39. The Bride Groom

As the sun set on that glorious but dangerous day Jesus managed to slip away from hostile priests and scribes, and having healed everyone who approached Him in faith and longing, He walked towards Bethany to spend the night. No one was on this dusky road to cheer the healer- hero. He walked alone, no soft palms to trod on, no colt to carry his weary body, the hosannas had halted. The night air was chilling His chest and arms.

I was there. So I flew up to Jesus and said, "My Lord, what just happened back there? Why did you make such a scene at the temple? Do you want to get killed?! Did you see how angry those priests were? Let's go back to the wilderness and hide out for a while."

Jesus replied, "Stay by my side, angel. I will need you more than ever. I am coming closer to the Tree of Life. The time is coming when I must blast through those flaming swords. It is for this day that I have come to Earth, and you as well. This is the climax of my Bride's year. Pay close attention and don't distract Me or misdirect Me. Clear yourself of all those opinions, keep your mind wide open. Whatever you do, trust the Holy Spirit and don't complain!

I will soon teach you how to die to your self-centered ambitions. Follow me through those flames and come with Me to the Tree of Life and I will feed you of its leaves. No demon can go there.

I didn't know what He was talking about, so I nodded and smiled. It was a relief though to hear that I could go to a place where demons were forbidden. I don't think I had ever seen Jesus look so tired, even when we were climbing the wilderness mountain. I wanted to be able to carry Him on my wings, but fortunately Bethany was only a few kilometers away and we were soon knocking on a door.

"Come in brother! You must be exhausted." exclaimed a vibrant young woman. "I have your bed all made up. Are you hungry? I have a pot of stew on the fire. I will get you a plate. Lazarus will be home in a moment."

"How is Lazarus?" asked Jesus.

"Better than ever!" said Mary. "It is hard to believe that he was actually dead for four days. You should see him chopping wood. He has more energy than he has had in years."

"Remember what I told you Martha."

Just then Martha's sister entered the room saying, "You are the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in You, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in You will never die. Lazarus was never really dead Martha."

"Greetings Mary! How have you been faring?" and then to Martha, He said, "Sure, I am as hungry as a lion." Jesus became re-energized in the presence of His friends.

But after dinner the spurt of energy wore off and the king of the colt went to the bed that Martha prepared for Him and fell into a deep and restful sleep.

Not needing sleep myself I hovered close by Jesus as He lay snoring quietly. Strangely, thoughts of His Bride came to mind. I wondered where She was now, as there was no church building for Her to gather Her flock into, and no human body to inhabit, except for one, Her Bridegroom's body. I wondered if She too, in Him would also go through the flaming swords to the Tree of Life. I wondered how that was going to happen, because I had no idea where to find such a miraculous tree.

During my vigil I concluded that His Bride is as divine as Jesus is, and that these are the days before Her incarnation in bodies and buildings. Because I too am spirit, I could see that She is as alive as He is, and because She is timeless, even at this moment before her appearance on earth, She inhabits the billions of faithful souls that someday will form the visible body of Her Beloved on earth and the thousands of church buildings they will give Her.

It occurred to me while wondering where the Bride was at that moment, that as Jesus is in His Father, our God, His Bride is in Him, and He is in His Bride. So I sat quietly admiring the Bridegroom and His Bride sleeping soundly and peacefully united in one body in the bed in Bethany that night, wishing that I could experience sleep too... but not complaining about it.