir? Mr President?”
There was no answer.
Then from a side door which led into a walk-in closet and bathroom, the most powerful man in the world strode out in shorts and a T-shirt.
“Got too uncomfortable in those clothes,” he grinned. “Besides, I wonder what the Ambassador would think if I welcomed him in shorts and with Icecream.”

The time is at hand…

DISCLAIMER
*
I do not claim the accuracy of any of my scenarios, neither do I hint that they may indeed be prophecy. I simply passed a message, and perhaps you learned.
*And yes, Khoi is such an ancient language and filled with too many bloody consonants, so err..most..err..all of the Khoi words are err..fabrications of yours truly.
*Aha! I do not intend to slander any head of state no intimate I feel such a person would not proceed to joy everlasting, nor do I hint at my belief in any devilish affiliations of such a person. -___-
*And blame WordPress for Blackberry for the dearth of pictures.

Appreciations to Dr Phebe Oriarewo, @masterpiece1618.

Do share..and follow on Twitter @janus_aneni

Peace.