Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)
By Rachel Phelps
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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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