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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: Redemption
By Rachel Phelps


Michael is at the front of the battalion, rigid with anticipation. We’ve all gathered without being bidden, waiting, hoping for the signal.

It hasn’t come.

On earth, there is another groan from the cross. A collective shudder ripples through our ranks. Michael clutches at the hilt of his sword, but does not draw it. We were told to wait. We were told to be still, that we would not act. Yet here we are, pressing to the very edge of disobedience.

There is an answering groan from El Elyon.

It echoes through the heavens, rolling over us in pure agony. Not since the Great Rebellion have I been so tempted to disobey Him. It would take only one to swoop down and rescue Yeshua, only one to put an end to this torture for us all. I shift forward, only to catch Michael’s stern eye. He is suffering, too, yet he holds his place. I must do the same.

I’ve never been so aware of how humans measure time. Since Yeshua’s introduction into the world, we’ve been more tied to the events on the planet, but even that has not prepared me for this. Since the moment of Judas’ final decision, all of heaven has looked at nothing else. I’ve watched the earth continue to circle its star, not even completing its own rotation, while these events have unfolded. Every moment, every hour, every decision has been played out for us as we wait – commanded to inactivity. It is brutal, this inexorable path of time.

First Judas’ decision to betray Him.

Then the torment of Gethsemane. Yeshua pleading with Yehovah-Shammah to spare him this trial. It was at that moment we all assembled, certain we would be dispatched to His rescue.

We were ordered not to act.

All through the charades the religious leaders and the Romans played out, through Peter’s appalling moment of weakness, through the mockery and beating the soldiers subjected Him to, through the nails being driven through His flesh, through the taunting of the forces of hell, we were ordered not to act.

Another minute stretches into oblivion. Not even a full day since we began this vigil, and yet I feel as if centuries of human time have passed. From the cross, Yeshua’s voice sounds.

“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”

Our eyes fly to the Throne as the words pulse through us. Surely now we will be allowed to defend Him. Michael’s sword is unsheathed, his face hardened in pain. His battle cry is echoed in all our throats.


It is the voice of Yehovah-Sabaoth, a command we must obey. Even as we watch the life drain from Him, we are bound by His command. Desperation is twitching at my muscles, demanding action. I clench my fists, closing my heart to all but His will. I’ve never had cause to doubt His commands before, I mustn’t start now.

A sound breaks through my concentration. A crow of triumph. The demons surrounding the cross are jeering at us, flaunting their victory. All other thoughts fly from my head as my sword leaps into my hand. We have never let their challenges go unmet. Today, surely, we cannot allow it –

Michael’s hand on mine stops the motion. He merely nods toward the Throne. I turn, trembling at my daring to look upon His face. One look and my sword drops to my side.


Through the pain and the grief, I can see the love shining in His eyes. He is looking away from the cross, but not from the humans around it. He is not El Elyon in this moment, not even Yehovah-Shammah. This is the plan He has had from the beginning, from the moment in the Garden. We had always known that the price for separation from Him had to be paid… but this…

From the cross comes one, gasping cry. “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.”

The demons erupt in glee. I hardly notice, for my eyes are on His face. Love still shines from his eyes.

“It is finished.”

We were ordered not to act. Yet there is one thing we can do – something no earthly time can contain.

“Yehovah Gaol!” Michael proclaims, falling to his knees.

The hosts around me follow his example as the cherubim burst into song.

El Elyon: God Most High

Yehovah Shammah: The Lord is There

Yehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of Hosts

Yehovah Gaol: The Lord who Redeems

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This article has been read 953 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst02/03/11
I have few words after reading this. Moving. Powerful. Beautiful.
Barbara Lynn Culler02/04/11
WOW! This brought me to tears at the point where demons jeered at the cross.

I have no red ink to give-sorry!
Charla Diehl 02/04/11
A very moving and interesting piece as you give your readers a heavenly perspective on Jesus' sacrifice for us. I liked this a lot.
Virgil Youngblood 02/04/11
Excellent. You asked for red ink: when did the 24 hour period begin and end? That wasn't clear to me and is immaterial other than conforming to the challenge. I like the viewpoint you presented.
Colin Swann02/05/11
OH! Wow! This is very good. Loved it - absolutely brill!
Laury Hubrich 02/05/11
Can you imagine being able to help but being held back? Wow! I love your ending.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/05/11
You presented a viewpoint I've never thought about...now I'll never forget. What an emotion-packed beautiful story. Awesome!
Kimberly Russell02/06/11
I really liked how the suspense built to the end, pulling the reader along. Really well done.
Loren T. Lowery02/07/11
Wonderfully, wonderfully told. I could literally sense the tense spirit of the angels prepared to act on behalf of their beloved King.
william price02/08/11
The power of your message seesm to over take all else. I loved the perspective from angels and Heaven. A great narrative. The only red ink would be a a few places were telling could maybe have been subsituted with showing. It' hard to bounce back and forth. But, your writing is superb, very skillful and materfull. I was deeply moved. God bless.
william price02/08/11
I know how to spell, my keys are sticking this morning.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/11
This is beautiful_ Very well written and an interesting POV. Amazing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/11
This is beautiful_ Very well written and an interesting POV. Amazing!
Amanda Brogan02/10/11
Wow. Wow. WOW! I think this is my favorite story that you've written! And you've done some doozies. Wow.

I love the way you captured the emotion of the hosts of Heaven during the time of the Crucifixion. Oh, what agony it must have caused His most loyal servants, and the Father Himself, not to allow themselves to save Him. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to our God Who redeems.

Two thumbs way up, and congratulations on your very well-earned win!
Joan Campbell02/10/11
Very beautiful, powerful writing Rachel. Congratulations on your 2nd place EC, it's so well deserved.
Margaret Kearley 02/10/11
Thankyou so much Rachel. As I got to the end, particularly as I read the meaning of Yehovah Gaol, I had such a lump in my throat. Who can begin to imagine those scenes in Heaven but from what we do know, you told and expressed the scenes so wonderfully. Congratulations on your well deserved placing - and all Glory to God.
Loren T. Lowery02/10/11
So glad to see this piece recognized, not only for its approach and the way its told, but the message as well. Congratulations. Loren
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/10/11
Congratulations on yet another EC (obviously you're gifted!) for your wonderful story.
Benjamin Graber02/10/11
Wow. This is one of the best entries I've ever read. Excellent job writing about the crucifixion from a very differnt POV!

Francy Judge 02/10/11
Congratulations! I loved this...could imagine the sad scene from a new viewpoint. Well-deserved win.
Bonnie Bowden 02/10/11
Wow, Rachel what an awe inspiring piece. I can't imagine having to watch and not being able to help Christ physically, but the angels rejoicing at the end gave me goosebumps. Congratulations on your 2nd place win.
Troy Manning02/10/11
It's rewarding to reflect on the events behind our redemption from a new perspective. Very nicely done & congratulations!
Lollie Hofer02/10/11
If only we could see in the heavenly realm all that takes place there. Thanks for a glimpse into what must have been agony for Father and heaven to watch. I like your heavenly perspective. Congratulations on your well-deserved EC.
Japhet Mphande02/11/11
Thank you! Have learned more of the battle and of course God's way of handling situations.
Michael Throne02/11/11
You had me from the start. What a great idea, executed beautifully. I especially liked the part about human time – a nice, effortless tie-in. Congratulations on your EC.
Sarah Elisabeth 02/12/11
Amazing. In every way. I won't try to say anything else.

Rhonda Ritenour02/13/11
I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this story! Excellent job!
Carole Robishaw 02/16/11
Shivers went down my spine, and it was very hard to breath. Excellent!