Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Key( 02/14/13)
Some of Iron and One of God
By Lillian Rhoades
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The Father gazes at His Son, a set of keys, some of iron and one of gold rests in His lap. With gentle voice, He breaks the silence.
“I’ll keep these until you need them.”
The Son turns His head, and locks His eyes on the Celestial City. Moments pass, and then He speaks.
“Yes, keep them. I’m ready to go.”
The day had come to shed His crown for thorns, light for darkness, and a regal robe for nakedness.
Later, after the stable, dusty roads, the crowds, the miracles, the stormy seas, and Gethsemane, He stands ready once again.
At the appointed time, lightening splits the sky, bolting through the veil of darkness that covers the earth. The heavens thunder with a mighty roar and His oppressors and accusers have no place to run. Fear grips them for suddenly they know that the man, pummeled with stones, beaten with whips, pounded with hammers, and hanging on a cross was indeed the Son of God.
Amidst the tumultuous roar of elements that weep in concert with His agonizing moans, the Son’s plaintiff cry could be heard.
“Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
Some time between earths’s trembling on its axis and before the Father turns His back, a set of iron keys, rusted and unseeable by mortals, slips from the Throne Room and plummets through all of creation to Golgotha’s Hill.
Only then does the Son gasps out heaven’s amen.
“It is finished!”
Yet, there’s one more thing to do before He heads back to the waiting throngs of angels and His seat by His Father’s right hand.
He must stop at Enemy Headquarters. The gates are locked, but He has the keys – to every gate. He unlocks the gate marked, Death, and enters in. Death offers no resistance. He knows all about the Son’s resurrection and the guarantee of life everlasting. He surrenders in defeat.
Next, with the authority of a Conqueror coming to claim his spoils, the Son takes another key and opens hell’s gate. Flames from cauldrons of fire leap in front of Him, around Him, and under Him, but they’re like fierce, lapping waves unable to destroy rocky shores. From deep within one of the cauldrons, a voice snarls out in contempt.
“Why have you come to torment me? Are you not content to rob me of millions of my victims?
The Son responds.
“I have come to show how powerless you are. From now on, you have no authority over the souls of those for whom I died. I want them to know they do not have to fear death or hell’s damnation because My cross stands between you and all who seek Me.”
Heaven’s archenemy turns up the cauldrons even hotter. The Son smiles.
“Satan! Have I not told you that hell, death, and the grave have lost their power. For Me and the ones for whom I gave my blood, the fires of hell are as candles without a flame.”
The Son turns, and redemption pivots with Him. He locks the gate and ascends from the depths of hell to His disciples. He surprises them at their secret hiding place to bid them farewell, and to reassure them of His next return. It is there that He displays His scars of love. Questions boil and bubble up within them, and they press Him hard for heaven’s secrets. Time? Place? When will they see Him again? But even He does not know the day or time. They are silenced by the promise of a Comforter and His parting words.
At the appointed time, the heavens open, not to the sound of thunder, the crackling of lightening bolts, or the opaque shade of darkness, for the Father’s back is no longer turned, and the desire of His heart is satisfied. Angels part the heavens, and for a brief moment, celestial light surpasses the noon day sun. And those who walked with Him now stand wide-eyed and fixed as they watch the angels carry Him back to His Father and home.
Father and Son sit next to each other in silence, until the Father speaks.
“Well, done, My Son. I know how You felt when I turned my back on You, but You were never forsaken. Please, take the golden key. It belongs to you. Whenever one of the children comes home, I want You there to open the gate and let them in. They’re here because of You.”
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