The Hosha’na Of ‘Iyr
To Be More
1 John 4:8
He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.
How deep is God’s love? How far will He reach to claim those who are His? We all say we know the answers, but are they the right answers? If any of the answers aren’t, “God is Love and Love forgives,” they’re the wrong answer. No matter where we go, there He is, we just need to stop running. We are always more than we think we are, but can we be even more than we imagine?
Excerpt: Alorel and Jesus:
Glancing over at me, Beatrice asks, “Is it okay to tell us about Jesus while we’re eating, or would you prefer to wait and sit in the livingroom perhaps?”
“Anywhere’s fine for me,” I accept, “Want me to start now?” I could show them using Vision, but it might be too graphic for a first telling. I’ll just stick to words this time, they may want to actually feel it with me later, but not until after their walk’s further along.
“Please,” Jeremy urges, as Beatrice nods.
“Okay, but remember, I was a Dark One then, so things were different with me from how they are now, on the outside, anyway, not so much on the inside,” I caution, “For one thing, I was a shape-shifter, either male or female, old, even child, as was needed for my assignment.”
They both nod and I begin, “I was a young Pharisee, my assignment was to ridicule His teachings, use my skills to cast doubt on His wisdom, but I was drawn to Him. I couldn’t understand why Lucifer was so keen on discrediting this particular Rabbi, but there was something about Him that was unique, what He said was profound, so I thought that was the reason. I was listening as He related a very cryptic teaching, it didn’t make much sense until He said, ‘Before Abraham was, I Am.’
“My ears pricked, and I realized Who He was! The other Pharisees knew what He meant, too, He was claiming His rightful place as Lord and King, He was telling us He was the Great I AM, the Eternal Creator, Yahweh. It was as if I could suddenly see, and my heart knew Him immediately! To be so near Him after millennia of longing for Him, I was frozen in place by the revelation. Not so for the others, they tried to kill Him for it, but He vanished into the crowd. That’s when I first discovered He was on Earth, and the primary reason Lucifer had concentrated us in and around Israel.”
“Wow,” Jeremy whispers.
Nodding, I agree, “At least,” then continue, “The next time I encountered Him, I had assumed the guise of a harlot. I followed Him through the streets of Jerusalem shouting, ‘Hosha’na to the Son Of David! Hosha’na to the King!’ after I’d laid palm fronds at His feet, but I wasn’t playing at it, I meant it. To praise Him again, it was so wonderful! I was ordered to take part, so Abaddon was none the wiser concerning my stealth insurrection against Lucifer. As He rode past, He looked at me and smiled, there was so much love in that smile,” I sigh, smiling softly in echo of His long-ago smile, remembering how wonderful it made me feel, “I was thunderstruck by His gentleness toward me, He knew who and what I was.
“Then I heard they’d arrested Him. I couldn’t believe He allowed it! The next time I saw Him was during the Passover custom of prisoner release. Dark Ones had been very busy among the people, especially the High Priests, inciting them against Him. I was assigned to join in stirring the hate, but I couldn’t. I was forced to be there, though, to appear I was doing as ordered. Disguised as a money changer, watching it unfold, my heart broke as the angry crowd yelled, ‘Give us Barabbas!’ a rabble-rouser and thief who had led part of the resistance against the Romans, a local hero, instead of choosing Him. Couldn’t they see from His face Who He was? Understand from the love and wisdom He poured out on all of them? Why did they reject Him? I didn’t understand until later it was because they were supposed to, He hadn’t yet finished His reason for being on Earth.”
Closing my eyes, I pause, taking a deep breath, “I kept thinking over and over, ‘Why are You allowing this, Lord?’ all but frantic to understand.” I grow silent again, remembering how lost I felt, then continue, “So they rejected Him, even calling for Him to be crucified! The hate was palpable. Oh, the Dark Ones did their work well, I’m sure Lucifer was very pleased,” anger flares, mingled with hopelessness, just as I’d felt it then.
“Pilate ordered Him scourged, but thankfully, I didn’t have to witness it, not sure how I would’ve reacted, knowing Who He was, remembering that gentle smile. Scourging is brutal, agonizing, maybe as bad as crucifixion. After His scourging my dear Lord was so beaten and brutalized as to be all but unrecognizable as Pilate brought Him before the crowd one last time, trying to secure His release. Pilate called for pity, actually begged they set Him free, but the Priests refused, and the crowd with them, they wanted Him dead,” hatred and a thirst for retribution bloom as real in me as they were that day and my voice breaks, feeling shame at those emotions. I sit silent for a moment, composing myself.
Now the final agony, “When He allowed it all, submitted Himself to it all, I understood at last it was by His will it was happening. I was watching Isaiah’s prophecy play out. That understanding didn’t blunt my misery, though, as I stood silent, forcing myself to look at Him. I held my emotions in check, a Roman Centurion commanding guard over the executions, watching Him die on the cross, taking the punishment for the sins of everyone on Himself. I heard the thief ask Him to remember him, and He promised the thief he’d be with Him that day in Paradise.
“So many things, so many things. Those hours spent at the foot of His cross were the longest hours I ever lived through. Dark Ones came and mocked Him, and Priests. I witnessed all the hate a human heart could hold as the skies turned black. Yet, He had pity, returning love in the face of hate, asking at the last for Yahweh to forgive us because we didn’t know what we were doing,” I pause, wiping my eye, “but I knew.”
Clearing my throat, I continue, “Then He cried out, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” and my gut twisted in anguish, knowing what He must have done, He had separated His earthly incarnation from His Godhood, becoming fully Man, so He might take upon Himself the sins of the world, our sins, and suffer the punishment that was ours. Has there ever been greater love? No.
“Afterward He said, ‘I thirst,’ and vinegar was given Him, then He proclaimed, ‘Tetelestai!’ It’s done! Completed, finished. Paid In Full. However they may translate it today, He meant He had finished His work and taken our punishment on Himself. Because of His matchless love for us, He paid in full for the sins of us all. He set us free from Hell by taking our place there, suffering the torment that should’ve been ours.
“Commending His spirit into His Father’s hands, He died, as the ground quaked and rumbled. Runners came reporting to the Pharisees there watching that the veil in the temple was rent in twain, many Saints were rising and walking abroad. Hardened soldiers or not, my men were terrified, as another Centurion voiced what I already knew, declaring, ‘Truly, this was the Son of God.’
“As the evening hour approached, we were to break the legs of any of them who were still living so they would die quickly, but when they examined Him, He appeared already dead. The other Centurion looked at me, motioning for me to pierce His side to see if He was dead, but I shook my head, refusing, so he did it. When water and blood flowed out, we knew He was dead, so we didn’t break His legs. Standing back, we allowed those who loved Him to take Him from His cross and carry Him away. Then they buried Him.
“As for His Disciples, they’d been destroyed by it all and doubted their faith in Him, thinking they’d been wrong about Who He was. They cowered in hiding, fearing they’d be arrested next because of their known association with Him. How could they doubt Him? They had walked with Him, been His constant companions, they knew Him more intimately than any other Men on Earth. Yet, after all His teaching, after all the miracles He’d done in their midst, after all He forewarned them concerning, they still turned away in unbelief. I was angry with them, until I realized I’d done much worse to Him than just doubt Him.
“Many Dark Ones were around them during that time, making leading comments as they came and went in the guise of servants, innkeepers and those supposedly offering sympathy. Working their skills, they fostered the doubt and fear of the Disciples, insisting He was a charlatan Who had betrayed them, and not the other way around. I was among those Dark Ones sent to hound the Disciples, but didn’t participate, though I observed, disguised as a servant. I wasn’t needed anyway, the others were doing well enough without me, and the Disciples seemed willing to believe the worst on their own. It was a mystery to me until later why turning His Disciples against Him was so critical to Lucifer.
“We Dark Ones were very busy in Israel back then, working furiously to turn hearts away from Him. That was one assignment I faked most of the way through, completely, once I discovered Who He was. Just couldn’t do it, not with Him in all His glory standing there in my face. Still, I had to live it, impotent to do anything other than watch and know.”
I sigh, and smile, “Then, on the third day, He rose, and the world changed forever.”
They’re both crying quietly, not surprising, it still brings tears to my eyes, “What He did for us, for all of us. He died for us, took our punishment, then rose for us, so we could rise with Him. What love is that, so constant and giving, that pours out so readily for the sake of others? That forgives what seems unforgivable, and loves in the face of hate, what can stand against it? Can it be matched, can we match it? No. This was the greatest miracle: The Creator of all, taking the punishment of all, because He loves us and wants us to be with Him forever.”
Song of The Redeemed
God, Help Me To Be - Cloverton