The weekend is almost here and this time it’s going to be a bit different because we are celebrating Easter, which is one of the most important Christian celebrations as it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
This time round I have decided to do things a bit differently by posting an article that has been written by a friend called Jimmy Nzioki. It captures the reason why we celebrate Easter in a really good and refreshing way through a fictional story that has a really good ending. Enjoy as you read.
“The silver saloon car pulled in to the café’s parking lot which was nearly full. The occupants: mother and daughter were occasional visitors of the place since it was owned by a family member. The excitement was all over Primrose’s face as she was more than eager to see her favorite uncle, Mr. Gerald. Primrose’s mom had just picked her up from school as they had just closed for the short Easter holiday. At her request, she wanted to say hi to her beloved uncle before she could go home and her mother obliged as she also wanted to see her brother concerning some family matters.
“Mommy I want to go sit at that corner,” she said as she pointed to the farthest left end of the room where an old lady was seated.
“But there’s somebody already there,” her mom replied as soon as she had closed the door behind her.
Before Primrose could respond, the old lady waved at both of them and beckoned for them to come over where she was. Little Primrose did not wait for a confirmation, she ran right to her leaving her mother fretting. The old lady greeted Primrose and offered her a seat and as they were exchanging niceties; Primrose’s mom arrived and started apologizing for her daughter’s behavior but she was cut short by the old lady who stood to greet her.
“Hi, I’m Theresa. No need to apologize I was just about to leave. Here, have my seat.”
“Ow, I’m May and this is my daughter, Primrose. Thank you for giving us the table.” She said as she sat on the comfortable leather seat opposite to where her daughter was seated.
The old lady walked to the counter in small but steady calculated steps where she met the owner who happened to be headed where she had just come from. Since she was a regular, they quickly chatted and in the process got to inform her that the people she had just given the table to were his niece and younger sister. Mr. Gerald walked to the table and hugged his sister as well as his adorable niece before sitting next to May.
“How have you been May? Longtime no see.” He said with a smile.
“I’ve been okay can’t complain. How about you?” she asked.
“I’ve been busy but good all the same thanks to God. How have you been Prim?” He asked smiling at her.
She usually blushed whenever her uncle called her Prim. The other pet name he would call her was Flower but she never really liked it. It made her feel fragile.
“I’ve been wonderful.” She replied with a smile.
“Let me go order something I’ll be back.”
“Guess it’s you and me now Prim. So what story do you have for your old uncle today?”
“I have loads of them but I think I’ll tell you this recent one that our Religious teacher told us recently at school. However, I’ll start off with a question?”
“I’m all ears.”
“Okay, which tree was the Messiah crucified on?”
“Ahh…dogwood I guess.”
“No. That’s not the answer. How about a story that will give you the answer.”
“Seems fair enough to me but I was sure I’d nailed it.” He said beaming.
“Hahaha… maybe next time Uncle Gerald. So we were told that the tree had a long history….”
“Long history? How far back does it go?” He asked quizzically.
“As far back as Adam’s time.” She said as her uncle twitched his nose in surprise.
“At that time Adam was very sick and was about to die so he sent his son Seth to go back to the Garden of Eden to plead with God for drops of oil distilled from the tree of life.”
“Huh, interesting. I want to hear more.”
“Well, upon reaching the garden by following the footsteps of his parents- as no grass had grown on their footprints since their expulsion from Eden- he bent down to pray and was immediately met by the archangel Michael. The angel told him that there was no need for him to ask God to give him the oil of mercy as there was no way of obtaining it until the end of time. Discouraged by this response, Seth begged for another solution and was given a branch from the tree of life and told to plant it on his father’s grave. He did as he had been instructed and the tree grew to a great age.” She paused when her mother tapped her on the back and asked her where her pull neck was.
“It’s in the car sorry I forgot it. I’ll go get it.”
“It’s alright I’ll go get it as I fetch mine as well, you can continue with what you were discussing.” She said as she made her way to the door.
“Do go on please.” Said Uncle Gerald as he had never heard of this story before.
“Okay, where was I?”
“You were at the part where the tree grew to be very old.”
“Ow, right. During Solomon’s time, a certain queen came to visit the king and she worshipped the tree and proclaimed that it would spell the doom of the Jewish kingdom upon the world’s savior being hanged on it. Upon hearing this, Solomon ordered the tree to be cut down and buried in Jerusalem where the pool of Bethesda was later dug. The guardian angel of this mysterious tree troubled the waters of this pool and many invalids got healed upon being dipped into it.”
“Was that the pool where a man lay next to it for 38 years always being beaten to be first in the pool to get healed?”
“Yes. It is said that as the time for Christ’s crucifixion drew near, the wood floated to the surface and it was fetched and converted into the upright part of the cross.”
“Hmm….Quite the legend your teacher told you. However, you’ve not told me the type of tree that Christ was crucified in.”
“To be fair it came from the tree of life.” She answered with an impish smile. “Then as for the other parts of the cross: the crossbar was made of cypress, the pedestal of palm and the inscription on top of his head from a piece of olive.”
“Wow. Now let me ask you a question, Prim.”
“Hope it won’t be a hard one.”
“That depends on whether or not you’ve been reading your bible as we had agreed.”
Primrose blushed as she was guilty of being inconsistent with the habit of reading her Bible daily.
“Seems someone has forgotten our motto.”
“I haven’t forgotten the motto: the bible is daily bread and not a cake for special occasions.” She said as Uncle Gerald said it along with her.
“Okay, so what was the inscription on top of Christ’s head?”
“It was inra or was it inre? No wait, it was inri. I recall it from watching the Passion of Christ movie last Easter.” She said happy with herself.
“Very good. What did inri mean?”
“I’ve no idea.” She admitted.
“It meant ‘King of the Jews’. It was meant to be a mockery to Jesus.”
“Why did the Romans have to be so mean? Not just the inscription but crucifixion itself. I could barely keep my eyes open in the movie as I saw the part of Christ being flogged as well as the part of those nails being hammered into his wrists and legs.”
“Ah, good question. Actually, the correct question is why did you have to be so mean so as to put Christ on the cross?”
“But I didn’t. I wasn’t even born yet.” She replied quickly in self-defense.
“But that’s just it Prim. You’re that very nail in his wrist or even more the thorn on his crown. Our sin is what put him on the cross Prim.”
“I thought it was his love for us.”
“Yes, that too, but God demanded a perfect sacrifice and that meant sending his son to die such a gruesome death and heaping your sin and my sin on him so that his body could bear our punishment.”
“Wow. I didn’t know that.”
“So what I’m driving at is that the most significant thing isn’t the identity of the tree but rather the identity of the man hanging on that tree that counts the most.”
“So the story that our teacher Sister Mildred told us wasn’t true?”
“As for truth, I can’t clearly say but it’s just a legend, just like the fairytales you read before bedtime.”
“Aw but it’s a nice story right?”
“Yes, quite interesting but I doubt a tree could live that long.” He said laughing with Primrose joining in.
“How long was Jesus on the cross?” Prim asked quizzically.
“From 9am-3pm. At least that’s what is recorded in one of the gospels.”
“I’m not going to tell you but I’ll leave you to go read and find out on your own.” He said with a smirk.
“Not fair Uncle.” She said disappointed. “Or maybe I’ll just ask Google.”
“That would be cheating….”
“What would be cheating?” Asked May sitting next to Uncle Gerald. “Sorry I took long had to change my parking space I hadn’t seen the reserved sign painted on the ground and then I had to go to the ATM to withdraw some cash for the order I had made.”
“That’s our little secret, right Prim?”
“Yes, but I’ll still google the ‘six hours of Easter’ and see what comes up.” She said proudly.
“Good luck with that,” replied Uncle Gerald laughing heartily ensued by May.
“Laugh all you want, I know I won’t get nil results.” She said folding her arms but with a lot to ponder on concerning what her uncle had just told her.
Their order was ready and they could not wait to dive in.”