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Chapter 15.

Nicodemus says:  O children of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the prophet Helias went up into the height of heaven with a fiery chariot, and it is nothing incredible if Jesus too has risen; for the prophet Helias was a prototype of Jesus, in order that you, hearing that Jesus has risen, might not disbelieve.  I therefore say and advise, that it is befitting that we send soldiers into Galilee, to that place where these men testify that they saw him with his disciples, in order that they may go round about and find him, and that thus we may ask pardon of him for the evil which we have done to him.  This proposal pleased them; and they chose soldiers, and sent them away into Galilee.  And Jesus indeed they did not find; but they found Joseph in Arimathæa.

When, therefore, the soldiers had returned, the chief priests, having ascertained that Joseph was found, brought the people together, and said:  What shall we do to get Joseph to come to us?  After deliberating, therefore, they wrote to him a letter to the following effect:—O father Joseph, peace be to thee and all thy house, and thy friends!  We know that we have offended against God, and against thee His servant.  On account of this, we entreat thee to come here to us thy children.  For we have wondered much how thou didst escape from the prison, and we say in truth that we had an evil design against thee.  But God, seeing that our designs against thee were unjust, has delivered thee out of our hands.  But come to us, for thou art the honour of our people.

This letter the Jews sent to Arimathæa, with seven soldiers, friends of Joseph.  And they went away and found him; and having respectfully saluted him, as they had been ordered, they gave him the letter.  And after receiving it and reading it, he glorified God, and embraced the soldiers; and having set a table, ate and drank with them during all the day and the night.

And on the following day he set out with them to Jerusalem; and the people came forth to meet him, and embraced him.  And Nicodemus received him into his own house.  And the day after, Annas and Caiaphas, the chief priests, having summoned him to the temple, said to him:  Give glory to the God of Israel, and tell us the truth.  For we know that thou didst bury Jesus; and on this account we laid hold of thee, and locked thee up in the prison.  Thereafter, when we sought to bring thee out to be put to death, we did not find thee, and we were greatly astonished and afraid.  Moreover, we prayed to God that we might find thee, and ask thee.  Tell us therefore the truth.

Joseph said to them:  In the evening of the Preparation, when you secured me in prison, I fell a-praying throughout the whole night, and throughout the whole day of the Sabbath.  And at midnight I see the prison-house that four angels lifted it up,19251925    ἐσίκωσαν, which should be ἐσήκωσαν, is a modern Greek word, the aorist of σηκόνω. holding it by the four corners.  And Jesus came in like lightning, and I fell to the ground from fear.  Taking hold of me, therefore, by the hand, he raised me, saying, Fear not, Joseph.  Thereafter, embracing me, he kissed me, and said, Turn thyself, and see who I am.  Turning myself, therefore, and looking, I said, My lord, I know not who thou art.  He says, I am Jesus, whom thou didst bury the day before yesterday.  I say to him, Show me the tomb, and then I shall believe.  He took me, therefore, by the hand, and led me away to the tomb, which had been opened.  And seeing the linen and the napkin, and recognising him, I said, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord;19261926    Ps. cxviii. 26; Matt. xxi. 9. and I adored him.  Then taking me by the hand, and accompanied by the angels, he brought me to my house in Arimathæa, and said to me, Sit here for forty days; for I go to my disciples, in order that I may enable them fully to proclaim my resurrection.

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