The cobbled streets of Jerusalem were alive with the sounds and colors of Passover. Lambs bleated from makeshift pens, traders hawked their wares, and families prepared for a festival that had been celebrated for generations. Yet amidst the bustling, a grime undercurrent hummed—a tension that clung to the very walls of the city.
Inside a nondescript upper room, Jesus of Nazareth sat at a long, wooden table surrounded by His closest followers. The room was softly lit, the flickering oil lamps casting shadows on the faces of the men who had walked countless miles with Him. They were a diverse group—fishermen, a tax collector, even a Zealot. Yet tonight, their expressions mirrored one another: a mix of anticipation and apprehension.
Jesus, sensing their unease, poured water into a basin. With a towel draped over His shoulder, He began to wash the disciples' feet, one by one. His eyes met theirs as He moved from man to man, a silent acknowledgement of the intimate, difficult hours that lay ahead.
Peter protested. "You shall never wash my feet!"
"If I do not wash you, you have no part with me," Jesus replied softly. The air in the room grew thick with the weight of His words. Peter relented, and Jesus continued His humble task.
The supper began with the breaking of bread and a shared cup of wine. Jesus’ hands, still damp from the basin, lifted the bread high, breaking it as He had done so many times. But this time His words bore a heavier meaning. "This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me."
The disciples listened, captivated yet puzzled. He took a cup, offering a similar dedication. "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
Confused glances were exchanged around the table. A new covenant? His blood?
Jesus looked at His disciples, each one so different, yet bound by a shared devotion that even they did not fully understand. His gaze lingered a moment longer on Judas Iscariot, whose eyes quickly dropped.
"The hand of the one who is going to betray me is with mine on the table," Jesus said, a ripple of disbelief spreading among the disciples. Could He be speaking literally? Whispers of "Surely not I, Lord?" filled the room.
Judas, sensing eyes upon him, felt his stomach tighten. "Rabbi, is it I?"
Jesus met his gaze. "You have said so."
The room fell quiet. Each man was absorbed in his own thoughts, contemplating the enormity of what had just been unveiled. Judas slipped away, unnoticed, a dark cloud exiting a room already filled with impending storm.
Jesus sighed deeply, looking at His remaining disciples. A weight seemed to settle over Him, an invisible burden that only He could fully comprehend.
"Tonight, all of you will fall away because of me," He said, His voice tinged with sorrow yet filled with love. "But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."
Peter, ever the impulsive one, objected. "Even if all fall away, I never will!"
Jesus looked at Peter with a sad smile. "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."
The room grew silent, save for the distant clamor from the streets below. Each man sat with his own thoughts, wrestling with the paradox of the evening—a meal that had felt like a farewell, words of love intermingled with predictions of betrayal and denial.
Jesus looked at them, His heart aching for what was to come.
Based on scriptures, an added human touch, a drama-filled story,
In the dusty corners of Judea, where rumors spread faster than wildfire and everyone has a secret to keep, Skull Hill stands ominous and foreboding. This isn't just any tale—it's a journey into the heart of a world teetering on the brink of revolution. Dive headfirst into the swirling drama surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, a man who is called "Messiah" but for others, he is a false prophet and a ticking time bomb. Friends, foes, and those who can't decide which side of history to stand on, weave a tale of suspense, love, and betrayal.
NOTE: Some of this novel is for mature audiences, please read with caution.