Fiction Drama Christian

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

The physician pulled the drapery to the doorway and glanced into the room to the bed where the young girl was laying with the covers pulled up to her neck. He met the dark brown eyes, shaped into a plea. From the door he noted the droplets of sweat streaming down her brow and the deathly-pale complexion of her face and hands. He saw the rags with circles of red on the nearby table. The doctor released the drape

It is schachepheth. The white plague

How can you diagnose her from the door? Go in and treat her

I cannot go in

We are paying you for treatment. Not to glance into the room!

You should not go in there either. Her food and water should be left inside the entry

She can’t get up. We must take the food inside

The father coughed into a rag

The doctor stared at the cloth. Have you been going in there?

Of course. She is my daughter

The doctor covered his mouth and nose with the top of his robe and picked up his bag. You should pray


Yes. I have no treatment. All you can do is pray

The couple and their son watched as the man left their home

Abba, what are we going to do?

The man coughed again. Go outside and put on your sandals. We have an order

When the boy walked outside, the man looked to his wife. We will need a half loaf of bread and enough water for a day of labor. Prepare these items now

Where are you going?

We are going to find wood. We will be back before nightfall

# # #

Nearing half of a kilometer from their home, the man began to cough repeatedly. The boy motioned him to a fallen tree to sit. After they took a seat, and his father stopped coughing, the boy pulled a book from his bag and opened it. The man watched him read for a short time while he rested

What are you reading?

The Psalter of King Dawid

Is it a good one?

I don’t understand it very well yet. He starts by singing a lament about sorrow and pain, but by the end he is singing about the power of Elohim

Why do you read that stuff? It’s not the real world. You should read things that will teach you about life. Study a skill that will be useful. Learn to work with wood

You work with wood. Are you happy?

He looked at the boy for a moment. Drink some water. Put the book in your bag. We need to keep walking

After walking for a few moments, the man looked at the boy. How does what you were reading begin?

Dawid says, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

He sounds weak

But it ends in strength

You shouldn’t read about weakness. You need to be strong

Yes, Abba

The boy watched his father struggling with the bag of tools over his shoulder. How far are we going? What are we looking for?

I don’t know how far. We need to find three trees. Cedar, cypress, and pine. We need them to be near each other so when we fell one, we will not need to haul it far

Why do we need three?

The order is specific

What are you going to make?

An instrument

What kind?

You’ve asked enough questions

Yes, Abba

Moments later, the man pointed. There. There is a pine of Yerushalayim and a cedar of Lebanon

What about the cypress?

We will search this area

After searching for a great distance, the father noticed the sun nearing the tree line. We will go back to the two we found, start with those, and find the other tomorrow. We will lay them today and get home by dark

When they arrived at the site of the pine and cedar, the man stopped a distance away and opened his mouth

What is it, Abba?

With his mouth still agape, he pointed. There, between the trees

Between the pine and cedar trees stood a Mediterranean Cypress

Did you see that tree there before?

I don’t remember, Abba. What is it?

A cypress. That is the tree

It was there the whole time?

It must have been

As the man began to unpack his tools, his boy spoke to him. Abba, people are saying that the mashiach has arrived and he is coming here

Who told you that?

My teacher. And other people have been talking about it too

To Yerushalayim?


Oh joy, another savior. I’m sure we should oil our heads for this one as well

Abba, they say he has healed people. And he has done many other miracles. Maybe he can help Anna

I’m sure he has. And I’m sure that for only seven hens and three calves, we too, can receive the blessings of the anointed one

But the scripture, Abba

Psh. A waste of trees. Scripture does not put meat on the table. Only the wood from the tree will feed us when we need to eat

The boy looked to the ground

Between strikes of the axe, the man spoke to his son. What is the name of this mashiach?


Just Yeshua? Where is he from?

Yeshua of Nazara

The man chuckled, began to cough, and paused swinging the blade. Nazara? A mashiach from Nazara? That’s a good one, boy

But he is doing everything that Yesha’yahu and the other prophets said the mashiach would do. Except die and rise again. So, I guess he hasn’t done everything. But almost everything

Have you seen him do these things?

I haven’t

Don’t let people fool you, boy

The eyes of the boy fell again

I’ll tell you this. If I see this mashiach die and come back from the dead, I’ll believe it is true. How does that sound?

Yes, Abba

The boy sat and began to read the words of Yesha’yahu

He will swallow up death in victory


Oh, I was just reading

Do it silently

When the third three was on the ground, they returned home for the night

The next day, they returned to the trees. The man handed a small saw to the boy and instructed him to begin removing branches, while he began to measure and mark the trunks. As they worked, they could hear a roar of cheers growing more and more loudly in the east of a nearby mount where the town was located

The man looked the direction of the sound and shook his head. The boy stopped moving the saw. I think he’s here, Abba

Get back to work

With the branches and shoots removed, the man began to saw the ends of the trees at the marks. The pine was cut to two meters in length. Then chiseled to a height of one-third of a meter, and a depth of fifteen centimeters

The boy watched with confusion

What are you making, Abba?

I told you. An instrument. Read your book

From the cedar, a plank was cut and chiseled measuring half a meter in length, one-third of a meter in width, and four centimeters in thickness

The cypress was cut to four meters, then chiseled to a thickness of one-third of a meter in depth and height. At a mark of two-thirds of the length, the man chiseled a groove across the plank that was one-third of a meter long and fifteen centimeters deep

Once the three parts were complete, he began gathering his tools. Get ready to go. We are finished here. The man put the rectangular plank into his bag and pointed at the two-meter length of pine. You’ll carry that piece

The man then picked up the four-meter piece of cypress and laid it across his shoulders. With his arms outstretched he held it secure against the back of his neck. The boy mimicked the position. They began walking home

Is this all the wood we need for the order?


The boy studied the long and short pieces of timber and the outstretched arms of his father

Are you making something for a tzalav? Is this going to be a crucifix?


You said you’re making an instrument

It is an instrument. It’s an instrument for the Roman government to carry out sentences for the guilty

Abba, you’re making something that will kill people

Guilty people. How much did you do today to feed our family? I need to accept the orders I receive

As they entered the town, nearing their home, they witnessed a commotion. A woman passed them and cried out with great joy. He’s here! He’s here! The mashiach is here!

Abba, I told you!

Keep walking

When they entered their home, the man saw his wife was sitting near a window, surveying the motion outside

What is going on out there?

Her husband answered. A delusion. How is Anna?

The same. She still hasn’t eaten

Is she still coughing blood?


Is she drinking water?

Yes. Some

The boy began walking toward the room where his sister was resting. His father spoke up. You need to cover your face as the doctor did when you are around your sister

His mother handed him one of her head scarves. The boy tied it around his head and lifted it over his nose

When he entered the room, he didn’t recognize the girl that looked up to him. Anna?


He sat on a stool near her bed. How are you feeling?

I feel tired. But I can’t sleep

Can I bring you something to eat?

I’m not hungry. She continued. I heard shouts outside. What’s happening?

There’s good news. I believe the mashiach is here

In Yerushalayim?


Can he heal people?


Where is he?

I don’t know

Please find him. I don’t want to die

I will try. I believe you will be healed

And Abba too?

Yes. Abba too

Over the next six days, the man worked on completing the order. He laid the pine cross beam over the cypress and inserted it into the fifteen-centimeter recess. With a bow drill he created three pilot holes through each block of wood, then hammered steel rods into the holes. Over the point where the beams met, he nailed the four-centimeter-thick piece of cedar. He then flipped the assembly, so the front side was faced up

On the seventh day, he woke to find a note nailed next to the entry of his home, along with the payment in a small bag on the ground

The note stated that the order is due and instructed the location for delivery

He entered his home and called out to Eli. The boy stepped out from his sleeping quarters. Get up and get ready. We need to deliver the order

Yes, Abba

When the boy was ready, they lifted the order, with the man on the end with the cross beam, the boy on the other end

After walking for a distance, the man rested the order on his shoulder and into a white rag he coughed. He saw spots of red on the cloth when he caught his breath

Are you ok, Abba?

Yes. Do not drop the order. We will be there soon

As they approached the court of Pontius Pilate, they could hear a large crowd yelling obscenities and cheering in a rhythm. As they got closer, they could then hear desperate cries of women

When they arrived, the man gave his son instructions. We will place it here. Set your end down

Inside the court, they saw that a man was tied to a post. Blood covered the dirt and the man near him who was swinging a whip. The prisoner’s back was opened with long rivers of blood running diagonally from shoulder to hip

Eli's father asked an onlooker wearing a snarl and soulless eyes. What's happening?

A criminal is receiving what he deserves

Who is it?

Don’t worry. It’s no one you know. He’s a vagrant, a homeless nomad. And he broke the law

At that moment, the prisoner was loosed from the post and led through the crowd. Soldiers led the way, moving the witnesses as they approached where the man and boy stood, and the order that they had delivered was set

A soldier pointed to the wooden object. Pick it up!

The prisoner lifted the order and placed it onto his right shoulder. Now, walk!

When he took a step the weight of the wood pulled one of the gashes on his shoulder and split it to the bone

The jeering crowd and crying women swarmed the prisoner and soldiers. Eli and the man were pushed to the outer circle of the crowd. They didn’t see a woman wipe the face of the prisoner or a man help to carry the order. The crowd did not spread until they arrived at Golgotha

They saw two men hanging when they arrived. The prisoner was allowed to drop the wood. There was a circle of thorned branches around his brow. He was placed onto his back. An arm was pulled to the pine cross beam and another soldier used a hammer to place a long nail through the wrist of the prisoner and into the wood. Then the other. The soldiers crossed the man’s feet over each other and hammered another nail through his ankles

The tree was raised and placed into a hole. The man hung. The cypress beneath his feet was stained crimson

A plaque with three languages hung over the man’s head. It read

ישוע מנצרת, מלך היהודים

Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum

Ιησούς από τη Ναζαρέτ, Βασιλιάς των Ιουδαίων

Can you see what that says?

Yes, Abba. It says Yeshua of Nazara

Is that all?

It also says, King of the Jews

The prisoner began to speak. Eli motioned to someone nearby. Can you hear what he’s saying?

Yes. But I don’t know that language. I think he is speaking Aramaic

The boy called out. Does anyone understand Aramaic?

A woman nearby answered. I know some

What did he say?

I couldn’t hear well, but I think he was speaking to a woman. And I think I heard him call her mother

The prisoner said five more things that the woman near the boy couldn’t hear

The crowd slowly dispersed once the prisoners on the left and right had died, and the one in the center appeared to be nearing death

Eli’s father spoke to the woman near them. Who are these men? What did they do?

The men on the left and right were thieves. Bandits

And the one in the center?

He was found guilty of blasphemy. He claims to be the son of God. And the same as God

Yeshua then spoke again. Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?

What did he say?

He said, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The man sneered. Weakness

Abba, he is quoting King Dawid. It’s from the Psalter I was telling you about when we were walking to the trees

He’s quoting weakness

Abba, that Psalter is about the strength of Elohim

It doesn’t appear to be helping your mashiach

The head of the man on the tree fell and the ground began to shake

Come on, we need to get home

The man took the arm of the boy to lead him away. The boy looked back to the prisoner to find a small smile slip onto his lips, then slowly fade

Three days passed and the man was startled from his rest by the voice of Anna calling out. The man, his wife, and Eli met at the entry to her room

Her face was colored as an olive. Her cheeks were painted with a flush of pink

Abba, a man was here!

A man? Who was he? I will find him!

It’s ok, don’t worry. He was a kind man. He said that he wanted to come say hello. And that everything is going to be ok

What did he look like? What did he do to you?

Abba, I think he healed me. I tried to cough after he left, but I don’t need to cough any more. And I’m hungry

I don’t understand. Did he tell you his name?

Yes. I asked him. His name is Yeshua

Yeshua. From where?

I didn’t ask that. I’m sorry. I forgot

The man looked to his wife. She said she is hungry. Prepare a meal. Go now

Eli spoke to his sister. What else did he say?

The girl was silent for a moment

He said that we are healed by your faith, Eli

The boy blinked rapidly, then looked up to his father. The man attempted a cough into his cloth, but found that it remained white

The girl stood

The man sat. Then spoke. Did he say anything else?

Before he left, he said that he’s now going to go see his friend, Cephas

Cephas? What language did he speak?

Mine. I mean, ours, of course. He spoke Hebrew

The man looked the direction of his son, then back to Anna. Yes, of course. What else would he speak?

The girl walked to her father and gave him a hug. Abba, I’m so thankful that we are well again

I am as well. Now, go find your mother and eat

The girl left the room and the boy looked to his father. Do you believe now?

Believe in what?

The mashiach

Did you see a mashiach?

The boy was silent. The man looked down to the white cloth in his hand, then up to the boy

Tell me, how does that Psalter end?

They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn. He has done it!

Go outside and put on your sandals. We have an order

Yes, Abba

June 30, 2022 13:26

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Wendy M
19:51 Jul 12, 2022

Your story was so well written, and a familiar one, I was able to work out everything except schachepheth. Beautifully drawn characters. I was surprised to learn when steel was invented, I googled it as I thought it was a more modern invention. Clearly I was wrong so well done on historical accuracy.


Michael Typist
00:02 Jul 19, 2022

Hi Wendy, I tried to reply to this a few days ago but my internet was being glitchy. Thank you for reading and for the compliments. I did a lot of research to make sure the languages and woodworking details were accurate. My one mistake on research that I know of is the fact that the boy wouldn't have been reading a book in ancient Judea lol. But I'm happy someone noticed the other accuracies :)


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Michael Typist
22:49 Jun 30, 2022

Hi, my name is Michael. I want to share a key of translations to save googling this list of Hebrew words. Hope this helps this story to be more accessible. Thank you for reading :) schachepheth = Tuberculosis Psalter = Psalm Dawid = David Elohim = God Yerushalayim = Jerusalem Mashiach = Messiah Yeshua = Jesus Nazara = Nazareth Yesha’yahu = Isaiah tzalav = Crucifiction


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