The Gospel of Gamaliel
Or the Lament of the Virgin and the Martyrdom of Pilate
LAMENT OF THE VIRGIN
In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Ruach HaQodesh, we will write a discourse composed by Cyriacus, bishop of the town of Bahnasa, on the merits of the pure Virgin our Lady Mariyam, and her affectionate weeping on the day of the crucifixion of our Adonai, when on the day of His holy resurrection she went to the door of the sepulcher of her Son and did not find His body, because He had risen up from the dead. May his blessing be with us. Amen.
He said: The weeping of Ya’aqov, the head of the Patriarchs, has been renewed today, O my beloved; why then should not the Virgin Mariyam weep over her Son whom she conceived in virginity? Why should not the Virgin Mariyam weep over the one for whom she suffered the pangs of parturition? Why should not the Virgin Mariyam weep over the one into whose divine mouth she placed her virginal breast? Why should not the Virgin weep over the manger, which is in Bethlehem? Why should not the Virgin weep over her beloved Son whom she carried during nine months of gestation? Why should not the Virgin weep over the one whom she brought forth and suckled?
If Rachel weeps over children whom she has never embraced, why should not the Virgin weep over the one whom she carried in her arms like all babes? If Rachel weeps over children for whom she did not run from place to place, why should not the Virgin weep over her child with whom she ran from country to country? If Rachel weeps over children whose tombs she has not seen, why should not the Virgin weep at the door of her only Son’s sepulcher?
The weeping of a venerable old man has been renewed today for a young, virgin woman. Ya’aqov did not see Yoseph bound by his brothers, but the Virgin saw her Son nailed to the wood of the cross. Ya’aqov did not see Yoseph when his brothers threw him while hungry into the depths of the well, so that he might weep over him; but the Virgin saw her Son hanging on the cross in the middle (of two male- factors), before all the Jews. Ya’aqov did not see Yoseph when his brothers stripped him of his clothes, but the Virgin saw her Son in a naked state in the middle of Jews devoid of understanding. Ya’aqov did not see Yoseph being sold to Egyptian merchants for thirty denarii, but the Virgin saw her Son when Judas sold Him for thirty pieces of silver. Ya’aqov wept over a foreign blood and over a robe that was not torn by wild beasts, but it is over a divine blood smeared on the rock of the Kranion that the Virgin is weeping, and over the foreign robe which her Son was wearing, since they had divided His garments among themselves. The brothers of Yoseph wept and repented that they had sold their brother, but the Children of Israel did not weep when they sold their Adonai. The sons of Ya’aqov rejoiced when their brother reigned (over Egypt), but the Jews did not rejoice when their Adonai rose up from the dead.
O pure Virgin, your wailing over the tomb of your beloved Son is truly sweet and your voice is melodious in the middle of the angels, when they brought to you the sad news and said: “O Mariyam, what are you doing sitting, while your Son is standing before the Governor and is being judged and insulted by the High Priest of the Jews? O Mariyam, what are you doing sitting, while your Son is being stripped in the court of His garment dyed (with His blood)? O daughter of Joiakim, what are you doing sitting, while your Son is carrying alone a cross in the streets of Yerushalayim, and no one comes near Him? O dove of Hannah what are you doing sitting, while your Son is being crucified in the place of the Kranion? O seed of David, why have they lifted your Son on the cross?
O my pure and Virgin Lady, your wailing is truly sweet today in the house of Yochanan, while saying: ‘Oh, how bitter is this messenger who came to me today! He is more bitter than the messenger of death who came to Job and to Ya’aqov Israel. Oh, how cruel is the intelligencer who came to me today, O my Child! He is more cruel than the one who announced to Lot the burning of his town. Oh, how painful is the news that came to me today, O my child! It is more painful than the news concerning the death of the valiant men of Israel. Oh, how cruel is the messenger who brought me this bad news, O my child! (This child) has comforted me for thirty years, and He never furnished me with an occasion to chide Him and scold Him.(What adds bitterness) to the news is that the one who brought it to me is Salome! All my sorrow has begun again!
O my child, I have never been to a Governor, nor have I ever stood before a judge. I have never seen a robber being killed, nor have I ever gone to the Kranion, nor do I know the place of the Golgotha. O my child, I have never stood before a man engaged in litigation so that I might realise the false wisdom (that has been applied to your case); nor have I ever been present in a law court, so that I might realise the injustice that has been done to you. O my child, I am inside the house of Yochanan, and you are in the house of the High-Priest Annas. O my child, this cruel news that concerns you has outweighed the sadness of my orphan-hood, and the painful information relating to you has today deprived me of my joy. The angel announced to me your birth in Nazareth, and I have been announced this cruel news about you in Yerushalayim.’ Your Annunciation occurred to me in the house of Yoseph, and this bad news was brought to me in the house of Yochanan. O my beloved, I was rejoicing in my heart and saying constantly, ‘Tomorrow we shall have our pass-over, accomplish the ordinance of the feast and return to our home;’ the pass over has come to me, O my beloved Son, with weeping and wailing! My feast has changed into lamentation and my pass-over into grief!”
The Virgin uttered this affectionate wailing in the house of Yochanan when they brought to her the sad news of her Son. Then she began to look for one of His holy disciples to walk with her, but she did not find any, because all had fled and forsaken Him from fear of the Jews. She asked for Kepha to accompany her, and she was informed that from his fear of the High Priest he had denied her Son, saying, “I do not know Him,” and that he had gone and hidden himself from Him. She asked for Ya’aqov, the brother of Adonai, and she was informed that he had fled and left Him on the mount where He was seized. She asked for Andrew, and she was informed that he had never come with Him to town at all. She asked for Thomas, and she was informed that he had thrown down his garments and fled. She asked for the son of Tulmas, and she was informed that he was the first of His brethren to flee. She asked for Philip, and she was informed that when he saw the torches burning, he was terrified and fled. She asked for Ya’aqov, the brother of Yochanan, and she was informed that he never even looked at Him. She asked for Matthew, and she was informed that he was afraid of the Jews more than all others, as they had a special grudge against him from the time he used to collect taxes from them, and he had, therefore, fled in the darkness of the night. In short she asked for all of them, and she did not find a single one of them except Yochanan who had accompanied Him to the Kranion and the Golgotha.
Then the Virgin resumed her weeping and wailing, because she was not able to find any of the Apostles, the disciples of her Son, except Yochanan, and said while weeping:
“Woe is me, O my Son and O my beloved, because Your brethren fled and disappeared. O my father Kepha, I was thinking every day that you would not deny your Master. You have not been given gold and silver that you denied Him so quickly. You have not been presented with a boat and oars, why then did you deny today your Master and your Adonai? You have not had the gift of a son or a daughter (as the price of your denial), O Kepha, and you have not had the offer of exchanging Him for a brother or a friend, why then this spiritless weakness of yours? You did not see a second cross, O Kepha, which you believed might be for you, that you were so terrified that you denied Him. He gave you a tongue of iron, O Kepha, and you melted it and spoiled it without fire or a smith. He bestowed grace upon you, O Kepha, more than all men, and you did not bear now a single slap for your Master. He bestowed on you, O Kepha, two eyes the light of which does not fade, and you did not feel ashamed to deny their light. He confided to you, O Kepha, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and you did not suffer a short time (for Him) in the prison of the High Priest.
He made you, O Kepha, His deputy to all the world, and you did not endure a single temptation for your Master. He made you, O Kepha, a father to all the world, and you did not act in a brotherly love for a single short hour towards my Son. He imposed His divine hand on your head, O Kepha, and you did not agree to have a crown of thorns on your head before you had denied Him. Even if you say, Kepha, that my Son is not your Master but only your friend, it did not behoove you to deny Him in this way. If you had to endure, O Kepha, all the tribulations undergone with us by my father Yoseph, you should have been dragged to Herod with my Son. If you had to bear like him the pains of the journey to the country of Egypt, you might not have been able to endure a single one of them. May the dew of heaven nurture your bones, O my father Yoseph, the just man, and may the tree of life nourish your soul because you have endured my tribulations with me, and have not denied my Son! O Kepha, they have not brought you before the Governor, nor have they placed you before the high tribunal that you denied your Master so quickly.”
When the Virgin finished her lamentations over the denial of Kepha in the house of Yochanan, she sent for Yochanan, who came and found her weeping. Then both Yochanan and the Virgin wept over Adonai Yahushua. Then Yochanan said to the Virgin: “O my mother, do not weep over Kepha for his denial of my Master, because he has not the same blame attached to him as that which attaches to Judas who betrayed Him heard what my Master said at the evening meal and what Kepha said to Him, ‘Be it far from you, Adonai, this shall not be unto you,’ but I will give my life for you. And I heard my Adonai and my Master rebuking him three times saying to him, ‘Go ye behind me, Satan, you have become an offence to me, for you think not of the things that be of Elohiym, but of those things that be of men.’ Now, O my Lady and my mother, do not weep over my father Kepha, because his denial will be (the symbol of) repentance to sinners, as he gave the lie to his own words and corroborated the words of his Master.”
Then the Virgin gave herself to bitter weeping because she had not seen her Son, and she reverted again to her painful lamentations in the house of Yochanan and said: “I adjure you, O Yochanan, to show me the way to the Kranion. I adjure you, O Yochanan, to accompany me to the Golgotha. I have never seen yet a robber being crucified, nor have I stood near a robber when he was being beheaded. I shall forsake my town and my great freedom and shall go bare-footed to the place in which my beloved Son has been crucified like common robbers, because He is alone and not one of His brethren is standing near Him, and there is not here with you any of your friends who would say anything about you. O my child, the sorrow of a mother for her beloved son is something, and the sorrow of a friend for his friend is another thing; the pain of the heart of a mother weeping over her beloved son is something, and the weeping of a friend over his friend is another thing. My sorrow, O my child, is today greater than that of all the world, and of all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and my weeping is more bitter than that of all who shall gather near me.”
When Yochanan noticed that she was not able to cease her weeping and wailing and that he on his part was unable to comfort her, because she was saying: “If I do not see Him I cannot be comforted,” he said to her: “Get up, and I will accompany you to the Kranion, so that you may see Him.” The Virgin, therefore, went out of the house of Yochanan and walked in the streets of Yerushalayim. People who saw the Virgin walking said to one another: “From where is this wailing woman?” And the people of the bazaars said: “We have never seen this woman buying anything from this bazaar.” Some others said: “This is a foreign woman and she walks in this street as if she did not know it.” The people, however, who recognised in Yochanan the disciple of Adonai Yahushua, said: “This may perhaps be His mother going to see Him on the cross.” Some people said: “This is the wife of Yoseph,” and some others said: “The news of His conception was brought to her.” Finally, some people said: “Look at her, how beautiful is her face and her weeping,” and yet some others said: “We have not seen another one in this town like her, and her face resembles that of her Son.” In short, everyone in the market was saying something about her and how noticeable was her appearance in the streets of the town. And Salome was walking behind her, while some other women covered her with her veil, but she was not observing anything but only listening to the sorrow of her heart.
When she reached the Golgotha, she noticed a great throng of people in groups of different tribes and clans looking at (her Son) on the Cross. People of various nationalities, from all districts had assembled in Yerushalayim in that holy month for the immolation of the lamb: Amgazites, Balakites, Moabites, Kabarites, and Ishmaelites. All these were pressing in groups against one another for the great and wonderful sight. Some people were saying: “They condemned this one today with injustice,” and some others were saying: “They have emptied their wrath on Him.” Some were saying: “They were seeking the death of this one for many years,” and some others were saying: “They have killed a brave man today.” Some were saying: “If there was justice in this town, they would never have been able to kill this one,” and yet some others were saying: “This is the one for whom the Emperor sent in order to make Him a King over all Judaea, and that is why Herod ordered His death.” Some people cursed Herod because of Him, saying: “The one who took his brother’s wife while he was still alive and rendered him a poor and a wretched man, has also killed this one without pity.”
As to the Virgin she inclined her face towards the earth on account of her weeping and humility, and she was not able to see her Son quickly because of her painful weeping and the thronging of the great multitudes of people. She said, therefore, to Yochanan: “Where is my beloved Son so that I may see Him; the pressing of these numerous people against one another does not allow me to see Him.” And Yochanan said to her: “Lift your head towards the western side of these people, and you will see Him extended on the cross.” And the Virgin looked towards all those multitudes of people, and she saw Him. She did not cease to wade with Yochanan through the multitudes until she came and stood at His right, and looked at Him in His sufferings.
When Elohiym saw His mother, He looked towards Yochanan and said to him: “O man, this is your mother,” and then He said to His mother: “O mother, this is your son.” And Yochanan held the Virgin’s hand in order to take her to his house, but the Virgin, his mother, said: “O Yochanan, let me weep over Him, as He has no brother and no sister, and do not deprive me of Him. O my Son, would that I had with You a crown of thorns on my head, and would that I could make it as painful as Yours. If the penalty of all the robbers is crucifixion, why have they not stripped you of your garments, Judas, since you are a thief and stole from the bag? O Yochanan, look at my wretchedness today in the middle of these multitudes. Look at my lowliness and at the pains of my heart. Let me look at His face to my satisfaction. Let me look at His sufferings to my satisfaction, as I have never seen Him in such a state before, except today. Let me weep over Him, because my sufferings are today greater than His sufferings. The lying-place of all the paupers is the dung-heap, let me then look at Him to my satisfaction, because I am an orphan without father, without mother, and without relatives.” This is the wailing indulged in by the Virgin while she was at the right side of her Son. She was in a state of confusion owing to the intensity of her pain, and because of the greatness of her sorrow she did not notice the great multitudes that were present. She was only bent on weeping. Now there were present there Joanna, wife of Chuza, Mariyam Magdalene and Salome, and these got hold of the Lady (Mariyam) and lifted her up. Her wailing was truly sweet while she was surrounded by pure women, who were weeping with her because of the sweetness of her words. Other Jewish women who heard her weeping scoffed at her saying: “Our vengeance has come today on you and on your Son, because it is through you that our wombs have become childless from the year in which you brought Him forth.”
The heads of the Jews spoke then with the soldiers of Herod and hardened their hearts to kill (Yahushua). They had informed Herod that Pilate with a great number of people loved Yahushua, and they had added: “We fear that in going to crucify Him, those people might raise against us and snatch Him from our hands on the advice of Pilate. Give us, therefore, order and power to crucify Him.” And they had given him much money, and he had given them the power required and sent his soldiers to them. This is the reason why Pilate did not go out with him that day; he feared an armed conflict between him and the Jews. Indeed, Pilate and his wife loved [Yahushua] like their own soul, and the flogging that he had ordered for Him was done in order to satisfy the wicked Jews, and so to save Him from death. Had he known that they would crucify Him, if he were to die with his wife and his sons, he would not have laid hands on Him at all. The Jews had lied to Pilate saying: “If you only chastise this rebel for us, and if he ceases to heal people on the Sabbath day, we will release Him.” It is under this false pretext that Pilate had ordered Him to be flagellated.
The above conspiracy took place before the Virgin stood at the right side of Her Son and Yochanan wished to take her to his house. She then rose weeping and lamenting and returned to town, saying: “I leave You in peace, O my child, You and the cross upon which You have been lifted up. I salute Your face full of grace, which they have insulted and at which they have railed. I salute Your nudity, O King, who is in the middle of robbers. I salute Your royal garment, O my child, which is in the hands of Your enemies. I salute You, O my beloved, with the crown of thorns which is overshadowing You.” The Virgin was saying all this while she was being taken weeping to the house of Yochanan. There she did not cease to weep, nor did she give slumber to her eyelids, but she kept weeping and wailing. After (Yochanan) had placed her in the house he did not neglect to go to the Kranion and witness till the end all the sufferings of his Master. When the body had ceased to function, He gave up the ghost. Then all the town shook from the great earthquake that occurred in the earth and the signs that took place in heaven. When the Virgin noticed that the earth quaked and that darkness spread over all the town, she said: “This is a sign that my Son has died.” While she was saying this, lo, Yochanan came weeping. And the Virgin said to him: “Is it not true that my Son died on the cross?” And he inclined his head and said, “Yes, He died.”
How great were the weeping and the lamentations of the Virgin at that hour! With intense pains of the heart she wept and said: “Woe is me, O my child, because of this dreadful death which You have incurred. I did not find a Governor to inquire into the injustice done to me, nor a judge to gauge the pains of my heart. O Governor, if you had judged with justice according to the law, the Son of the King would not have been killed while hungry and thirsty. O High Priest, if you had judged with justice, Judas would have been worthy of crucifixion instead of my Son. If you had pondered over your decision, O Governor, you would not have crucified my Son in His nudity. If you had judged with equity, O High Priest, you would not have released a robber from death, and killed the Prince. If you had judged with equity, O Governor, you would not have killed a valiant man while war is looking you in the face. If you had judged with equity, O High Priest, you would not have uttered insulting words to your Master.
I hear that at a time when people are at war, if it happens that they capture the son of the King, they take great care of him and do not kill him, but send him to his father as an honor, why then, O High Priest, when you asked (my Son) the truth and He told it to you, you hated Him? You preferred a lie and put your trust on it. You asked for truth, do you not know then that the One who is standing before you is truthful, nay truth and life?” Truly, O Virgin, O holy Mariyam, you have met with injustice in the town of Yerushalayim more than many of your generation, because they attacked the great One who was in it, and delivered Him to the judgment of death.
After all this, the Messiah was still hanging on the cross, and many confessed saying: “This man who performed all these deeds is the Son of Elohiym.” All the people who believed wept while He was on the cross. Then Pilate summoned the centurion who was sent by Herod in order to crucify(Yahushua), and he ushered him into his house and said to him: “Have you seen, O my brother, what the Jews and Herod did to this just Man, and how they killed Him with such an injustice that all this happened on the earth? I tell you, O my brother, that all this evil is not by my will but on the advice of Herod. I wished to release Him and save Him from death, but when I noticed that this was against the wish of Herod, I delivered Him to the Jews for crucifixion. See now, what ransom shall we give to Elohiym for His Son whom we have killed?” Then the centurion together with the owner of the spear and Pilate began to weep bitterly saying: “May His blood be on Herod and on the High Priest!”
Then Pilate summoned the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas before the public and said to them: “O haters of bodies and drinkers of blood unjustly shed, see now what happened as a consequence of the death of Yahushua of Nazareth on the cross. May His blood be on you and on your children!” And they struck at their chests and at their faces saying: “May the blood of this erring man be on us and on our children for a thousand generations!”
And Pilate said, “What! even now after all the signs that He showed in heaven and earth, you are not awestruck and amazed like all the people?” And they said: “We are not afraid because we have fulfilled the law.” And Pilate said: “O High Priest, if you have fulfilled the law, why are your clothes rent? The law says that if a High Priest rends his clothes, he falls from office.” And he answered: “I rent my clothes because He blasphemed against the Most High Elohiym and against the law.”
And Pilate said to him: “I order you not to enter the temple another time like a High Priest but like a rebel. And if anyone tells me that you have gone to the temple, I will cut off your head.” And the High Priest said to him: “Which Governor among your predecessors has in the preceding time interdicted a High Priest, and has enjoyed a long term of office?” He said this because he was under the jurisdiction of Herod. And Pilate said to him: “Are not then the signs that have so far occurred sufficient for you, as they are for all the people?” And the High Priest said to Pilate: “You are a young shoot in this town, and you do not know the meaning and the portent of these signs. This month is Barmudah and in it the revolution of the sun and the moon takes place. At this time the sorcerers give to the moon the colour of blood and detract the ray of the sun by their spells. They do it in order to exact work from the husbandman and to prognosticate concerning the fruits, the crops, the wines and the oils.” This is what the High Priest lied and said.
Then Pilate rose from his chair and scourged him with a rough whip; he plucked also the hair of his beard, and tormented him and said: “You wish to bring the wrath (of Elohiym) on the earth on account of your hatred for Yahushua.” Then the centurion and the soldier said: “You prefer death to life.” After having chastised him on the recommendation of Pilate, they sent him to prison on the advice of the centurion, until such time as they would send him to the Emperor.
After this Pilate conferred with the centurion and said: “Is His body going to hang on the cross?” And the centurion said to Pilate: “The power is in your hands, O Governor.” And Pilate said to him: “Do you wish that we should take Him down from the cross and confide Him to a reliable man for three days, in order that perchance He may rise as He Himself raised many people from the dead?” When Pilate uttered these words the heads of the Jews shouted suddenly and said: “It is against the law to deliver a dead man to anyone. The grave is the resting-place of the dead.”
After this Yoseph, who is from Arimathea, came to Pilate and asked permission to take down the body of Yahushua Messiah from the cross. And Pilate was pleased, and he ordered it to be given to him; and the Jews walked behind him with the guards. Yoseph, then, took it down from the cross and buried it in conjunction with Nicodemus. The Jews, however, had an argument with him because they did not wish to bring down His body from the cross, but to leave it on the wood like that of all other robbers, because Yahushua had made mention of His resurrection. After they had shrouded Him well in perfume, myrrh, and new linen wrappings, which had not been used for another man at all, they laid Him in a new tomb in which no other body had ever been laid, because it was newly made for Yoseph himself, the owner of the garden. They then fastened Him well till the third day.
When the body of Yahushua was placed in the sepulcher the Jews went to Pilate and said: “You know that it is the Sabbath;” and they asked for four witnesses for His tomb, two from the soldiers of Herod, and two from the soldiers of the centurion. They confided the tomb to them and ordered them to guard it till the third day. And the centurion remained in Yerushalayim till the third day in order to see the miracle; and he said: “If Yahushua rises from the dead, I shall have no further need of the power of Herod.” After all this Yochanan went in haste to the Virgin and said to her: “They have laid my Master in a good new tomb, and have shrouded Him with new wrappings, good perfume, and myrrh of a high quality.” And the Virgin enquired: “Who was the one who did this good thing to my beloved Son?” And he informed her that it was Yoseph and Nicodemus, the venerable chiefs.
And the Virgin did not cease her weeping and wailing, and said: “If they have placed my beloved Son under the tree of life, I shall not be comforted unless I see Him. If they have placed the robe of Solomon over the body of my Son, I shall not be comforted unless I see His tomb. If they have poured the perfume of Aaron over the body of my Son, I cannot be comforted unless I see His burial-place. If they have laid my Son in the graves of the prophets, I shall not be comforted unless I see Him. If the grave in which my Son is lying is that of Elisha, I shall not be comforted unless I see Him. If the place in which they have placed my son is Paradise itself, I shall not be comforted unless I see Him. May the dew of Heaven nurture you, O my father Yoseph, and may the firmament nourish you, O Nicodemus, for the little good work you did to my Son on the cross!’
Would that I had been weeping under your cross, O my Son! Even if I could not find Your body, O my beloved, I would have grasped Your blood, because although Ya’aqov did not find the blood of Yoseph, he wept over the blood of another. Woe is me, O my beloved Son, because I have not seen Your body and Your blood. If I had found Your blood, O my Child, I would have purified my garment with it, and if I had found Your garment, it would have been as a garment of Yoseph to me. The blood over which Ya’aqov wept was a foreign blood, and that over which I weep is flowing from the side of my Son. If they have not broken Your bones, O my Son, as it is written in their law, so that (the malefactors) might be delivered from their pain, they have pushed the spear-head into Your divine side.
No evil deed was left, O my beloved, which they did not do to You before they crucified You, and no injustice was left, O my beloved, which they did not do to You. Woe is me, O my beloved Son, my reins are bursting inside me. I never saw a physician healing people like You, O my beloved Son, and in spite of that they struck You. You have been a physician to their diseases which You cured, and in spite of that they nailed You to the wood of the cross. You have been a physician, O my Child, to their men born blind, and You gave them their sight, and in spite of that the unbelieving Jews did not feel ashamed to insult You. You have been a physician, O my Son, and You drove out their demons from them, and in spite of that they did not honor You but said, ‘You drive them out by Beel-Zebul.’ You have been a physician, O my Son, and You cured them from hemorrhage, and in spite of that they did not feel ashamed of You, but they pierced You in Your side, O my beloved, with a spear-head. I adjure you, O Yochanan, to come with me to the tomb of my Son. I implore you, O Yochanan, to accompany me to my only Son so that I may pay a visit to His cross. I know, O Yochanan, that I am putting you to much trouble with the sorrow of my heart, but have patience with me and you will receive much blessing from my beloved Son.”
The Virgin uttered these and similar words in her lamentations and said: “O Yochanan, if I do not see His tomb I shall not be comforted in my sorrow.” And Yochanan used to comfort her saying: “Cease your weeping because they have buried Him with perfume, incense, and new wrappings, near a garden.” The Virgin, however, wept, saying: “If the ark of Noah were the place of the burial of my Son, I shall not be comforted unless I see Him and weep over Him.” And Yochanan said to her: “How can you go while four soldiers from the soldiers of the Governor are lying on the sepulchre?” And the Virgin remained in this weeping and wailing over her Son in the day of His crucifixion, the Sabbath day, to the morning of Sunday.
As to the soldiers whom the Governor had detailed to guard the tomb, the heads of the Jews had entered with them into a conspiracy unknown to the Governor and the Centurion, to the effect that if the erring One were perchance to rise they should inform them of the fact before the Governor. For this and for their not disclosing this conspiracy to Pilate they were promised much money and silver. The Jews held this conspiracy with the soldiers before the latter went to guard the tomb.
When, however (Yahushua) rose and many signs took place at His resurrection, the soldiers were frightened and terrified, and became like dead men. They entered the town early in the morning and remembering the deceitful words of the Jews they went to them while it was still dark before they went to the Governor and apprised them of the fact that Yahushua of Nazareth had risen from the dead as He had predicted. The Jews went then in haste and related to the High Priest the words of the soldiers to the effect that Yahushua had risen from the dead; and they shouted saying: “Woe to the Jews and to their lives, because this day has more evil in it for them than the day in which He was crucified. What shall we do if the Governor and the centurion hear that He rose from the dead. We shall all fall into his hands. But let us see first what really took place.” And they went to the tomb while it was still early in the morning, and did not find the body of Yahushua in it. Then they tore their garments, gave silver to the four soldiers apart from His garments and said: “Will He appear to everybody?” In short every one of them (in their confusion) said something.
As to the Virgin she did not neglect to go to the tomb early on Sunday morning. Mariyam Magdalene had, however, preceded her to the sepulcher and noticed that the stone had been rolled away from it. And the Virgin said: “This is a sign that occurred in the case of my Son, and it perplexes me. Who rolled away this stone from the door of the sepulcher?” The Virgin looked then in the four directions of the tomb, and did not find in it the body of her Son, and she sat down and reverted to her wailing and lamentation and said: “Woe is me, O my beloved Son, who is it that carried Your body and added to the sorrow of my heart? I have not been at all to the tomb of my father nor to that of my mother; when my father died I was a young girl in the temple. Nor have I ever been to the grave of my father Yoseph who endured so many troubles with You, O my Son. This day I came to Your tomb, O my Son, in order to inform myself concerning Your body, another sorrow has been added to my sorrow. This day that I came to Your tomb, O my Child, I met with a bitter disappointment, as I did not find Your body in it, O my Son. On the Golgotha they did not permit me to satisfy my desire for looking at You to my satisfaction, and today they did not allow me to satisfy my desire for looking at Your body in the grave to my heart’s desire. On the day of Your birth, in Bethlehem, O my beloved Son, when Your star shone, Herod did not glorify You, and on the day of Your crucifixion, o my Son, when the sun suffered eclipse, the Jews did not believe in You. On the day I brought You forth in Bethlehem, O my Son, Your angels surrounded You in order to glorify You, and on the day of Your resurrection, O my beloved Son, Your brethren forsook You.
On the day I brought You forth in Bethlehem, O my beloved Son, the shepherds came at day-break and worshipped You, and on the day of Your death, O my beloved Son, I came to Your tomb and did not find Your body in it. On the day I brought You forth in Bethlehem, O my Son, the Magi came to You with their offerings, and on the day of Your crucifixion, O my Son, a wicked robber insulted You. The day of Your birth in Bethlehem, O my Son, the animals praised it, and on the day of Your crucifixion, O my beloved, I met with pain and sorrow. On the day of Your birth in Bethlehem, O my beloved Son, Yoseph served You, and on the day of Your crucifixion, O my beloved, the same Yoseph, my father, died. Woe is me, O my beloved, there is no sorrow like my sorrow, nor is there any pain like the pain of a mother looking at her son on the wood of the cross. O my Son, I went to the Golgotha and did not see Your body on the wood of the cross; and I came to the door of Your tomb asking for You, and You did not answer me. Woe is me, O my beloved Son, my sorrow is twofold today, because I did not see Your body on the wood so that I might weep over it, and because I did not find it in the tomb so that I might worship it. I adjure the four soldiers who keep watch over Your tomb and Your body to deliver Your body if perchance they have removed it through bribery. I implore Yoseph and weep before Nicodemus to reassure me concerning Your body since they took it on their own responsibility from Pilate and laid it in this tomb. I have never seen Yoseph nor do I know Nicodemus, but on account of the intensity of my pain I let my heart go to them.”
This is what the Virgin said over the tomb of her Son. She was perplexed in her soul from her fear of the Jews and from the fact that she did not find the body of her Son in the tomb. While she was thinking deeply a sudden light shone and an exquisite perfume was perceived from the right side of the tomb, as if wafted from an incense tree. The Virgin looked towards the direction of the scent and saw the good Elohiym standing, clad in a heavenly robe and His face greatly suffused with joy. And He said to her: “O woman, what makes you burst into this affectionate wailing at this empty tomb which contains no body?” And she replied: “It is my sorrow; and this sorrow, O my Adonai, arises from the fact that I did not find the body of my Son, so that I might weep over it and be somewhat comforted.” And Yahushua said to her: “If you were not satisfied in weeping and wailing throughout all this length of time, had you found the body of your Son in the tomb you would have never ceased your lamentation.” And she replied: “O my Adonai, if I had found it I would have been somewhat comforted by it.”
And he said to her: “O woman, if you had seen your Son dead, you would have had no comfort in looking at His side pierced with a spear, at His hands and feet wounded by the driving of nails in them, and at His body smeared with blood. Now, O woman, comfort yourself, because it was more advantageous for you not to have seen Him dead and wept all the more over Him. What comfort did you derive when you saw Him alive on the cross, and dead with wrappings round Him? Truly, O woman, you have had much courage in your soul in coming to this place, while itis still dark and while all this great disturbance reigns in the town. The guards went from here and are now conspiring with the Jews in lying terms concerning your Son. Does the tomb, in which the body of your Son was laid belong to the Jews? No, O woman, I know the man called Yoseph, and this garden belongs to him.”
And the Virgin said to him: “O my Adonai, you know everything that happened to my Son, and the love which they showed to Him in laying Him in this tomb. I could not bear to stay in the house of Yochanan any longer, but I came to enquire after Him. Now, O my Adonai, since you are the owner of the garden and the beauty of your dresses and the sweet words with which you have answered me testify to this if there is pity in your heart for me show it to me now, because I have no other child. Disclose to me His secret and what they did with His body since I did not find it in His tomb. Have the Jews carried it away because of their hatred for the Governor concerning it? And also, O my Adonai, if it is hidden in your garden and you know who took it there, have pity on me and show me its place so that I may just see it. By your life, O my brother, I have never seen this place except today.”
And Yahushua said to her: “O Mariyam, you have wept sufficiently. The living One is the One Who is speaking to you; the One who was crucified is now standing near you; the One whom you are seeking is the One Who is comforting you; the One for Whom you are asking is the One Who is clad in this heavenly robe; the One Whose tomb you are wishing to see is the One Who smashed the doors of brass. O Mariyam, recognize My glory; lo I am comforting you with the words of life, be not ashamed therefore, nor afraid. Look at My face, O My mother, and you will recognize Me. It is I Who raised Lazarus in Bethany. It is I Yahushua Who is resurrection and life. It is I Yahushua Whose blood flowed on the rock in the Kranion. It is I Yahushua Who is comforting you in your sorrow. It is I Yahushua over Whom you are weeping, Who is now comforting you at the beginning of His resurrection. No one took away My body, O My mother, but I rose according to the will of My Father. You came today to the tomb, O My mother, and I took up out of Hades all those who were fettered in it, and saved those who had fallen into sin.”
When the Virgin heard this she received strength and comfort and ceased her weeping and anxiety. She lifted up her eyes from the ground, filled her sight from Him, saw Him in the grace of His divinity and said: “You have truly risen, O my Son and my Adonai! You have truly risen!” And she bent over Him and embraced Him. And He said to her: “Enough, O mother, of the joy which I granted you through My resurrection. Look now at the spoliation of Hades, O My mother, and see how glad and joyful its inmates are. I shall present them as an offering to My Father before I take them to Paradise.”
And the Virgin looked round Him and saw the multitudes which He had taken up from Hades, clad in white robes. She was amazed at them, and Yahushua said to her: “Go in haste and announce My resurrection from the dead to My brethren. Go in haste, O My mother, leave this place and do not stand at the right side of My tomb, because a company of the Jews will come with Pilate to find out what took place, and see if I would raise the dead, and give sight to the blind and motion to the lame.”
After Adonai Yahushua said this to His mother He disappeared from her sight. She then left the tomb with haste and went and told the Apostles and the women that Adonai had risen from the dead, and they also came to see what had happened. The news spread then in all the town that Yahushua of Nazareth rose from the dead as He had said, and that He told His mother: “I will recede you to Yerushalayim, you will all see Me and I will bless you there.”
As to the High Priests and the Jews, they went in the morning to Pilate, the Governor, as if they had heard nothing, and said to him: “O our Adonai Governor, error has increased and scandals have multiplied today at the sepulcher. Summon the soldiers, one by one, so that they may relate His story to us, before any of us go there.” And Pilate said to them: “I heard that He rose from the dead. I believe what I saw in a vision that Yahushua rose this day from the dead. By the life of the Emperor and by the law of Moses I do not lie when I say that I saw Him last night while I was lying in my bed, and was grieved at the fact that I had laid hands on Him, and thought that perchance He may be the Son of Elohiym on account of the signs that appeared in heaven when He died on the cross. I saw Him standing and shining more than the sun. All the town, except the gathering-place of the Jews, shone with His light more than the light of the sun. And He said to me: ‘O Pilate, why are you weeping because you ordered Yahushua to be flogged? What is written about Him has been fulfilled. Return to Me, and I will forgive you. I am Yahushua Who died on the cross. I am Yahushua Who rose today from the dead. This light which you see today is the glory of My resurrection which has enlightened all the world with joy. Look well, O Pilate, and see that this sign which shines on the inhabited earth is more luminous than the light of the sun and is to convince you that I rose from the dead. Hasten to My tomb and you will see the wrappings lying in it guarded by angels. Kiss them and worship them. Fight for My resurrection and you will witness many miracles today at the sepulchre: the lame shall walk, the blind shall see, and the dead shall rise by My power. O Pilate, you will shine in the light of My resurrection, which the Jews will deny.’”
When Pilate uttered these words in his house the Jews raised their voices and said: “O our Adonai, the emir, it is not necessary to relate all this to the people, as it is nothing but a dream. The law says, ‘At the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established’; instead of three witnesses, lo there are four who guarded the tomb. If these tell you that He rose, their words are true, and if they do not do so, we shall have nothing to do with dreams.”
Then Pilate summoned the four soldiers and said to them: “What happened today at the sepulcher?” And they divided the curse among themselves and lied and said that He did not rise but was carried away.
And Pilate ordered that they should be separated from one another in different places. The first one was then ushered in, and Pilate said to him: “Tell me the truth who carried away the body of Yahushua?” And he answered: “Kepha and Yochanan.” And the Governor ordered him to be removed to a place by himself. Then he summoned the second one and said to him: “I know that you do not speak but the truth, tell me which of the apostles carried away the body of Yahushua from the tomb?” And he answered: “The eleven apostles came with His disciples and carried Him away by stealth.” And Pilate ordered that this one also should be removed to a place by himself. He then summoned the third one and said to him: “I value your testimony more than that of all the others, tell me who carried away the body of Yahushua from the sepulcher?” And he answered: “Yoseph and Nicodemus.” Pilate then called the fourth one and said to him: “You are the head of these soldiers and I confided them to you. Disclose to me now all what took place, and how they removed the body of Yahushua from the tomb while you were guarding it.” And he answered: “O our Adonai the emir, we were asleep and we do not know who carried it away. When we woke up we looked for it and found it below the water which is in the garden, and we said that they did this, out of fear.”
Then Pilate said to the Jews and to the centurion: “Are these words consistent? Are they not sustained by lies?” And he ordered that the soldiers should be kept under guard until he had gone himself to the tomb. Then he arose with the high priests and the heads of the soldiers and went to the tomb. They found the wrappings lying in the tomb without the body. And Pilate said: “O men who hate their own life, if they had taken away the body would they not have taken the wrappings with it?” And (the Jews) answered: “See, these wrappings do not belong to Him, but to someone else.” And Pilate recalled the words of Yahushua to him that great miracles will take place in the sepulcher, and he hastened and entered into it, and took the wrappings, that is to say the pieces of linen with which Yahushua was shrouded, wept over them and embraced them with joy.
Then he looked at the centurion who was standing at the entrance of the tomb, and who was with one eye only as his other eye had been put out in a war, and a considerable time had elapsed without him having seen anything with it. Pilate then conceived the idea, through the greatness of his faith, that these wrappings will give light to the centurion’s eye and with this thought he presented the wrappings to him and said: “O my brother, do you not perceive the exquisiteness of the odour of these wrappings and see as if they were sprinkled with perfume and incense?”
And the Jews said: “O Pilate, you know that Yoseph placed on Him much perfume and incense, and that they shrouded Him with myrrh and sweet spices of aloe, and this sweet scent comes from them.” And Pilate said to them: “If they placed perfumes on the wrappings only, why is all this tomb perfumed with musk and sweet spices of high value and exquisite odor?” And they answered: “The scent that you are smelling is the odour of the flowers of the gardens, wafted by the winds.” And Pilate replied to them: “You have trodden on the path of perdition for yourselves, have walked in it and fallen in a place from which you will have no deliverance for ever.” And they said to him: “Nothing is due to you from us, and you had no right to come to the tomb of this man. You are the Governor of the City and not of this tomb. Lo, the High Priests and the heads of the Jews are cognisant of the affair, and it does not behove you to fight the Jews for the sake of a dead man.”
And Pilate said to the centurion: “O brother, do you not notice the bitterness of the hatred that the Jews have for Adonai Yahushua? We have acted according to their desires and have crucified Him, and all the world was on the brink of ruin and destruction on account of their injustice. They want us now to stumble on their sin and aver that He has not risen from the dead, in order that His wrath may come back on us another time and destroy us completely.” Pilate uttered these words to the centurion while holding the wrappings with his hands and embracing them. Then he said: “I believe that the body which has been wrapped in you rose from the dead.” And the centurion also had faith like Pilate, and seizing the wrappings he embraced them, and when they touched his face he immediately saw with the blind eye as before, as if Yahushua had laid His hand on it as He had done with the man who was born blind.
How great was the spectacle of the multitudes who had also gone to the tomb! They were from all countries, and they had come to Yerushalayim for the Passover, and seen (Yahushua) on the cross on the day of the crucifixion. When they had heard that Pilate had gone to the sepulchre to see whether Yahushua had risen, they also had come with the expectation that He might rise and appear to them like Lazarus. This is the reason why great multitudes had come to the tomb of Yahushua in order to see Him. And they beheld the great miracles and how the centurion saw, and were amazed at what (Yahushua) had done.
And Pilate said to the centurion: “O my brother, observe the miracles of Yahushua in His tomb apart from the miracles that took place at His death on the cross.” And the centurion tore up his clothes in order the better to show his joy and the favor which he had received and said: “The power of Yahushua has been made manifest. He is truly Elohiym and Son of Elohiym, and I have believed in Him. My faith has increased from the fact that He being Elohiym rose from the dead. I shall not serve a king any more, but solely my Elohiym Yahushua.” And he threw away his sword and gave up his military career. While the wrappings were twisted round his hands he ran to this place and that place and embraced them. And Pilate was greatly amazed and glorified Elohiym.
And the Jews said to the centurion: “You are a stranger, and you do not know the deeds done by Yahushua through Beel-Zebul.
What He did in His life He is now doing at His death.” And they added: “When a sorcerer dies, the Genii do other deeds in his grave and they deceive many people through them. These deeds are indeed those of sorcerers and conjurers.” And Pilate said to them: “We have never heard that sorcerers and conjurers performed such miracles. Since you are heaping lies out of your own mind on the life of Adonai, His wrath will come on you.” And they said: “We deliver our souls to judgment; may His blood be on us and our children for ever and ever.” And Pilate said to the centurion: “O my brother, do not exchange cheaply the great gift which you have received for the lie of the hatred of the Jews.” Then Pilate turned to the Jews and said to them: “Where is the dead man who, you said, was Yahushua? It is perchance He.”
And the Jews preceded Pilate and the centurion to the well which was in the garden, and it was a deep well. And I Gamaliel was following with the crowd. And they went down to the bottom of the well, and found in it the dead man shrouded and laid in a separate place. And the Jews shouted: “Here is the Nazarene sorcerer who gave us so much trouble! You say that He rose, and He is at the bottom of the well!” And Pilate ordered them to draw him up, and summoned Yoseph and Nicodemus and said to them: “Are these the wrappings with which you shrouded the body of Yahushua?” And they answered: “The wrappings which you are holding in your hands are those of Yahushua. As to this corpse it is that of the robber who was crucified with Yahushua.” And the company of the Jews threw themselves on Yoseph and Nicodemus wishing to cast them into the depth of the well because they had spoken the truth. They would have done it were it not for the fact that Pilate and his soldiers shielded them.
When Pilate noticed their confusion and their cry he beckoned to them to be quiet. He had full confidence in the words spoken to him by Adonai Yahushua to the effect that dead men would rise from His tomb. He summoned, therefore, the heads of the Jews and said to them: “We do not believe at all that this is Yahushua of Nazareth.” And they replied to him: “If you believe it or do not believe it, we do believe it.” And he said to them: “It is right then that we should leave him in his tomb like other dead men.” And he summoned Yoseph and Nicodemus another time and said to them: “Shroud him with these wrappings as before.” And the Jews shouted: “We do not accept Yoseph, and Nicodemus has no portion with us, because his portion is with Yahushua.” And Pilate said: “I have greater right.”
Then they took the wrappings that belonged to Adonai Yahushua and shrouded the body of that dead man with them. And Pilate and his soldiers lifted it and placed it in the tomb in which Yahushua lay. And he ordered the people to place the stone at the entrance of the tomb as they had done in the case of Yahushua. Then Pilate stretched his hands and prayed at the door of the sepulchre and said thus:
“I implore You today, O Adonai Yahushua. You are the resurrection and the life, the Giver of life to all and to the dead. I believe that You rose again as You appeared to me. Do not judge me, O my Adonai, because I am doing this. I have not done it from fear of the Jews, nor to test Your resurrection. O my Adonai, I have confidence in Your words and in the miracles which You have wrought. You are living because You raised many dead men. Now, O my Adonai, do not be angry with me because I placed a foreign corpse in the place in which lay Your body. I did this to put to shame and confusion those who deny Your resurrection. To them belong shame and confusion for ever and ever, and to You are due glory and honor from the mouth of Your servant Pilate forever and for ever and ever.”
When Pilate recited this prayer with outstretched hands at the tomb, a voice came from the dead man saying: “ O my Adonai Pilate, open to me the door of the tomb in order that I may come out. I was the first to open the door of Paradise. Lift the stone, O my Adonai Pilate, so that I may come out by the power of my Adonai Yahushua Messiah who rose from the dead.”
And Pilate shouted with jubilation on account of the joy and happiness which filled his heart and his soul, to such an extent that the rocks echoed his voice. And he then ordered the people that were standing to lift the stone from the door of the tomb, and immediately the dead man came out walking, and he bowed before Pilate, the Governor. As to the Jews who were present, they were seized with panic, shame, and confusion, and ran away wailing secretly from their fear of the Governor.
And Pilate ordered all the soldiers to pursue the Jews and strike them with the swords which they were holding, and they wounded many of them. Then Pilate turned to the dead man and said to him: “O my son, who raised you in this short time? It is only in case Yahushua was with you that He would have been able to raise you so quickly.” And the dead man said to him: “Did you not see the great light that shone? Adonai Yahushua raised me while you were praying, and spoke to me saying, ‘Tell my beloved Pilate to fight for My resurrection because I have decided to appoint him his portion in Paradise as I appointed to you. It is imperative that they should condemn him as they have condemned Me, before they take off his head.’”
And Pilate said to him: “From where are you, and who threw you in this well?” And the robber replied, saying: “I am the robber who has been crucified at His right. I have been deemed worthy of all favours and gifts before my Adonai Yahushua Messiah because of the few comforting words that I uttered while He was on the wood of the cross. I was the first one to rise from the tomb of Yahushua, O my Adonai Pilate, and as you opened to me the door of His sepulcher, so He opened to me the door of Paradise. I recognize this high perfume as it is from the tree of life which my soul is enjoying.”
At that moment I Gamaliel followed the crowd and my fathers Yoseph and Nicodemus, because fear did not allow the Apostles to come to the sepulcher and witness what happened to Him. They were hiding in every place from fear of the Jews. I, Gamaliel, walked with the crowds and witnessed all what happened in the tomb of my Adonai Yahushua, and the great fight that Pilate undertook against the High Priests, who returned to town with haste, pressing against one another on account of His resurrection from the dead, while Pilate was holding the wrappings on his arms. And the multitudes wished to see those men who had come to town on the occasion of the feast of the Passover from every district and from every tribe.
Then Pilate repaired to the house of the High Priest along with the crowd, and they demolished it and plundered all what he had. And Pilate said to the centurion: “O my brother, you saw with your own eyes and heard (with your own ears) the great number of people who believed in Yahushua Messiah on account of the resplendent miracles witnessed also by the wicked and accursed Jews, who did not believe.” Let us here end the discourse on the Virgin and her sweet wailing, and on the death and resurrection of her Son from the dead. These (words) have been written by Gamaliel and Nicodemus, the venerable chiefs, and they placed them in Yerushalayim, the holy city, and in all the districts that surround it, by the grace and love of our Adonai and Elohiym Yahushua Messiah to whom are due glory, power, and honor for ever and ever. Amen.
Here ends this great discourse. May Elohiym have mercy upon the scribe, the reader, the attentive hearers, and all the believers! Amen. Amen. Amen.