Episode 3: Rebellion
Thaddeus woke up.
“He’s back. His eyes are open. Hallelujah. Praise to the Most High.” The young girl was delighted. An elderly man put a damp cloth to Thaddeus’ head and massaged his temples. It felt so soothing.
Slowly, the scenes began to return to him. His wife’s cry. The midwife’s report. The words that brought darkness to his life. As he tried to move, he realized that his hands had been tied. “Get the ropes off me! Get them off!”
The elderly man, who Thaddeus now recognised was his father-in-law, held him. “It is for your safety, son. For the past three nights, you have woken in a state of confusion and wandered around the house. Look at the clay jar that Rebecca’s mother bought. It’s there in the corner. You broke it two nights ago when you were stumbling around. We did what we needed to do. It seems you are better now. Priscilla, please untie the ropes.”
Thaddeus watched as the young girl rushed to his sides and loosened the ropes. He could not believe he had spent three nights in this room. The broken jar made him feel ashamed. How could he have wrecked such havoc? Suddenly, Rebecca’s face flashed in his mind. It reminded him that the damage in his heart was more than any person could understand. The tears began to flow.
A few minutes later, the cry of a baby filled the room.
Thaddeus turned his head in search of the creature that made such a soothing sound. He wanted to see his baby. A young lady entered the room. She was accompanied by Rebecca’s mother.
“Thaddeus, this is your child’s nurse. She will be responsible for feeding and caring for your baby.” The young lady bowed as his gaze turned to her.
A sharp pain cut through his heart. This was the child he and Rebecca had expected for years. It hurt him that his wife was not alive to enjoy the blessing that the Lord has given them. Thaddeus felt a hand across his shoulder. It was his father-in-law. “Be strong and courageous, Thaddeus. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. He has given us a daughter in place of Rebecca. We should be thankful.” Thaddeus nodded. He saw the wisdom in the old man’s words.
“Hadassah is sick! Master, she is not breathing well. Something is wrong”
Thaddeus felt weak. He had just returned from the town hall meeting which he resumed a couple of weeks ago. The death of his wife had taken a toll on him. He could not understand why the One who kept her while he was away for four years would decide to take her life. He wondered if the Lord was not powerful enough to save her. Or if he just derived pleasure in killing people? There were so many questions on his mind, but no one to ask and no one to answer.
After the period of mourning was over, people came to the house to plead with him to resume the town hall meeting. They wanted to know more about Jesus. Reluctantly, Thaddeus obliged. Although he still had unanswered questions, the least he could do was to share the answers he had gotten.
“Master, Hadassah is not breathing well. Something is wrong”. The nurse’s cry brought him back to life. It was two days to the feast he was preparing to celebrate his daughter’s weaning. “Saviour, have mercy on me! You took my wife. Do you want to take my child too? Jesus, have mercy! Ropheka, please don’t let Hadassah die. Have mercy on me.”
Carrying his daughter in his hands, Thaddeus set out for the local physician. “Tell my wife’s parents to meet me at Ahpar’s place!” With each step, he could feel life leaving his daughter.
As he reached the physician’s door, his daughter took her last breath.
It was the day Thaddeus had waited for.
He left Decapolis when he learnt that Jesus had arrested by the chief priests. Finally, it was his opportunity to get back at the fraud. He had been comfortable living as a leper; he was resigned to die that way. Why did Jesus give him hope? Why did He stop on his way to Samaria? Why did He choose Tehilah to be his disciple? Why did He kill Rebecca? Why did He allow their daughter Hadassah to live, only to take her life prematurely? Why?!!
Pilate’s voice thundered, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ? Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” Thaddeus screamed with the crowd, “Barabbas! Barabbas!!”
The governor said, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” The response from the crowd was unanimous. “Crucify him!!”
As Thaddeus shouted, he saw Jesus turn and look in his direction. The pain in the Teacher’s heart was obvious. He had been betrayed by one of those He healed.
A few hours later, Jesus was on the cross in the middle of two thieves. Thaddeus watched from a distance; he could not bear to see the look on the Saviour’s face again. It would have been better if he remained in Decapolis.
“He saved others. Let him save himself. If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” The question the soldiers asked made Thaddeus wonder. Was Jesus who he claimed to be? Why would God watch His son being crucified like a criminal?
With a loud voice, Jesus cried out, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Then, he breathed his last. A sharp pain gripped Thaddeus; he had betrayed the One who gave him a new life. He had called for the crucifixion of the Messiah. He was a failure. A traitor.