THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 130 -
Observations of the clairvoyant Mathael at the execution of the murderer robbers.


1
(Mathael:) "When I was a boy twelve years of age and already able to think and to speak seriously like a man, several robbers and murderers of the worst kind were destined to be crucified in Jerusalem. There were seven of them. At that stage it caused a great sensation, not only in Jerusalem but also far and wide in the whole country. At that time a certain Cornelius, a Roman senior captain, was the ad interim governor. He was exceedingly upset about these arch villains, since they killed the trapped people truly tiger-like and in an undescribable horrible manner tortured them to death just for pleasure and the longer they were able to torture them the more fun they had. In short, the reference 'devil' would be far too good and honest for them!"
 
2
Here Cornelius interrupts him and says: "Friend, do not forget your for me very precious words! But I must note here in support of your faithful story, that I was this Cornelius! And now you can continue; since until now there was not a single untrue syllable among it!"
 
3
Continues Mathael: "Very quietly and notion-wise I thought so, since your face is from that time on still familiar, and it is for this my story even better, that in your high personality certainly a speaking and most trustworthy witness is present! And as such hear me out!
 
4
Because the described seven were such evil devils, Cornelius decided to carry on with them in a most gruesome manner as a deterrent example. This included that they were prepared for death for fourteen full days and during that time tortures which they could expect were read to them daily in the most glowing colours; by the way, during this time of fright they were quite well fed, to make them experience life's pleasantness, so that the expected most tortures death appears even more bitterly to them.
 
5
I have visited these criminals with my father five times, and in the end saw them steaming and smoking still like a half-charred and still glowing wooden log; and this smoke and steam spread at least for my nose an intolerable stench which most certainly does not have its likeness on this earth! The longer they were exposed and the nearer their doomsday came, the more penetratingly became the steam, smoke and stench. It goes without saying that the seven devils started to change their colour more than a chameleon.
 
6
Finally their doomsday arrived. The henchmen and bailiffs came and the seven were openly in the presence of thousands undressed except for their private parts and were bloodily castigated. I could see this execution only from far off, but still could see how during this treatment a great number of black bats left the castigated like a swarm of bees and flew away; also like small flying dragons rose from the castigated, and they already steamed and smoked quite less.
 
7
But when looking a bit closer I discovered soon and easily that this steam and smoke seized itself in all kind of horrible forms, which then as the earlier indicated black bats flew away; also the small dragons developed from it. How many of such creatures from hell might have left the seven during the past fourteen days?!
 
8
After the seven have been castigated in a most barbaric manner, I discovered that their earlier very devilish looking faces started to look somewhat more human and that the offenders began to become weaker and more frightful; they appeared to me like drunks, who almost have no idea what is happening to them. The whole thing looked quite peculiar to me, how these former brutes began to change into a kind of lamb nature.
 
9
After the castigation seven crosses were delivered and each criminal had to carry one on his shoulder to Golgatha, which was for a long time already the general place of execution of the Romans; but nobody was able to carry the load of death for only one step, despite being pushed, hit and abused. Therefore a big cart was brought in with two strong oxen in front, first the crosses were loaded and then the criminals on top and everything was tied together with cords and chains before driving out to Golgatha.
 
10
On arrival, alongside me and my father not too many folks followed because of the too dreadful cruelties, everything was untied, the blood dripping criminals thrown off the cart and one by one bound enormously solid to the cross bars with very coarse ropes containing entwined thorns; the crosses were then placed into the holes which had been previously carved into the stone. Only now the criminals started to howl and wail most terribly!
 
11
This must have caused them unbearable pain; since first they were already completely torn to pieces by the flagellation, - secondly by the ropes with entwined thorns, and thirdly by the coarse and rough wood! Because a cross like this, nevertheless how firm, is still left as rough as possible and must cause any very healthy person tied to it the most unbearable pain at the hands, feet and body, not mentioning to those who already were torn to pieces beyond measure. I have only added this to the scene which I observed very closely, that you my brothers in the face of the Lord, can more easily understand the following, but at the same time also to show, how the high Cornelius fulfilled his judgement unchangingly to the dot.
 
12
The longer the seven hang on the cross, the more hideous became their screams and the more awful their blaspheme and curses, until after about three hours very hoarse and completely voiceless only a bloody slaver was driven from their mouths since they have bitten their tongues and lips in small pieces. After seven full hours they started to quiet down and it appeared if a nervous impact were hitting them simultaneously.
 
13
I must openly confess, as much as they have acted as true devils in their free state and certainly no person in the whole of Jerusalem and Judea existed who would have pitied any one of the seven, in the end the matter did not appeared to me as quite right! But as the case may be, the law prescribes this and in the eyes of the world they deserved it!
 
14
What we have now heard and seen out of Your mouth, o Lord, at that stage of course no person had the slightest idea about, and so it was right and equitable, to punish these seven with the sharpest severity of the law as a deterrent example for the many who walked similar ways. But as outraging horrible the whole story was until now, everything was purely nothing against that, what I will tell you immediately afterwards.
 
15
From the seven a strange kind of absolute soot-black mist and smoke started to develop above the area of the pit of the chest and grew and grew to double the size of those hanging on the cross; I also noticed a certain rope of mist whereby the exiting mist was connected to the still feverishly and convulsively twitching body. The black smoke mass, however, did not develop into a human form, but into most horrible, biggest and completely black tigers, who were striped like with blood. When these black monsters were sufficiently developed, they soon started to terribly frightfully rave and tried to separate themselves from the body with all force. But to no avail; since the life strings were so stubborn, that they could not be torn by any violent act.
 
16
The scene looked too chaotic and horrible to me, and since it was already a good hour after midday, I and my father went home, and only when on our way I told my father everything I have seen during the crucifixion. He confessed to me not having seen something similar, but observed diligently my eyes and from their staring to and fro he knew that I was seeing something unusual; and from the loyalty of my words he accepted that I did not tell him anything untruthful. He, as a doctor in an emergency and at the same time a philosopher and theologian, found a lot of noteworthiness in it, although, despite all his philosophy and theology, could not make anything more of my narrative than I am; but he decided to go back to the scene in late afternoon, so that I could make more observations, and to tell the Sadducees when the opportunity would arrive in a rather crude way, that they are the biggest oxen and donkeys, if they deny the immortality of the human soul."