THE OPPOSITION – Jerusalem
That night, Cornelius was summoned to the residence of Pilate which occupied two levels of the northeastern tower. The summons was by the Lady Procula. A servant let him into the spacious living quarters where a party of guest can be easily entertained. He was guided to a small curtained off room with a tall embrasure that faced north. The room was plush with hanging fabric covering the stark stone walls. In the center of the room was a small round table surrounded by pillows on a rich woven carpet. There was fruit, cheese and bread on a silver platter with two goblets and a container of chilled wine. Cornelius was staring out the window lost in thought when she entered.
“Cornelius,” she quietly said.
“Pheobe!” he startlingly said. “I mean Lady Pheobe… I ah… I was summoned here by the Lady Procula.”
“The Lady Procula and the governor went out to another party somewhere at the upper city. She felt that you and I would like to be alone.”
She demurely sat on one of the pillows by the low table and started to pour some wine. Then she invited him to sit opposite her.
“You have changed since we saw each other last.” She was teasingly referring to his beard.
“Oh yes,” he said somewhat embarrassed, rubbing his scraggy beard. “I blend better with the locals as I continue to follow my maste… I mean… my subject… the man I’m following.” He quickly popped a couple of grapes into his mouth and hastingly drank some wine to hide his blunder.
“Well, I like it. Tell me about this man… about this Nazarene that you have been following.” When she saw his surprise, she lightly laughed and said, “The Lady Procula and myself have been keeping up with your reports. Of course, we think your reports are somewhat too martial. Good enough for the Governor and Generals, but there is much, we think, you have left out. The Lady had asked me to wheedle more out of you. We want to know more of Jesus of Nazareth.”
“Why is she… and you, at that matter… so interested in him?”
“My mistress met this Jewish man in Rome two years back. Joseph of Arimethea was his name. He is a member of the Sanhedrin, their ruling body, and a Pharisee. It was him that got the Lady interested in the Jewish beliefs and the advent of a king. She had surmised that this wandering teacher performing miracles might be him. So, for now, you are my prisoner. And I will get the truth from you,” she said giggling lightly. “In truth, I’ve been wanting to be alone with you for some time.”
Cornelius smiled at that and was thinking on how much he was going to reveal. Will he endanger the Master by giving all that he knew to the wife of the Governor who might just as well of having Jesus arrested and executed him as an expedient solution to any possible rebellion. But as he gazed at this pretty woman preparing a plate for him, somehow he knew what he revealed this night would not alter Jesus’ destiny. So, Cornelius told her of his travels with Jesus. He told her of the wondrous miracles that he witnessed. He shared his insights of his teachings and he even offered his own feelings of both fears and joys in regards to him.
The story continues on in my next post.
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