This day brought relief as he left his home and walked the dusty road to the temple. He replayed the scenes of the past two days over and and over in mind. Arrested, tried, beaten, and crucified; he had witnessed it all. Finally they were rid of the One who caused so much unrest in the traditions of their people. “Today our worship will return to what it should be,” he thought. “The reading of the Law, the sacrifices, and the respect we deserve as Priests. The service of our God will be be restored with no disruptions.”
As he approached the temple gate things seemed much quieter than usual. In fact, the air was filled with an eerie stillness that sent a shiver down his spine. He slowed his pace as he walked into the inner court vacant from any signs of life. The steps up to the the holy place seemed steeper than usual as his climb became deliberate. He took hold of the jar of oil he would use to refill the lamp stands and entered.
The scene ahead frightened him so that the jar he was holding escaped his grip and shattered. He fell to his knees horrified by the sight. Recoiling on the ground he hid his face as he began to shake violently. “How can this be? What is happening?” He felt as if the air he was breathing had been sucked from his lungs.
After what seemed like an eternity, he found himself gasping for air as he forced himself to look up. There in front of him the curtain hung frayed in two pieces as if it had been ripped in two from the top to the bottom. Beyond the veil the Ark of the Covenant was exposed for all to see. He stood to his feet as curiosity pushed him towards the opening. There he stood. He was in the presence of God and yet he did not die.
His mind was brought back to just the week before. Jesus had been teaching in the temple. He spoke of His purpose in coming to earth and then they all had heard it. A voice from the heavens thundered confirming the words Jesus spoke. “No… it can’t be. It just can’t. Not now. Now here,” he shuddered.
He argued with his thoughts and replayed all the times he had seen Jesus interacting with the people. He began to question even his own understanding of the Scriptures. “Could He be the One about whom the prophets foretold? Could He be the One that would make a way for all to know God?”
As these thoughts overwhelmed him he heard a crowd gathering in courtyard. Their cries reached his ears with a message so clear it pierced his soul.
“The stone has been rolled away.”
“His body is gone.”
“The tomb is empty.”
“He was seen in the garden.”
He reached out and touched the veil as he stepped inside the holy place. His hands raised into the air with his eyes towards the heaven. Everything inside him knew that it was true as He could contain it no longer. His shout rang through the temple with a confidence he had never felt before, “I believe!”