“Mike, that’s religious “bull”!
“Right! God has a plan for me!”
“Some plan! Obviously, he hasn’t a clue what it’s like to live on this hellish planet! Let’s see: parents murdered; brother died of leukemia; unfaithful wife; business partner embezzled $200,000? Turn to God for help? Yeah, as soon as he feels what it’s like to hurt in this life!”
Angrily, Sean slammed down the phone on his childhood friend.
Hours later, Sean Phillips, fitfully drifted to sleep.
Suddenly, it was dark, but Sean was awake. Standing in a garden, strange animal sounds echoed in the night air. Torchlight flickered nearby. Underneath, a figure lay face down.
The spiritual realm opened.
Viewing eternity past, the prostrate figure witnessed a horrifying sight; horrifying because He'd already experienced it. Beyond the glory… the majesty…the holiness, lay a snow white Lamb...covered in blood, "slain before the foundation of the world."
Bloody droplets oozed from the Man of Sorrows. In the darkness, shadowy figures crept about. Stench filled the air. Eerie cold swept the garden. Venom rode the wind.
Surrounding Him, creatures stepped from the darkness. A hideous, reptilian creature with yellow flames for eyes stepped forward. Satan’s howl chilled the heavens. Two more fallen angels joined him on either side. Hissing, they lashed out with forked tongues.
“Azazel! Semjaza! Halt!” cautioned the Evil One. “It’s not yet our time!”
“Father, show Me the cup that I am to drink," the Lord eked out.
Immediately, every wicked deed ever committed, every despicable form of sexual perversion, every vile act committed against children, arose. Hatred, strife, greed, violence, treachery, murder and every other form of Godlessness imaginable bubbled into a deathly brew. Even death itself, boiled, waiting for someone to partake.
Ignoring this, Jesus whispered, "I must drink My Father's cup."
The scene changed.
Crushed by a sucker punch, blood exploded inside Jesus’ mouth, His cheekbone shattering.
"Is that anyway to speak to the high priest?" shouted a Temple guard.
"Take Him to Caiaphas!" ordered Annas.
In the home of Caiaphas, the high priest shouted, "I demand You tell us whether You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”
Powers of darkness awaited the Carpenter’s answer. Archangels held their breath.
"I...Am!" replied the Lord clearly. "It is as you say.”
Howling demons leapt onto the scene. Religious pride ruled. “Blasphemer!" the bloodthirsty mob shouted.
Seemingly, every demon from Hell hurdled toward the people, unrestrained. The murderous mob had all the inspiration it needed.
"Woman! I don’t know the man!" roared a voice, suddenly. Immediately, a rooster crowed. All eyes fixed on a big fisherman in the courtyard. Jesus looked at Peter. Blindfolded, the mob led Him to Pilate.
Unrecognizable, due to a torturous Roman flogging, the dying Carpenter's gaze pierced the spirituals from the cross. Hordes of hideous, reptilian-looking creatures and unclean spirits stood before him. Cackling, they moved erotically in the darkness. Waiting expectantly, black ooze drained from their eyes.
Satan stepped forward.
"Your time has come, Carpenter!" laughed the Devil, arrogantly.
Spewing accusations against the dying Christ, Satan hung back, as if awaiting permission to proceed.
"Father, I will drink the cup now,” whispered Jesus.
"Lucifer!" called the Lord. "It’s your hour!" Yet, the Devil still held back.
"COME!" shouted the Carpenter, loudly.
Every foul spirit flowed into one massive, steaming, stench-filled draught. Shockingly, the Carpenter pulled this hideous brew towards himself. Every unmentionable deed; past, present or future found its home in the body of the Lord .
Laughing heinously, Satan and Sin awaited the arrival of their vile accomplice.
"DEATH! Show yourself!" demanded the Lord. The faceless one suddenly appeared."
"Life!" garbled the lifeless one, "You are mine!"
“COME!" commanded the Lord.
Immediately, Death was catapulted towards the Carpenter. Gripping the Christ, Death felt something unfamiliar: a prior death. He remembered no such death.
Wrapping corruption around Him, he heard from the Lord’s soul, "I am Life…and death! Before you were...I am!"
Then Death enclosed Him.
Satan, Sin and Death, embodied the Lord Jesus. Angels fell prostrate. The Father turned away. Light ceased from the Carpenter. There was separation.
The Father was everything the Son...was not! The Son was not...anything...that the Father was!
“The penalty was paid…and it was all for you…Sean,” whispered the wind in the night air.
Soaked in sweat, Sean vaulted from the bed, awakened from his dream. He grabbed the phone.
“Mike!...Sean! Get over here now! We have to talk!
“Because He himself suffered…He is able to HELP those who are being tested.”
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