Chapter EighteenThe tearful followers of Yeshu’a laid his bloodied body on a marble plinth inside the cave tomb, hewed from solid rock, which was to be the resting place for Joseph of Arimathaea. A posteru, or private entrance, lead into the gardens at the rear.
The tomb was cold and filled with the mournful laments of the women gathered at the entrance. Joseph and Nicodemus went in and stood over the lifeless remains of Yeshu’a. When Nicodemus examined the body he saw the blood and water flowing from the spear wound, and his eyes became animated with hope he declared that Yeshu’a was not yet dead, and speaking in a low and urgent voice, “As sure as is my knowledge of life and nature, so sure is it possible to save him.” They could barely conceal their great joy, for they knew he still lived. What they did not know was that Yeshu’a had induced a deep trance while upon the cross, thus avoiding the great pain of crucifixion. Instead, he was in bliss. He went out of body to comfort the two thieves alongside him, and was able to observe the events surrounding him.
A messenger was sent urgently to the nearest Essene retreat, to fetch the herbs and ointments, that they might reanimate the body, and restore it back to health. On the pretence of anointing the body, the tomb was vacated by all except Joseph and Nicodemus, while the latter spread strong spices and healing salves that had great healing powers, on to long pieces of byssus, which accompanied the ointments and herbs. The principle ointment consisted of twelve ingredients, which were as follows;
- White wax;
- Gum gugal, also known as balsamo dendron mukul;
- Plumbi oxidum;
- Myrrh, also known as balsamo dendron myrrh;
- Aristoelchia longa;
- Sub-acetate of copper;
- Gum ammanicum;
- Resin of pinus longifolia;
- Olive oil.
Before they bound Yeshua’s’ face, Nicodemus blew into his mouth in a effort to expand the lungs with air, and warmed the temples. Balsam balm was spread on the wounds of the nail-pierced hands and feet, but it was thought best not to close-up the wound in his side, believing that the flow of blood and water therefrom was helpful to respiration and beneficial in the renewing of his life. They then smoked the sepulchre with aloe and other herbs, went outside and rolled a large stone into position in front so as the vapours would better fill the grotto.
After thirty hours had passed, since the “death” of Yeshu’a, during which time another great storm and earthquake occurred. Caiaphas had placed his own guards at the tomb’s entrance to ensure nobody removed the body, but the guards sought shelter nearby ‘till the storm abated. All this while the tomb was kept under watch by one of the Order’s brothers, who reported to their house that the guards were no longer there. Twenty- four brethren arrived at the grotto along with Joseph and Nicodemus, to find the lips of their dear brother moving and the chest rising and falling, as fresh air revived the functions of the body.
Since Yeshu’a was not yet strong enough to walk, he was lifted and conducted secretly to the retreat house of the Order in the garden, which was close-by to Calvary.
Caiaphas, who had instructed his spies to proceed to Golgotha and ensure the tomb was still sealed, was informed that the tomb was now empty!
The guards were closely questioned by an angry, and shocked, Caiaphas, for upon learning that they had deserted their post to seek shelter from the storm. He bribed them not to mention this to anyone but to inform the people that Yeshu’a’ followers had stolen the body so that credence would be given to the prophesised resurrection.
After many hours Yeshu’a felt strong enough to raise himself onto one elbow and partake of a light refreshment. Joseph spoke to those present Brothers, “This is not a place in which to remain longer, for soon the enemies may soon discover our secret and come to arrest us all.”
Fearful of Caiaphas’ vengeful nature, they took Yeshu’a to another retreat house where he continued to rest. Nicodemus once again tied up his Master’s painful wounds and gave him a medical draught, insisted that he lay still awhile. All now knew that their lives would in danger, and that it would be best to leave Jerusalem as soon as possible and travel in different directions.
While Yeshu’a fell into a profound sleep, Nicodemus, Joseph and the Elders convened a meeting to discuss the best procedure of caring for the Master’s safety. Brothers returning from the city brought back rumours of the resurrection that was foretold, and of other miracles. While they questioned that Yeshu’a would be strong enough to travel so soon, however, they were as one in protecting him against being recaptured. It was agreed to obtain the assistance of Yusuf - Yeshu’a’ dear friend - in this subterfuge, to convey Yeshu’a by camel train north to Galilee, from whence he would journey to retreat houses to the east, while Joseph, himself, would take a number of the followers with him by boat to safety in the west. It was not now a matter of escaping the clutches of Caiaphas and Pilate, but to spread the Word.
Two days of preparation ensued during which time Yeshu’a and the Elders spoke together of their proposed plans for his safety.
Feeling stronger physically, Yeshu’a announced, “I now feel it behooves me to remain no longer in concealment, for I have to be amongst my people and to embrace my mother once again. I do not fear death, and my enemies must acknowledge that our Father in Heaven has saved me.”
Joseph sighed, and replied that the Brotherhood “is father and mother” to Yeshu’a and was duty-bound to protect him as its beloved Son.
Others counselled Yeshu’a that it was not safe for him to remain in the country, for “…they will begin to search for you. Do not now go amongst the people to teach, for the seeds of truth that you have sown have now taken root in the hearts of the people, for all time! When it is once again safe to go amongst the people, we will then send for you.” Yeshu’a lowered his head to ponder their wisdom.
“The Lord of us all is more powerful within me than the fear of death,” he replied. “I shall, however, obey your directive and will see my disciples in Galilee.” Yusuf, he said, would guide him by way of Bethania and the Ephraimitical mountains, where Samaria borders on upper Galilee to the north.
Word of Yeshu’a’ intentions were sent on ahead to advise the brethren, so that protection would be afforded to him along the traitorous route. He was dressed suitably so that none would recognise him on his journey. His mother, Murree, and Mary Magdalene, accompanied him on the arduous journey East which would take them back to the land where he had previously sought the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Bani Israel, or the Chosen Ones, in ‘the promised land’ of Kashmir.
Their departure was a tearful one as Joseph of Arimathaea and others embraced family members for the last time. Theirs was now a mission to spread the Word of their Lord; East to Bharath - the resting place of Solomon and Moses - and West to the shores of the Atlantic.
Yeshu’a’ last act before their long journey, was to bless the marriage union of his sister, Fatima, to his good and faithful Bedouin friend, Yusuf. This wedding was held in the small town of Cana, in Galilee, and joyfully demonstrated the happy union between the Jewish and Arab communities, that existed at that time. At one stage of the celebrations, Murree asked Yeshu’a to procure more wine as there was little left for the guests; whereupon Yeshu’a requested the empty wine jars to be filled with water and thereupon miraculously produced 180 gallons of the finest wine, to the amazement and delight of all those present.
Four days later Yeshu’a embraced his sister, Fatima, and her new life’s partner, Yusuf, blessing them both, and departing with his mother, Mary Magdalene, and with the disciple Thomas they turned their tearful faces eastward to begin their fateful journey.
Travelling mostly with a merchant camel-train, along the Silk Road, that ‘well-trodden route’ from the Mediterranean to the Far East, it would take the group up to sixteen years to finally reach their final destination in north-west Bharath. Their goal was the beautiful mountainous region of Kashmir, passing through the lands now called Afghanistan, Persia, and Pakistan. It was on the final stage of the trek that Murree was taken ill from sheer exhaustion, and die shortly afterwards. Her body was later placed in a tomb, according to Jewish rites, in the little town that was later called after her, Murree. The tomb may still be seen near Pindi Point, and often referred to as the shrine of Mai-Mari-de-asthan.
During these years when Yeshu’a was asked who he was, he would reply Yusasaphat (Yuz Asaf) for he was known as a nabi (a prophet), and it was this name that he was now to travel under. His journey was to take him to those parts of Bharath now called Bangladesh, and further east to the land of Malaysia, carrying The Word of God to distant lands.
Yeshu’a lived into his eighties, having worked diligently for the people; healing, teaching and uplifting the downcast. He had succeeded in linking-up with those referred to as the Lost Tribes of Israel, reminding them of their fine heritage and their duty to their fellow man and to God. Yeshu’a passed from this life, but not before instructing Thomas where to place his tomb, and in accordance to Hebrew rites.
To this day the tomb in Rosabal, Srinagar, is called the Tomb of Isa or the Tomb of Nabi.