Written: December 7, 2012 at 18:26
I once read an interesting book. I was in the 6th grade at the time. The book was a Christian novel. It jumped out at me because it did something I had never seen before: its entire plot took place in the spirit realm. Now I’d read many other stories which focused on that realm or something similar but never a Christian novel. They all seemed somehow to be grounded in the physical world. Yet here was a story in which the HUMANS were the supporting characters and the ANGELS and DEMONS took centre stage! I was highly intrigued. Years later I remembered the idea and set about putting the concept to use in a work of my own. I went on Facebook, started writing a note and came up with this. Let me know what you think of Part 1. Being the introduction, it’s the only one focused on the physical world. The rest are coming soon.
Read if you dare!
* * *
The demon hordes were closing in. The air was heavy with their dark aura, visible and pulsating wildly. They were excited. This was what they had waited for. He knew it. His spine was an instrument on which the cold chill of death vigorously played a haunting melody. But it was only for a while longer. Just a little longer! He’d been fighting them off for hours. They kept coming relentlessly. If only people would be that tenacious in seeking after Him… He had no rest!
His spirit was doing what His body couldn’t. The latter had been brutally beaten into submission almost to the point of breaking during the course of the last few hours. He almost smiled a bitter smile at the thought — almost: hands that He had lovingly fashioned had slapped Him and pushed Him and bruised Him. The face before which angels bowed in loving awe, before which the entire universe rolled up like a scroll and fled; the face which righteous Moses had pined for and had begged to look upon but had been refused; that face was now covered in thick, bubbly mucus, spit and blood by sinners. The very thorns that God had sent into the world to curse it in Genesis 3 were now tightly wrapped around His own brow.
He almost smiled at the irony — but it was all too sad. For who was it that gave life to the villainous and unfeeling attackers? Who supplied energy to the hands that gripped the mallets, driving pointed iron through soft, raw flesh? Who granted strength and movement and skill to the fingers that grasped the catanine with its merciless spikes and buried it 39 times into His back only to yank it out again, not caring what came up with it? Who gave power to the tongues all around Him that were spewing out words that cut Him like daggers? Who gave them breath to speak those words of ridicule? It was insane, but the Victim of the assault was sustaining His attackers, unwilling to take their lives away from them.
It almost seemed masochistic. He held the power to stop those inflicting pain upon Him again and again — yet He sustained them and allowed them to live, allowed them to keep jeering and mocking and slapping and spitting and beating and kicking and clawing and jabbing and screaming insults or mock praise… He was not a helpless human criminal, deserving this fate and powerless against His punishers. He was GOD IN HUMAN FLESH and He wielded the power to kill and incapacitate and debilitate them all, if only He’d wanted to. Yet He contented Himself with playing the role for all their sakes. Not ONCE did a tongue cleave to the roof a mouth, losing the ability to mock and jeer and speak. Not ONCE did a hand stop in the middle of trying to hit Him and wither away, useless. Not ONCE did a knee buckle as the leg aimed a kick at His gut. Not ONCE did the light fade from the eyes that looked at Him with scorn and loathing, causing them to go blind and lose the awesome privilege of seeing the face of Him who had spoken the entire Creation into being.
What awesome measure of pure, unrestrained love!
Now that face was calloused and bruised and red with injury and blood. There was no beauty to behold in it now. Angels would have fallen down before it in worship — men had covered it in spit and mucus and cuts and bruises and wounds, lumps, weals. The eyes were puffed up after the beating He’d taken, yet He stubbornly struggled to peer out of them upon the race He had come to save. His gaze was loving and sad as He counted off every face there.
His hands had fashioned all of them, carefully and methodically and lovingly from within the womb. And for 3 and 1/2 years, those same hands — this time under the guise of human flesh — had healed all ranges of diseases, restored lost limbs, restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf among them. But now those hands were bound to a wooden slab in a cruel embrace involving raw steel, splinters, blood and fragile flesh. They couldn’t so much as move to scratch His itching face or wipe the blood and sweat and spittle invading His eyes and blurring His vision. Still, in all this, He could do nothing but regard His foolish attackers with childlike love and parent-like sympathy. He couldn’t hate them or be angry with them. He just couldn’t. He was enduring all this — by their hand — just for them and the quadrillions who had gone before them; who were elsewhere in the world at that very moment — woefully unaware of the tragic events unfolding in a single, far-off country in their world — and who would be born thereafter.
His back, which had been massacred not too long before, was pressed sharply against a cross. Fresh, raw, tender wounds were further irritated by the rough surface of untreated, natural wood. That poor tree… Blessed with the indescribable honour of being counted worthy of being the one to support the weak, dying body of its Creator; and cursed with having been chosen to be the final instrument of His passion and torture and ultimate death, as well as bearing the indelible stains of His innocent, holy blood…
Feet that had shied away from no place so long as there existed people there whose souls were desperately crying out to Him, and had walked long and tiring miles for 3 and 1/2 years to get to those people were now trapped, immobile, and bleeding with a single, long nail running through both their heels and into the wooden cross.
But He loved them. He pitied them. He pitied the repugnant state of their souls, the warped state of their minds and understandings and the blind and stubborn ill-will they bore Him. He pitied all of it. And the more they tortured and jeered Him, the more their eyes hated Him, the more He loved them and yearned to save them from it all as soon as possible. The more He wanted to secure a place for them in the eternal realms of paradise and happiness with Him. No, He couldn’t retaliate or incapacitate them. Not even ONCE. He’d rather be hurt a thousand times over by all of them here and now instead of lift a finger against them to wipe them out in their current, deplorable state, though they well deserved that and more. No, He’d endure it. He’d store up all their loathing and rebellion and darkness and then turn it all into light and love and purity and reconciliation and doting, and then pour it all out on them without measure. Hoarse and weak though His voice was, and painful though it was to make any attempt to speak — so badly had He been battered — He lifted His aching head briefly to Heaven.
“Father, forgive them! They have no idea what they’re doing…!”
The effort took too much out of Him. His head promptly fell back down and hung loosely, almost lifelessly, from His neck and shoulders. His chin gently rested on His chest, but even that didn’t offer Him any comfort. Every breath was a veritable struggle, a war between His tired lungs and the laws of diffusion and osmosis in the outside world.
► ► ►
His body hung, weak and helpless, from a wooden cross; unresponsive to calls and jeers and challenges to “Come down and we’ll believe you are the Messiah!”. There was a far more important struggle unfurling in the spirit realm, however. It was never going to be as simple as enduring a few cuts and bruises and physical and emotional torment and belittlement. No, Adam’s problem lay primarily in the realm of the spirit.
Like a lion heading the pride, Adam had been given the entire universe as his domain. And, as often happens in nature, Adam was challenged by another young lion. Tragically, Adam had lost the contest, not by reason of strength, but because he had been outsmarted and made to willingly give up what he’d had, under the false promises of the greatest Liar ever to exist. Naturally, having lost the decisive battle, Adam had been made to face the cold caress of Spiritual Death at the hands of the victor, Satan. And the victor had proceeded to try to erase all traces of Adam’s existence as head and all marks of his leadership and power, going so far as to murder every single child of Adam thereafter, just like lions in nature do. In one decisive blow, Satan, the challenging young lion, had slaughtered the head of the family and forced the universe to watch him erase his progeny as well, and become the legal ruler of the created Cosmos. The victory had been flawless and complete.
Except for one thing.
The real Lord of the Cosmos had witnessed everything and decided to intervene due to the treachery and to break the tyrannical iron-rule of the newly-crowned “king”. Without that, Satan’s victory would have been sealed perfectly. But the Lord of the Cosmos had concocted a plan of pure genius: to play by the rules of the new game He had never sanctioned — putting Himself at a marked disadvantage — and still beat the cheater-turned-king. The Lion of Judah armed Himself in the perfect gene code of the Pre-Sin Adam, effectively making Himself into a Second Adam in every sense, with his perfect Pre-Sin existence. This would make Him a legal member of Adam’s family, giving Him the right, by the rules of the game (and given His ability to secure victory), to retake what had first belonged to the First Adam and his progeny and restore it to their race. Furthermore, by becoming the Second Adam, the Lord of the Cosmos guaranteed the eternal safety of the universe thereafter, even while under the rule of Adam’s race, by becoming a member of that race. With victory legally His in that state, He could ensure that Adam’s race would never again lose its prominence — since He was apart of it and achieved and held the victory personally — and could elevate them to His status. The Lion of Judah, upon assuming human flesh, would forever remain Christ, the God-Man, sharing His authority and rulership with the rest of the race He had adopted in His mercy (2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:4-7) and giving them the unspeakable and inestimable privilege of having deigned to appear in their likeness, even a weak, abominable, sinful, inferior one like theirs (1 Timothy 3:16; Phillipians 2:5-11) and then sharing His own glorious state with them (1 John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:4; 2 Peter 1:4). By doing all that, He would be able to keep Adam and his legacy safe from any form of destruction or separation from God for all eternity.
But that was just the theory. The time to put it all in practice had come.
If only it had been as simple as enduring unspeakable torture and pressure and pain for an entire night into the next morning with no rest or sleep. If only it had been as easy as being whipped scorned, spat at, pummeled, mocked, lied about, forced to carry a heavy cross in less than ideal physical condition with an unfeeling crowd running along with Him; nailed to that cross by stoic, pitiless Roman soldiers; feeling His body’s weight pull against the slender nails for 6 whole hours along with the fear that the sheer weight would cause flesh to give way and tear, making Him fall; jabbed in the side with a spear while almost every onlooker looked on with glee, and the precious, merciful few who looked on in abject terror breaking His heart… If only it had been that simple.
But no, Adam’s problem lay primarily in the spiritual realm and the Lion of Judah would have to redeem his crushing defeat and disgrace in that very same arena. A sense of dread no mere human could ever hope to endure overcame Him now. He knew only too well what He would have to face to redeem Adam, the heavy price that would be demanded of Him. The realization had made Him sweat blood and beg half-heartedly for it to pass from Him the night before in Gethsemane, but He loved Adam and his race too much to actually shy away from what He knew had to be done, though it would cost Him everything…
The fear began to ebb and flow, infringing upon the very edges of His tormented soul and threatening to drown Him. Suddenly, the weight of every single human being and their infinitude of sins, from Adam to the very last born before the White Throne Judgement of Revelation, fell upon Him. He would have to bear all of it — ALL OF IT AT ONCE — right now and for the next few hours before facing that ultimate punishment…