The steep hill, uneven, unforgiving, taunting the faint of heart, loomed before him. The filthy face drooped closing tired eyes. The cutting sting of Roman leather willed the orbs open. They opened to stone pavement beneath his bare feet.
Dark drops running like a river over the course of his face, landed in splatters and spread into a grotesquely shaped puddle. A sigh, as heavy as the wood that lay across his shredded back, escaped swollen lips. Time stood still.
“I have you,” a sickly sweet voice slithered close to his ear, “It matters not to me if you die here or at the top of this punishing hill. Know this: I have you.”
“Father,” he whispered, cutting the stifling air with his wracked breath. Barely the hint of a breeze crossed his face. Then, like snowflakes falling in the stillness of a deep winter’s night, covering debris with a carpet of hope, pictures from the annuls of eternity flashed before his inward eye.
He viewed loving hands forming two great lights. They laughed when cast into empty space. Drawn by the magnetic force of pure love each light took its respective place. Fixed with unwavering loyalty, devotion and allegiance to the King of Kings, they began the ceaseless dance of time; morning and evening, morning and evening, morning and evening...
Next he witnessed the resolute determination of a lone man amongst a sea of recklessness as he draws out plans far outside his realm of reality. Yet tirelessly, enduring the scoffs of self serving men, Noah built, and built, and built.
A different man now took center stage in the vision. An old man carrying fire and knife faithfully followed by a young lad burdened by wood. Obedience motivated, not obligation. Devotion lead, not duty.
Suddenly words echoed out from previous centuries.
“I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat....I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is a sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth....This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations....I will not break my covenant....If you can break My covenant with the day and the night so that one does not follow the other, only then will my covenant be broken.....”*
The deep brown eyes immediately sparkled. Cracked lips ascended like the morning sun. Peace rose over the broken face as strength coursed through veins already cut by glass and metal.
Resilience out shone the cruel thorns piercing his crown. Heaving up under the burden of wood he took the first trying step up the cruel hill.
As the frenzied crowd catcalled and spit on the unrecognizable man, they missed hearing the softly whispered words repeated with every excruciating upward step.
“This is my body which is given for you... this cup is the new covenant....confirmed with my blood.”**
*Gen 6:18,9:13,17:4,Ps 89:34, Jer 33:19-21 - NLT
**1 cor 11:24-25 - NLT
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