Simon, walking behind everyone, strained his eyesight to see Jesus’ light tunic flashing among the red coats.
“Rabbi! Rabbi!” he yelled, swinging his arms, hoping that Jesus would turn around and see him.
Jesus indeed suddenly turned around and for a moment held his gaze on Simon. It was dark and Simon did not see the Teacher’s eyes but rather felt their gaze—tearful, sorrowful, even lost.
“Get away! Get out of the way!” the soldier carrying the torch yelled, cursing and damning everyone around.
“I am with you Rabbi, with you!” Simon whispered.
“Get away, away!” the soldiers yelled, raising the torches as high as possible when they left the yard and there was no fire hazard.
“Go to the Sicarii, faster to the Sicarii! Ask them for help!” Simon thought and, hiding the dagger, he ran down the familiar street.
It was a cold, very cold night. But it was so hot during the day. So much dust rose above the Jerusalem streets that it was hard to breathe. So many sacrifices were brought to the Almighty this Passover; so much incense was burned! Fat bulls, sheep, and rams by the ton lay on the stone altars around the whole of Jerusalem, on its white ancient stones.
Sacrificial bonfires burned on the Mount of Olives, by all the seven city entrance gates, and by the Palace of Herod the Great. But most of all their flames blazed in the Temple where the high priest Caiaphas clad in gold and purple, surrounded by Cohens and Levis, sprinkled the sacrificial meal and pronounced the prayer of prayers, “Shema Yisrael! Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.”