28th Day of Nissan, Jerusalem
Jahaz*, Scribe to the Sanhedrin, to Saul of Tarsus,
Saul, I am writing on my own and not on behalf of the Sanhedrin or any of its leaders or members. I am writing as one long acquainted with you from our days studying with Rabbi Gamaliel.
We were never close but as the lead student I saw your deep insights into the Torah and a fierce zeal beyond all the other students. In short, I am writing because of the fiery zeal you displayed which might be of use in the near future. My concern is the crucifixion of the Nazarene (God forbid, from Nazareth!), Joshua bar Joseph, known commonly as Jesus and who sometimes referred to himself as Son of Man, Son of God, or the Messiah! The Sanhedrin is discussing this at length and with some urgency. They thought his influence would end when he died.
As you know, he was crucified on this past Passover Sabbath Evening (14th of Nissan). On the morning after Sabbath it was then reported his body was no longer in the tomb! Are his followers capable of such things? The Roman Guard was persuaded to remain silent about the event, yet the reports persist. His followers claim to have seen him, amazing!
One of his followers, a former tax collector named Matthew known for his sharp wits, is reporting Jesus has been seen and he has seen him in person. I would expect such a report from those fisherman from Galilee. But from such an astute, factual person would one expect such a thing?
I write to you Saul since a man of your zeal is likely needed to influence and process the spread of these reports. Your skill with the scriptures of Moses and the Prophets will be needed to refute the misunderstandings being spoken about this, “Messiah.”
In the Sanhedrin, there are a few of his followers and some others who are in awe of this Jesus and the reports of his resurrection; as if this Jesus were Enoch or a Prophet! Among them are Joseph of Arimathea (who actually helped entomb him!), and Nicodemus, who has been weak on this matter and was sympathetic, early on, to Jesus and his followers. You need to speak with those two.
The Sanhedrin can deal with them by ostracizing, ridiculing, belittling and ignoring them. However, your zeal and energy will be welcome in clarifying the scriptures to those who insist Jesus is risen in bodily form.
This might have far reaching implications. Come quickly, many are beginning to listen to them and believe what they say about Jesus. Saul, might he be the Messiah?
Yours Respectfully, Jahaz
*Jahaz is a fictional character