Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)
By Brian Russell
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This man, who did he think he was? He forgave, and never condemned anyone… Not even me.
That night is replayed in my mind every day. Of what he said at the table, how he knew it was me, but didn’t do anything to stop me. Of course, I know now. I know now that Jesus, the Son of God, was the messiah.
Running from the temple, the evil spirits descended upon me. Tormenting me in my anguish. “Betrayer!” they screeched.
Darkness swallowed my path, and glowing red eyes lit the shadows. A root grabbed my sandal and threw my body to the ground. I rolled onto my back, trying to catch my breath. One of the demons sat on my chest, compressing my lungs. His eyes hovered over mine. “You have just handed over the Messiah to us. We wanted to thank you for your services.”
Tears streamed down my face. “Just let me die.”
“Die?” He laughed, and a chorus of laughter echoed around me. “I am sorry, betrayer. You have been chosen for a much worse fate than death.”
“Lies! Torment me no more.”
“As I have said, we are here to thank you, not torment you, betrayer.”
I pushed to my feet and ran. Their laughter faded into the darkness and I came to a tree wrapped with vines. That was going to be the end. My end. I climbed onto the tree and looped a vine around my neck. I breathed deeply and jumped from the tree.
Everything blurred. I sputtered for breath. I groped at the vine to loose myself. Everything was gone.
Nothing greeted me. It wasn’t darkness, it wasn’t light. There was… nothing.
Then, Jesus appeared. Magnificent and new. “Judas, you have helped me fulfill my purpose in this world. You have endured a sacrifice that many will never understand.”
I sobbed. “Rabbi, I am sorry. Forgive me, Lord.”
He touched my neck with his hands. “Your sacrifice is wrapped in sin and greed. I knew the outcome, but you did not, yet you still performed it. Without your sin, there could be no forgiveness of sins.”
“Forgive me. Please.”
“You will roam this earth until the day I return again. You will never die until I come to judge all mankind.”
When I awoke, I lay in a field. A place of burial for foreigners. Stories were told of my death. Many embellished facts of my insides strewn across this very field.
Over the years, people have told me that the Lord works in mysterious ways. That sometimes, even what seems horrible is a blessing in disguise.
They have no idea.
I have lived to hear of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and now I can take part in that salvation. Someday.
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