Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
By Sharon Kane
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The first pages of her record showed nothing of great import. There were snaps of her carrying water from the well for her mother, sweeping the house, baking bread for the widow next door. Then came photographs of her wedding feast. How the light had shone in her eyes that day! “Hypocritical whore!” muttered one of her accusers. “She won’t be smiling when her little secret is known to all. Just one more turn of the page…”
The next page was blank. Thereafter came more snaps showing Abigail growing older, always serving, always showing kindness to others, but the men were no longer concentrating. How was it possible? Who had tampered with the evidence? As upright members of the legal profession they felt duty-bound to uncover the missing photograph.
“Your honour, a word if I may.” Joseph spoke with measured confidence in the still chamber. “The blank page; we have reason to believe that it once held a very important photograph and that the defendant removed it to make her record more, ah, respectable. In the interest of justice we ask that it be recovered.”
A profound hush fell upon the room as clerk and judge conferred in whispered tones. Michael nodded and left the courtroom, returning moments later with another book. As Bartholomew opened it, panic consumed Benjamin’s whole being. That was his album! Why was it being opened? He had nothing to do with the missing photograph. He had never seen these books before, let alone tampered with them. His throat tightened, and the sweat ran cold down the small of his back as another awful possibility crossed his mind. “Oh surely it can’t mean… surely not… My part in the plot was covered by the payment I made that day.”
“Here is the photograph you referred to Joseph.” Bartholomew spoke with quiet finality. The wet patch spread down Benjamin’s tunic as Michael held up the relevant photograph and the memory of that shameful day flooded back. There was her bedroom, her lamp on the table, his robes lying on the floor. He smelled again the musky fragrance of her perfume, and dimly heard the footsteps approaching the door at exactly the agreed time. But something was missing from the photograph -Abigail’s face! Yes, he was in bed with a woman but while his face was clearly identifiable hers was indefinable.
Benjamin jerked himself out his reverie to hear Bartholomew addressing Joseph again. “The heavenly record confirms that Benjamin Barsimon seduced Abigail in her own house with the full knowledge of her husband. You planned to bring her before Jesus to be tried as an adulteress. Should he find her guilty, the stoning would be delayed giving her time to flee. Your real target was Jesus. You considered he would ‘not have the guts’ to condemn her and you would then convict him as a law-breaker. You all agreed that Benjamin would not appear before Jesus but would sacrifice the appropriate sin offering later that day. Jesus forgave Abigail and absolved her guilt by the shedding of his own blood. Jesus himself removed the photograph from Abigail’s record. Had Benjamin put his faith in the Lamb of God the evidence would have been expunged from his record also. Sadly he refused the grace of God and the blood of the goat he sacrificed could not atone for his sin-hardened heart.”
Bartholomew rapped his gavel and spoke joyfully to Abigail. “Your sin is paid for! Welcome to the wedding feast of the Lamb!”
Matt 19:28; Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Rev 20:12; “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
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