Yeshua squinted into the unforgiving sun overhead. His feet ached and his head pounded; his mouth felt dry and his hands seem to open and close of their own volition. He could feel his heart pound, a shiver of sweat running down his back and the desert wind was anything but refreshing. Through the haze of the desert heat he could make out the crowds below and immediately dropped his gaze as if to avoid eye contact even knowing there was no danger of that at this distance.
"You're stalling" came a voice from behind him.
Yeshua sighed and rolled his eyes skyward. "And you are helping not at all". He flexed his hands and ran his fingers through his beard absently pulling out a tangle. "What if I'm wrong?"
His friend stood behind him and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, "It really doesn't matter at this point does it?"
"How can you say it doesn't matter? How could anything possibly matter more?! They're here because of me. They're here because...because..."
"I know," said the other man as he looked down the hillside as the crowd below. "Yeshua...I know. I know you're scared. I know you doubt. But at this point it doesn't matter. They need a messiah. And they need YOU to be that messiah."
The murmur of the crowd in the distance and the howl of the desert wind punctuated the silence of the moment. "But...but what if I'm not? Judas, what if I'm not? What if I've imagined it all? What if I've fabricated it all in a vain attempt at fulfilling the prophesies? What if I'm simply crazy?"
Judas breathed deeply and surveyed the crowds gathered below. He thought back to the man named John whom they all knew to be insane. He thought back to the hope he had seen in the eyes of the enslaved and hopeless. The spark of glory and enlightenment he had seen in the eyes of those that followed his friend and were inspired to greater things by his teachings. He cast his mind's eye back to the temples, the market place and the expulsion of the money lenders and heathens and the healing of those inflicted and without hope. And he wished desperately for his friend to be the savior of man, the lamb and the son of Yahweh. And he knew without doubt he was sending the lamb of god off to be a lamb to slaughter. "My dear friend, you're not crazy. At least not in deed and spirit. The people need a lamb of god and they need you to be that lamb. They need hope and they need a future." And the future needs a lamb to slaughter.
Yeshua stood and his body ached. His head pounded and mouth was dry. He walked to the overlook and cleared his throat. He felt dizzy as he looked down at the expectant faces as the murmur died to an overwhelming silence. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"