An Other Thought!
“Did you provoke the people to destroy the temple in Jerusalem?” asks the Judge. The 27-year-old accused – in dirty clothes, handcuffed, injured and head almost covered with a bandage – denies the allegation against him. Homeless Yeshua replies: “No Milord. I have never told anybody to destroy any temple. I just said that the temple of old faith would collapse, and it would be replaced by the temple of new faith.” The vagabond also informs the Judge that a man, named Matthew, had accompanied him when he was on his way to Bethlehem. Earlier, Matthew used to be a revenue-collector. However, he left the job and started staying with this apparently crazy fellow. Now, he writes down what Yeshua says… but, writes wrongly.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Court brings forth more incriminating documents… this crazy man is really dangerous… he had instigated people against Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus (November 16, 42 BC – March 16, 37 AD)!
“I just said that any Power is actually a kind of Violence. Caesar or no one will rule the country in the future. One day, people will reach the realm of truth and justice, where there will be no Power or Violence,” says Yeshua, defending himself. “Criticism of Caesar! There has never been such a Fair and Just Government, nor will there be one in the future. This man should be crucified,” reacts the Judge, although he feels somewhat uncomfortable…
Meanwhile, the Judge comes to know that the Chief Priest of the city is waiting for him outside the courtroom. Four people, including Yeshua, have just been ordered to be handed over their respective sentences: Death by Crucification! The Judge is well aware of the fact that a Jewish festival will take place few days later, and the custom is to release a convict, sentenced to death, during the time of festivals. The Chief Priest tells the Judge that Yeshua could be crucified, but the Court should release Bar-rabba, the robber who made an attempt to destroy the temple! “Isn’t there something wrong with you, Priest? Rather, let Yeshua go,” says Judge Pilate.
The Priest smiles… “I do not understand why you want to release Yeshua? You hate Jerusalem. He will provoke everyone to revolt. And then, this city will have to face the swords of the Roman Army,” he says to the Judge. Judge Pilate realises that this Priest is not a simple person. He might represent his opinion to Caesar in a different manner. Perhaps, the young man is innocent… but, it would not be a wise move to release him…
In front of the assembled crowd, Judge Pilate announces that Bar-rabba would be released! The crowd roar, scream, laugh, blow whistle… this city is just like that. The follower writes an incorrect version of his mentor’s thought. The Judge has to consult with a Priest, before delivering the final judgement. Yeshua has to accept death, while Bar-rabba gets released!
This is what is mentioned in the manuscript of Master! Master started writing a novel on Pilate, who appeared as an Advocate, pleading Jesus’ case. However, the publisher, editors and critics strongly criticised Master, prompting him to burn his manuscripts. A few months later, a person – named Woland – brought the manuscripts out of the fire, intact! Woland was a mysterious character… he was either God or a Devil. Otherwise, how could he find the intact manuscripts in the fire? Woland said: “Manuscripts do not burn!” Fire could destroy State directives, court affidavits, editor’s advice… but, not the manuscripts of an uncompromising author!
Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov‘s ‘The Master and Margarita‘ is one such novel! However, it was not published in Stalin’s Russia. Book-lovers got the access to this novel two decades after Bulgakov’s demise. The Stalinist Russia banned the novel, as Woland and his shadow-less followers created troubles for the Soviet System!
Even before Bulgakov, Anatole France penned a novel – titled ‘The Procurator of Judea‘ (or ‘Le Procurateur de Judée‘) – on Judge Pilate in 1892. France’s elderly Pilate used to live on the island of Sicily and engage himself in farming. Still, the words, like ‘Caesar’ and ‘Rome’, used to raise his blood pressure. While chatting with an old friend, Judge Pilate recalled the memory of a young Jewish dancing girl in Jerusalem. The friend told Judge Pilate: “I heard that the girl had joined a group of followers of someone, called the Jesus of Nazareth. That Jesus was crucified for committing a crime. Do you remember, Pontius?” Old Pilate replied: “The Jesus of Nazareth? No…” In literature, the Judge has become a tragic character. He remembered the person, who had misrepresented him to Caesar. However, he forgot the reason why History would always remember him!
The Master, however, released the character of his novel in a different manner. For 2,000 years, Pontius Pilate had been waiting for Yeshua in the galaxy, with his pet dog! He wanted to know about Yeshua’s arguments. However, Woland told the Master: “Go, liberate him. Finish the rest of the novel in a single line.” After doing so, the Master reportedly exclaimed loudly: “You are free!” Mountain storms and lightning accompanied his voice. Free Pontius Pilate, then, walked through the galaxy towards the city of Old Jerusalem…
The only adorable piece of news in this world is: Freedom from Fear!
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