In the hours leading up to an important holiday, family leaders became alarmed. Sensing the loss of their own influence, they were afraid that the teacher would use the crowds who had gathered for the annual “sacrifice of the lamb” as an occasion to take over leadership of the family.
Believing they had to act quickly, enemies of the teacher made a bold move.65 Family leaders organized a crowd of their friends and filed a legal complaint with government officials. Risking the anger of the teacher’s followers, they accused him of disturbing the peace and dishonoring the name of the great king.66 Within hours they pressured local bureaucrats to give in to their demands. A weakwilled but powerful judge had the teacher beaten and turned over to executioners.67 Along with two common criminals, the most loving teacher the family had ever seen was nailed to a tree like a predator on a fencepost.68As his mother and friends cried, soldiers swaggered. Family leaders huddled with a sense of relief. Strangers who walked nearby on a public road stared. A few hours later, his body was buried quickly in a borrowed tomb on the eve of “the sacrifice of the lamb” holiday.