Seeing as how yesterday was Easter, I thought I would post something focused around that holiday. If it weren’t for computer trouble, I would have posted this sooner, but at least it’s here now.
Victory of Zion is a story I have been working on for a few months now. It is the story of Jesus’ life, told in third person from the perspective of an angel. Though I am no theologian, and I don’t really understand the technicalities of how God does what He does, I have tried to capture the essence of what I believe might have gone on in the spiritual realm during Jesus life, death, and resurrection. One concept I have struggled with, in particular, is the nature of the Trinity: are they three separate beings or one? Or is there something that I’m missing and the Trinity is neither. Anyhow, this post consists of three separate scenes: Gethsemane, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. This is only the first, and very rough, draft, but I thought I’d share it with you anyhow. Enjoy, and God bless!
Adonias stood quietly under a tree, his expression mournful. His soft, silver wings drooped and tears threatened to fall down his smooth cheeks. He could hear the stifled sobs of agony, and fear, and pain that now pulsed in his ears. It was Jesus. It was in Gethsemane. It was almost too painful for even the angel to bear.
The lowly angel could see the bloody sweat pouring down Jesus’ face as He prayed, begging for another way to complete His mission. The heavy weight of sin was pouring in around them, forcing Adonias to stand back, despite the fact that he longed to comfort his Lord.
“Your will…be done.”
Adonias nearly choked at those words. How? Why? Of all the people that had to face such a fate, why did it have to be Him? How could He accept it so calmly?
The angel watched Jesus rise unsteadily to His feet, wipe the bloody sweat from His face, lift His head in resolution, and proceed toward His sleeping disciples.
“My Lord!” Adonias exclaimed, hurrying toward Jesus, the quiet rush of his celestial robes audible only to those with a close tie to the unseen, spiritual realm. He reached out to touch his Lord. All of a sudden, however, a rush of dark shadows spun upward, creating a shell of evil that caused the desperate angel to recoil. “Jesus…My Lord…no.”
Jesus glanced up at the angel and sadly shook His head. The process had begun. He was about to take on the sins of an entire world: past, present, and future. Christ was slowly being separated from the realm of the unseen.
Jesus proceeded toward His sleeping disciples. “Go ahead and sleep,” He said when the men stirred upon His approach, “Have your rest. But look…the time has finally come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here.”
Adonias spun around in the direction Jesus had glanced. The angel clinched his fists as tears of anger trickled down his face. It wasn’t fair! No! He couldn’t let it happen! He was a knight of the Heavenly Kingdom, of Zion, and Jesus was his Prince…his best friend.
He stiffened as a cluster of flickering torchlight appeared around the bend in the garden path. It was then that he became aware of the growing number of demons clustering around them. They had been friends. They had been comrades. He knew every face, every name that went with those faces. He could still remember the beauty those angels had once possessed. It was still hard to believe, even now, that they were the enemy.
“How could you?!” Adonias exclaimed when the demons drew near. “What could possibly twist you so much that you would smile as you watch Jesus suffer like this?!”
“Quit whining, Adonias,” one demon sneered. “You’re just a sore loser.”
“Let him whine,” another chuckled, his voice low and cracked, a poor reflection of what it once had been in the heavenly choir. “It’s all he can do now anyway.”
A ripple of laughter echoed through the dark gathering.
“Who are you looking for?” Jesus questioned the group of Jewish guards who had gathered there, as though He didn’t already know who they were looking for.
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am He.”
At that moment Adonias stepped between Jesus and the guards, his eyes flashing with celestial fire. The men fell back in fear.
“Adonias!” boomed a voice from heaven. Only the angel and demons could hear it. “Step aside, Adonias. This is My will.”
Trembling, the angel complied and stepped back. More rippling laughter from the demons.
“Who are you looking for?” Jesus asked again, casting a quick, sympathetic glance toward the angel.
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I am he.”
Adonias watched in horror as the guards gruffly grabbed his gentle Lord, bound him, and half dragged him away. The demons pressed in eagerly, filling the disciples’ hearts with fear. The men fled.
“Now, go off and pout in your little sparkly corner,” one of the demons mocked, waving toward Adonias. “Just admit it’s all over for your grand ideas.”
“No!” the angel snapped back. “You’re wrong! It’s not over! You can’t stop God!”
Then with that he set off after Jesus. He didn’t understand what God was doing. He didn’t know how Jesus could overcome all these trials in His frail human body. There was one thing, however, that he did know: God had never failed before. There was no way He would now.
All heaven watched Jesus’ trial. All heaven cringed with every flogging and every beating their gentle Lord received. God had to hold the angels back as the soldiers drove the nails into His Son’s hands, though the tears pouring down His face indicated that He desperately wanted to intervene as well.
Adonias and a small gathering of his fellow angels pressed in as close as they dared. They were too horrified to be angry as they listened to the mocks and jeers coming from the crowd gathered around the three crosses.
Just then a dark figure moved from the crowd toward the cross on which Jesus hung. Adonias clenched his fist when he recognized who it was. It was Satan.
The dark angel rose up till he was eye to eye with the suffering Prince. A malicious sneer was playing at his lips. He wasn’t the same Lucifer Adonias remembered from their days in heaven together. He wasn’t beautiful and shining anymore. Of course, he hadn’t been any more beautiful all those times he had tormented Jesus in the past, but he looked even more terrible now than before.
“You should have bowed, king,” he hissed in Jesus’ ear, saying the word ‘king’ with particular contempt. “What did you think you were going to accomplish? Did you think your Father would save you? Psh! You of all people should have known that He wouldn’t even look at you covered in all this sin. You’re a fool, Jesus. Look around you. These are the people you tried to save. They’ve beat you. They’ve hurt you. They’ve spit on you. Did you think they would leave me for you?” Here he cupped one marred hand around Jesus’ throat. “You could have lived without all this pain if you had just bowed to me. But rest assured, I’ll give you exactly what you asked for. I will kill you. Actually,” he laughed, “I won’t have to. The burden you’ve put on your own shoulders will kill you for me. This is the end for you.”
Jesus let out a great wail of pain as Satan twisted the invisible sword of sin that was slowly eating away at Jesus’ life. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?!”
There was a great commotion then, all of a sudden, Jesus gave one last gasp, cried, “It is finished!” and bowed his head. Everyone knew what had happened.
All of a sudden an ear-splitting wail came from heaven. The angels, tears streaming down their faces, turned to see the Father. Tears poured down His celestial face like two waterfalls. Adonias turned back to the earth and watched as the ground writhed with the power of the Father’s anguish. The ground broke open. The sun’s light vanished. Anguish and anger flashed in the Father’s amber eyes and, with one motion, He tore the curtain in the Temple sanctuary in two. It was finished. Jesus was dead.
It was a very mournful day that Sabbath. Adonias paced back and forth in front of the tomb that the disciples had laid Jesus’ body in. Occasionally he would glance back toward heaven. Then he would turn back to glare at Satan, who had taken it upon himself to guard the tomb. Now what?
Slowly the day began to wane. Slowly the stars began to appear. To Adonias, though he was an immortal angel, it seemed a millennium had already passed. Would God really leave His Son there in that vile, earthly tomb, guarded by the master of sin? It was almost sickening to think of that wretched creature slithering so near to the innocent, slain Prince.
All at once Adonias heard the rush of wings. He glanced over to see Gabriel, God’s right-hand angel, standing beside him. His robe was white and rimmed with gold. His hair shimmered with the glow of the finest gold set before the best of light. His wings were like mother-of-pearl, yet softer than the softest of down.
“Gabriel! What is it?” Adonias questioned, almost fearing that the Father had sent Gabriel to take him back, away from Jesus.
The noble angel turned and, seeing the concern written on the lower-ranking angel’s face, he smiled reassuringly.
“It is about time,” he said, his voice deep and rich.
“About time, sir?”
“Yes, Adonias, it is about time for the Father to execute the final step in the plan of salvation. Your loyalty to the Prince has not gone unnoticed. I want you to help me. I want you to be here when it is done.”
“Then you mean…” Adonias could barely say the words. “You mean…He will rise again?”
“Most assuredly,” Gabriel nodded. “I know you have been confused. You are not alone. But rest assured, our all-powerful King can do mighty things.”
The two angels stood there, quietly watching the tomb and those guarding it. Satan had seen Gabriel, and his pacing had become even more frantic. He knew the scriptures. He knew that the third day would soon dawn. And, while he didn’t want to admit it, he knew he would be powerless against God himself.
Just then the first rays of sun began to streak across the sky, chasing away the darkness. Gabriel’s smile broadened and he drew his sword, which had rested at his side through the long watches of the night.
“Alright, Adonias. It is time!”
The lowly angel nodded, and was about to take a step forward when he noticed that the ground was beginning to shake.
“Behold the power of God!” Gabriel shouted, raising his sword high. “Death has no power over the Mighty One, the Author of Life, and neither do you, Satan, you snake!”
A sudden flash of light split the air, and the soldiers guarding the tomb fell to the ground: dead. Satan cowered before the heavenly soldier, but still he stubbornly clung to the stone that had been rolled over the mouth of the tomb.
“Satan, you base fiend,” Gabriel sighed with a shake of his head. “You, who were the son of light. You could not see beyond yourself, and now you have traded in your beauty for this wretched state. To think that I would see the day when you would cower before even me, whose only power is from the Father Himself.”
“I won’t let you,” Satan hissed. He tried to sound intimidating but his voice trembled under the power of heaven. “I won’t let you defeat me.”
“I am afraid you do not have a say in this matter,” Gabriel replied.
Adonias stiffened as he began to notice the shadows of demons gathering around them. Gabriel noticed them, too, out of the corner of his eye. He glanced over, then sighed and said, “You will never learn.”
All at once, in a voice akin to thunder, the head angel shouted, “In the name of the Great I Am, be gone!”
Blinding white light consumed the shadows and Satan and his henchmen took to their heels. No matter how strong their hatred, even that could not stand against the power of God. When the light dissipated, all was silent. Gabriel stepped forward and, with one motion, rolled the stone away from the mouth of the tomb.
“Come, Adonias. You have waited patiently for this.”
The two angels stepped inside and Gabriel leaned gently over Jesus’ prostrate form.
“My Lord,” he said softly, “Your Father commands you. Arise!”
There was a flickering of eyelids, then Jesus opened His eyes and stood. With a swift motion, Gabriel and Adonias removed the burial clothes and gave the Great Prince a clean white robe to wear. The evidence of whip lashes, thorny crowns, and terrible beatings had vanished from His perfect body. But the nail marks and spear piercing remained. They always would.
At that moment, Jesus turned to Adonias. A smile crossed his face.
“Adonias, my dear friend,” He laughed, hugging the loyal angel. “You are the best friend I could ask for. Your loyalty is greater than any other’s. Thank you.”
Tears of joy streamed down Adonias’s face. “My Lord! My Lord!” was all he could seem to say in his excitement.
At last, however, Jesus said, “I must go talk to My Father, and then I must go talk to my disciples. I will see you again soon, my friend.”
Adonias watched Him go. He was still too overcome with joy and too shocked after all he’d seen that he didn’t quite know what to do.
“Adonias,” Gabriel said suddenly.
The angel turned to look at his commander.
“Some of the women who followed Jesus are coming to embalm the body they think is here. I must return to God and I believe it would please you to relay the message to them. Would you stay here to tell them that their Lord has risen and is no longer here?”
“Of course!” Adonias exclaimed. “I wish to tell everyone the good news!”
Gabriel chuckled, then replied, “That is the gift God wishes for His people to share. But you will, at least, be able to tell the women.”
Then with a nod the great angel ascended toward heaven.
As Adonias stood under the fresh rays of the morning sun, he could not help but think of all the effort Satan had put into keeping Jesus in the tomb. He began to laugh, and suddenly he got a brilliant idea. Quickly he turned toward the stone, the one that Gabriel had rolled away.
“Death, you have no power over my Lord,” he laughed, walking toward the stone. “Satan, you have no power over my God.”
Then with that he hopped up and sat down on the stone. “Heh,” he laughed again, reclining back on the stone for an added effect, “so, Satan, what do you have to say now?”