I was cooking the fish when the door swung open and there was Peter. He hadn’t been gone long.
“The woman were right,” Peter said. “He is gone.”
“What does this mean?” Andrew asked.
“The pharisees will probably come. They’re going to think we stole the body.”
“Simon Peter!” Andrew said angrily. “Why would they come after us? We’re fisherman, not soldiers. There is no way we could have gotten through the contingent. Those soldiers could practically destroy all of Israel if they wanted to.”
“My name is Cephas, now.”
“He’s dead Peter. You can keep on being called “rock” all you want, but what will you be the rock of? The rock of a dead messiah?”
“But the woman saw angels,” John said.
“You know how she is,” Peter said. “She was practically insane on Friday night. Wasting all that oil. Kissing Jesus. I’m surprised Jesus himself didn’t push her away. It just wasn’t right. There is something wrong with her—something not quite right—and we all know it.”
The door almost bust down when the two men entered. Peter grabbed his sword quickly, and held it to one of the men’s throat.
“We come in peace,” the first man said. “We’ve seen him. He is alive!”
“Are you with them?” Peter asked not above a whisper. “I will not have you here blaspheming and telling lies in the name of the temple guard.”
“We do not come from the temple guard, we were on the road to Emmaus, and we saw Jesus.”
Peter did not let down his sword.
“John,” Peter said. “Grab them. I want them tied up. The temple guard is trying to bring us out of hiding. What they are saying cannot be true. You saw him with your own eyes carried in his mother’s arms and buried.”
“Do you know why I named you Cephas?” one of the men in the room asked.
Peter could not mistake that voice. He would never mistake this man. I saw the sword drop from his name in an instant. His face changed. He was undone, unmade, and he fell to his knees.
“I named you Cephas because you are my rock. So why do you hold these men hostage as if they blaspheme? They speak in my name,” he said.
The other disciples were dumbstruck. They could say nothing. In fact, there was really nothing to say.
“Why do you like at me,” he said. “Are you surprised? Did you think death was my equal? Did you think Rome can hold me back? Did you believe that the cross was the end? Look at my hands and my feet. I am no spirit. I am flesh and blood, just as I have always been among you. Now. Can I have some of that fish?”
And what can you do? What can you do?
I gave him something to eat.