Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Achievement (03/08/12)
TITLE: Getting it Done!
By Patti Brown
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Ariel hobbles to the side of the road, sits down, and rips off her sandal. While shaking it, the rock that was digging into her heel drops and bounces across the road. Rubbing her foot, she moans in relief.
“Are you alright?” Tobias rushes to her side.
“Yes, yes. I’m fine.” After slipping her sandal back on, she pushes herself off the ground. Gingerly, she tests her foot. “Ah, much better,” she sighs.
“We need to keep moving. We’re already late.”
Tobias smiles as he takes her hand. “You are still as beautiful as the day we married.”
“That’s quite the compliment, Tobias, considering we were married last week,” she giggles.
“Well, it’s true. Now, my beautiful bride, we need to pick up our pace. He’s waiting.”
They push on toward the city they see in the distance. As they draw closer to the main gates, they look nervously at each other when they hear sounds of an angry mob.
Tentatively, they enter the holy city.
Hostile soldiers, crying women, and angry men form the core of a crowd surrounding a man struggling to carry a large beam on his bruised and bloody shoulders.
Ariel stretches her neck to try to get a better view. She puts her hand to her mouth, “Is that who I think it is?”
Stunned by what he sees, Tobias whispers, “Yes.”
“What’s happening, Tobias?”
“If this is what I think it is, everything is about to change! I’m no scholar, but based on what I’ve learned in the Torah and what I’ve heard Jesus teach, he’s about to achieve something for us today that we could never achieve on our own.”
Recognizing the dangerous and unstable situation, he wraps his arm around Ariel, and they scurry around a corner. “I didn’t see any of the others. Did you?”
“No.” She nervously adjusts the scarf covering her head. “What do you mean, Tobias? What is he achieving? He just looks bloody and beaten. I thought we were joining him today. What’s happened?”
Looking around the corner, Tobias sees the last of the crowd climbing the hill. He swings around and takes Ariel’s hands in his. “I can’t explain it all right now. I need to see if I’m right. Are you able to travel up that hill?”
Ariel stands up straighter, takes in a deep breath, and nods her head. “He asked us to follow him. I am more than willing and able to finish this journey with you. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but I trust you.”
Tobias nods, “And I trust in the One who was foretold by our Prophets. The prophet Isaiah said, ‘He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.’1 Today, my love, Jesus will accomplish what he said he would. But beware; his sacrifice won’t be easy to watch.”
When Tobias and Ariel reach the top of the hill, Ariel gasps as the sight before her. Tobias stops and diverts his eyes from the wretched scene. Once he regains his composure, he looks at Ariel, takes her hand, and pushes through the crowd.
After frantically scanning faces in the crowd, their eyes settle on two familiar ones. Right under the cross, they see John reach out and pull Mary to his side. He wipes her tears as he sheds his own.
Jesus lifts his eyes. Tobias stares in disbelief as Jesus looks right at them and nods. Ariel begins to cry softly.
After Jesus looks over the crowd, he lifts his head to the sky. In a strong, clear voice, he declares, “It…is…finished!”
“What…what’s happening,” cries Ariel as the earth begins to move under her feet. “Get down!” Tobias yells and pulls her to the ground. They hold each other tightly, waiting until the rocking finally subsides. Leaning on each other, they rise slowly. They stand and stare at the cross: the hideous and glorious cross.
Keeping his eyes on Jesus, Tobias says, “Ariel, Jesus did something special today.” Smiling, he turns to look at his wife. “But just wait and see what he does in three days.”
Ariel smiles back. “He did say we would see him again.”
“Then our work really begins.”
“I wonder if we’ll achieve all that he did.”
“He’s counting on it.”
1 Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
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