As effortlessly as his first breath had come, death ended, and for the first time ever, he was alive.
It was a quiet affair, this thing that he had feared. The ease of the passage prevented him at first from realizing that he had passed. But he had. He looked back at death now and saw its hollow hold; the carcass he had called home.
"Goodbye world, I can stay no longer with you!"
As soft as a flickering puddle of light on a rainy sidewalk. As gentle as a newborn’s instep. As pure as...oh, but there were no words. No words, but so many thoughts. He knew how the enveloping light felt, but it was inexpressible.
"You and You alone make me feel alive!"
His rapture was suddenly stilled by a roar unmatched by any noise he had ever heard in his death. And fear, uncontainable fear, pierced his knees so that he could not stand, could not kneel.
"Holy, holy, holy!" And as the thunder swelled and consumed, his thoughts were vapoured. And in the swell, he heard, although it was too much for his ears, he heard.
“Did you live perfectly on earth?”
And though his mouth was covered and his tongue heavy, he heard his trembling heart groan, "No, Lord."
“Were you honest in every transaction?”
“Did you speak the truth at all times?”
“Were you temperate in all things?”
"And all my righteousness is filth, and my sins are brought before me. And though I called you 'Lord' and gave to the poor, and won souls for your kingdom, I know now that I am condemned."
He dared not raised his eyes, but he did not have to see to know. His fate was sealed, the Word was true, and all he had come to think sufficient, was suddenly a lie. He knew enough to know what would be next. And as if to taunt, in the silence, he heard a roar in his mind, "Depart! Cursed!"
And he wept bitterly.
But instead of the lion’s roar, somewhere behind him, or was it from within his very heart, he heard the bleating of a hurt lamb.
And again, all was still.
“Father. This man did not live perfectly on earth. Father, this man was not honest in his every deed. Father, this man did not speak the truth at all times, nor was he temperate in all things. But Father, this man loved me, and stood for me. And for this reason, I present myself now to stand for him. Father, take my blood. I take his sin.”
Arms held him now, and brought him to his feet, and embraced him, and there was a quiet breeze, the breath of life itself, that said, "Come and partake of the joys of the Lord."
Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (KJV)
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