JERUSALEM, Apr 14 – (APS) – Police here said on Friday they had arrested the leader of a separatist Jewish cult. The arrest took place in nearby Gethsemane Thursday night, leading to a violent altercation in which one man sustained injuries.
The suspect, a 33-year-old male of Middle Eastern origin, has been identified as Yeshua bar Yosef of Nazareth, 104 km north of Jerusalem. The suspected terrorist had plans to destroy the Temple of Jerusalem according to several witnesses. Earlier this week Bar Yosef evaded arrest after disrupting businesses there, a temple police spokesman said.
Bar Yosef has been convicted of insurrection. His public execution is set for 9:00 am Friday at Golgotha, just north-west of the city.
Bar Yosef is the cousin of Yohannon the baptizer, who was executed three years ago.
Late Thursday night after his arrest, Bar Yosef was brought before the Sanhedrin, a Jewish council consisting of 70 high priests. Bar Yosef refused to answer any of the charges brought against him, while witnesses gave conflicting testimony. When finally asked if he was the son of Jehovah, a Jewish god, a claim witnesses have heard him make, Bar Yosef said, “I am and all of you will see the son of man seated at the right hand of the power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” That was enough to convict him of blasphemy under Jewish law. The Sanhedrin unanimously voted for the death penalty.
Early Friday, Bar Yosef was brought before Governor Pontius Pilate. When the governor asked, “Are you the King of the Jews?”, Bar Yosef answered, “You have said it.” Jewish leaders then listed the charges against him. Governor Pilate asked, “Are you not answering anything? Look how many things they are accusing you of!” Bar Yosef remained silent.
Governor Pilate by custom releases one prisoner during the Jewish holiday of Passover. When he presented Bar Yosef and Bar Abbas, a terrorist convicted of murder, before the crowd, the crowd repeatedly demanded the death of Bar Yosef.
Authorities had been slow to move against Bar Yosef for fear of civil disturbances. But, in a surprise twist, his supporters, who number in the thousands, have all deserted him. One top disciple, Simon Peter, denies knowing him. Another top disciple, Judas Iscariot, was the police informant who helped to arrest him.
Over the past few years Bar Yosef had drawn huge crowds, promising regime change with a “Kingdom of God” after an apocalyptic end of days. He claims to be the son of a Jewish god and the descendant of a Jewish king. His supporters said he performed miracles, such as faith healing and walking on water. He had strong popular support in the Galilee Sea region except in his own town of Nazareth.
(Reporting by St Mark and St Matthew; Editing by Julian Abagond)
– Abagond, 2017.
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