Written: June 1, 2013 at 22:12
At long last! I got around to posting the final bit! Thanks for taking the journey with me! Hope you enjoyed! God bless!
How does Almighty God feel as He hovers in the air and looks down at what seems an indestructible foe, one that reforms as soon as He, even He, has sliced it in two?
How else is He supposed to feel? Peace and security are ever with Him. There has never existed and will never exist a rival to His overwhelming power. Omnipotence means something and it is no mere title. It means He literally has ALL power. All other power is merely a derivative of His, power He has given to others and allowed them to use freely.
But He still had a point to prove. He raised a finger. A tiny sphere of intensely bright light came into being, hovering inches above the finger. Then He pointed at the writhing creature on the ground. It would not recover from a blow like that, He knew. It was a simple blow but it had been a blow from God. The purity and holiness that was so much a part of Him was too much for it to handle, which is why sin could never exist in His presence. The sphere left His finger and found its target instantly. The effect was small at first but it rapidly spread outward like a ripple. Light flooded the entire creature, spreading outward from the point of contact and literally erasing the creature itself. It squealed loudly as it disappeared. In mere seconds, what had been a vast expanse of darkness and sin, spreading out like the seven oceans of the world and endless like they are, had totally disappeared. Not a trace of it was left.
He looked at His Son and His son looked back at Him. “You see? The problem presents itself.”
“Yes,” came the reply.
As Christ looked on, the mass of darkness started returning from out of nowhere. It converged and congealed at a single spot, then rapidly began to spread outward until it was almost as endless as it had been before. And still it grew. The problem was this: destroying the thing itself as it existed now, as merely the disembodied collective consciousness of sinful creatures, was pointless. It was a futile attempt, like trying to treat murder as a solid thing existing in and of itself without the need for a person to commit it and make it real and a victim to be murdered. Moreover, since it was not embodied and dealt with, the constant growth and perpetuation of sin would continue to fester and reform itself somewhere and spread because it was never localized into one place, no matter what was done to it. Even now people were involved in sin, both those at the crucifixion and those elsewhere around the world. The only solution was to embody it in Christ, the only localized “prison” capable of containing it beyond the chance of escape, and destroy it there so that whenever future sin would fester and reform itself, it would do so literally within the eternal Sacrifice Himself where it would be instantly neutralized, having already been payed for.
Again, Christ’s body rose without His willing it. He understood. It was time. Without hesitation, the entire mass of sin started rushing to Him as if being drawn in. He would have to be more than the carrier with the load on His back. He would have to become the sin itself for their sake and bear their punishment (2 Cor 5:21). He felt it wash over Him, flooding His being. He felt all of it all at once. The fear. The pain. The joy of rebelling. The loss. The shame. The guilt. Everything. He took it all in until there was not one drop left. To say the experience was a bitter one would be but a cruel, weak euphemism. The senses of the Lord were strained to breaking point. He screamed in helpless, utter torment, collapsing in submission. But His screams would find no pitying ear.
For their sake He took their sin into Himself. Yet He had none of His own so He remained unattached to it, pure in and of Himself; but that purity would now be separated and released onto the world for the benefit of all when this sacrificial rite was finally complete. He was now the Lamb on the altar. In this moment, He was the Sin-Bearer, the sole proprietor of all sin and the sole bearer of the wrath of a holy God.
And He felt it now. It hung in the air and He trembled. But His body had become weak and limp. His spirit was now in torments. He was unable to think even one happy thought. Looking into the eyes that burned with the fire of fury, He lost His strength and drive. Nothing remained to Him. Hopelessness took Him and He wanted to run, to escape. It was all He could think of doing. He was literally in every single individual’s shoes, feeling what they felt and essentially living out this chapter of their lives for them. Run! the voices in His head kept crying out. Run! We must get away from here! It’s not safe here! And He desperately wanted to. But He couldn’t. His limbs wouldn’t obey. Or, rather, they couldn’t. He was totally paralyzed with fear, knowing this was one ordeal He could never escape from. He was suddenly filled with an overwhelming knowledge that He could not hide from God, that His sin should be punished, that there was no way of atoning for it Himself, that He had shunned ALL God’s efforts to save Him, that He had run out of time, that God would now require it at His hand…
To say it was a strange experience would be laughably inadequate. He was watching Himself as if He was outside of Himself and acting as an onlooker, knowing who He was and that He was innocent. But He was also actively experiencing all this, as if He were all those people at once, feeling their fear and facing this dreadful ordeal. The pressure was enormous beyond imagining. He had to bear the weight and sorrow of trillions, quadrillions of people all alone. He was literally taking all their places individually.
Torment had never known such drunken, dizzying heights of utter triumph and control, such concrete reality of existence, as when Christ took on the sins of the entire world and suffered in silent realms of deafening horror for each and every member of Adam’s fallen race. And it would never again know such heights.
The memories flooded His mind. All the joys of life, great and small, flashed past. But there was no sweetness in them, for He instinctively knew He would never experience them again. They held no comfort now, only bitterness. He wanted to cry, to burst out in tears, to beg and plead, but He knew it would be utterly pointless. Time was up. He wanted death to swallow Him but He knew death itself would not find Him now. Not here, not before the seat of judgement. And He had a foreboding that it would get worse, a fear that was confirmed as He looked upon the figure before Him Who seemed so cold, distant and foreign now, as if He had never known Him.
Suddenly, ten colossal canons stood facing Him. He knew them without needing to be told. The Canons of the Law! Behind each, a figure hooded in purest white rose up. They glared at Him. The spirit of the Law, embodied into ten beings. Further behind them sat the King Himself, cold estrangement on His face. Jehovah stared impassively into His eyes, offering Him no sense of relief or comfort. He wanted to melt away into nothingness but knew it was pointless.
He looked down in His depression, only to find that He had somehow become naked and bare before His righteous judges. His skin was horribly burnt and cut and scarred and covered in reeking grime. No dignity would be left Him, He realized. He had forfeited it all. Looking up again He found Himself facing innumerable gowns of shimmering white, decked with beautiful gems and precious stones, one for each and every one of the humans whose sins He had now taken upon Himself to bear in their place, whose sins He had now become. Each of their names was displayed in gleaming letters on the beautiful fabric.
He watched as the the gowns all became one single garment and the name became His. And in their place He saw clearly and remembered every single instant at which God Himself had offered to pick up their naked, reeking, despicable frame and embrace it, bathe it in the cleansing of His holiness and mercy, restore it to pristine condition and clothe it in the garment allotted to it. He saw the hand of God reach down to actually begin the loving work, only to be slapped away by protesting hands and cursed with harsh words. He tasted the refusal and rejection of the masses and beheld the frantic desperation of the loving Father longing to embrace His own, trying again and again, but being repelled heartlessly each time. He heard the broken sobs and pleas from the lips of the Divine King, witnessed the bitter tears from His eyes, and saw them fall upon deaf ears and bounce off hearts of solid rock.
The abrupt pounding of the mighty gavel broke in upon His reverie and He was back in the present. He looked on as the garment with His name on it was elevated slowly. It had lost its luster and beauty. Now it was as ugly and wretched as He. Dirt, grime and blood stained it and robbed it of its radiance. It was now tattered and torn and gave off a putrid stench. He watched as His name slowly became a stream of blood that eventually drenched the entire garment. He knew that this meant the end.
“The first Law. Have You kept other gods besides Jehovah-God?”
The question sent dread through Him. Suddenly His mind was filled with dread. The memories rushed to Him relentlessly but with painful clarity. Not one was omitted. Worshipping countless idols. Prioritizing wealth or gain or sex or food and God knows what else over Jehovah. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, century after century, millennium after millennium… All without fail. He knew He was guilty. He couldn’t meet the eyes of His Questioner. He bit down on His lip, refusing to speak, to condemn Himself. He cursed His own treacherous thoughts which admitted to each of the hateful wrongs. It was too much to hope to be safe in His head, for Jehovah heard all thoughts as if they had been shouted from the mountain tops. The very existence of those thoughts would be the ultimate bane of His existence.
“Well?” asked the King.
Trapped, He realized. Silence itself was the tool of His own self-betrayal. It was tantamount to admitting in the first place. At length He forced the words past His throat which had gone as dry as the Sahara. “…I have. I am guilty of breaking the first Law.”
“The second Law. Have You ventured to create idols and images for worshipping, against the express command not to do so?”
“…Too many times to count. I stand guilty…”
And He descended further and further into mental turmoil. The third Law: not taking the Lord’s name in vain. The fourth: reverencing the Sabbath. Fifth: honouring parents. Sixth: not murdering. Seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth: no adultery, no stealing, no lying, no coveting. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty, guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. With each instance His fear grew until it had devoured Him, locking Him away into an inner world of torment and shame; one from which escape was utterly impossible. He dared not look at the Judge before Whom He stood.
“Finally, can You find any fault with My ruling in hindsight? Do You see where I am responsible in any way for Your lack of proper conduct? Where I simply left You on Your own to complete an impossible task?”
“…No… I can admit that there were countless instances in which You attempted to reach Me, to help Me, to instruct Me, to save Me. But I have consistently rejected or ignored all those attempts. In fact, looking back now, I find that there were far more instances of these attempts on Your part than I was willing to admit. You have even begged on several occasions.”
“And so You understand I did not want it to end this way, but that Your insistence brought this upon You? Because now You must face My wrath fully.”
He gulped. “…Yes… I do…”
“Then that is all. Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Adam, representative of his entire fallen race. You have become the entirety of humanity’s rebellion against Me, personified. As such, in their place, You have been found guilty of contempt for Your Maker; conspiracy to commit insurrection; willful rejection of His ways and His attempts to aid You; bringing death and destruction; murder, theft, covetousness…”
And the condemned Man listened and cringed as the list went on at length and in excruciating detail from the simplest wrongdoing to the most elaborate criminal scheme ever brought into existence. With each proclamation He sunk lower and lower, and lower and His soul wept in bitter anguish. He was being pushed further and further into that dark world of depression and inner turmoil.
“…and hereby sentence You to an eternity of separation from Me in Outer Darkness. This is the fate You have chosen for Yourself beyond all attempts and appeals to get You to go in the opposite direction.” Jehovah’s countenance was darkened in sheer anger and more than just a hint of sadness. “Face Your judgement.”
And so saying the canons all blasted Him and bombarded Him relentlessly. He was utterly unable to avoid them, or even to will Himself to move away. Having been separated from the God from Whom strength comes, He was left in a state of pitiful and complete weakness. They battered His being, tearing His flesh and breaking Him with savage, merciless blows. The pain was unlike anything He had ever experienced; worse, in fact than the sum total of every single instance of pain — great or small — that had ever been inflicted on humanity in its entirety. That anything could have been worse than that would have been thought impossible, because He had already been made to bear all that pain all at once. But this! This was at the very least ten thousand times worse. For in the world, God, Who was the source of all goodness and comfort and hope, had always stood close by and connected to the world even when it totally hated and rejected Him, and tempered the intensity of all pain ever experienced. But now, here, totally separated from Him, hope did not exist to soften the blows of tragedy — no hope of a better tomorrow in the near or distant future. No future. No solace from pain. No net to absorb the pain. Here, one would always feel the full brunt of everything, with no hope and no scaling down.
This was what it meant to be left totally in the path of the wrath of God; to find oneself at the end of the road when one had already rejected God’s mercy and decided he didn’t need to rely on His mercy.
The hooded spectres behind the canons drew their weapons and launched themselves at Him, impaling Him all over. He screamed in agony as the blades pierced Him. No blood came. This body of His was no longer mortal and was at least ten thousand times more durable and more reactive to stimulus. His senses — all of them — had been vastly improved. He felt He would now die and thus be at peace but His acute mind suddenly understood that death could not reach Him here, not in the physical sense. But, He knew, He was already dead in another way — spiritually. To be totally separated from a good God was to be spiritually dead, far worse from physical death.
And with that, He found Himself in Outer Darkness, in torments, far away from any sense of hope or contact with God. All because of His own desire to go against God… Because of His sin. An eternity of unhappiness and pain and torture. Because the God Who alone can bring happiness and comfort and paradise had been rejected by Him. He had sealed His own fate.
He was swallowed up in the eternal flames of the awesome, fearsome wrath of Jehovah-God, burning forever yet never expiring; and the smoke of His torment rose up into eternity…
But the garment that had been drenched in His blood now changed anew. Suddenly it had become even more radiant than ever before! The holy, cleansing blood of a perfect, divine Sacrifice had completely expunged the very last traces of impurity, and the garment now fluttered beautifully in the fresh, sweet wind that had started to blow. Dazzling light sprang forth from its midst and even richer decorations were applied to it. The name “Jesus Christ” was emblazoned in crimson red across the radiant white. And then the beautiful fabric duplicated itself rapidly, over and over, until there was one for the entire race. Written proudly upon each in the crimson ink of the Blood of the Lamb was the name of its intended wearer.
* * *
The eternal Christ, the primordial Spirit which called creation into being, smiled. From the outside He looked at Himself in the throes of supernatural agony, locked away in eternal torments. He saw Himself suddenly rise, that part of Him that had become humanity’s sin and taken their punishment upon Himself, that part of Himself that had absorbed all that was evil in the universe. It rose up, totally engulfing the darkness, and started to shine through it, quelling the darkness, sapping its power away, destroying it. The infinite pain became locked away into the depths an infinite Being Who was able to bear that pain, overcome it and separate humans from the consequences and terrors attached to it. It was something He could live with forever, unlike humanity. Being infinite Himself, He could all too easily absorb all this and destroy it within Himself, remaining untouchable and pure and unaffected forever. And hereafter, all who would come to Him for salvation would have left their sin and its eternal consequences at His feet for Him to take it into Himself, into that region of pain and eternal torment where its eternal destruction would appease the Righteous Creator totally, and subdue if forever where it would never again hold power over anyone or anything. Victory had come at a terribly frightful price, but He had won.
He said the words at the exact time that His physical counterpart hanging on the cross did. “Father, it is finished. Man’s redemption is complete!”
And the Man on the cross gave up the ghost and died.
Jehovah smiled and Heaven rejoiced.
— END —