Friday, March 25, 2016

Agony

"God! Abba, Father! Please, my God, take this cup from me! The agony of what is to come is known full well to me, Abba! I know your plan, God, but please.." Jesus sobbed. "Please God..." Tears streamed down his dirt-covered face. His robe was torn from where he had ripped at it in desperation.

"Abba, if anything can be done..." His hands ripped at the ground he was kneeling on. His knees were bruised from spending so long in this position, and his hair was chaos. Jesus' forehead was forcing itself into the dirt, as he sobbed his prayers to his Father.

He looked up into the sky. The mental agony of what he knew was to come caused his sweat to be tinged with blood, giving his face an eerie, reddish cast. He shouted to the Lord on High, "Father! Please!"

But with finality, he let himself fall to the ground, and said, "But Lord.. if it be Your will." He lay there, tears leaking out his eyes, staring at the grass.

He heard a commotion approaching. He shut his eyes and thought, "It begins".

Hours later, after secret, illegal trials and the sentencing of a weak-willed relativist, the beatings began.

Blood and flesh were ripped out of his back. His scalped was pierced with thorns. With each swing of the whip, the King cried out in torment. His vision was full of blood, and every lash felt like fire on his spine.

The Alpha and Omega had never felt a longer moment in his existence. The pain was his world; the taunts of the onlookers no longer registered. Nothing did --- except the brutality of the scourging.

"Carry the cross!" The words were accentuated by a lash of the whip. Jesus moaned, and attempted to stumble to his feet, before falling flat on his face. "Get up!" Screaming, Jesus rose to his feet, and grabbed hold of the crossbeam. Somehow, he started to take steps.

Soon, though, it was too much. Finally, after he had fallen several times, the guards forced another man to carry his cross for him.

The rest of the journey was a blur of sheer pain. It could have been seconds, minutes, or years to Jesus. He felt the Romans lay him flat on the cross, and then he let out another sobbing scream as a nail was driven into the nerve in his wrist. The process was repeated on the other wrist, and there were no tears left for Jesus to release. His mouth was open, but no sound got out of his raw throat except the occasional moan.

Next came his ankles. Then the cross was raised into the air.

Jesus was forced to push himself up off of the nail in his ankles in order to breathe. For hours, he somehow managed to keep going. Every breath, he fought through the pain to last one more second.

Somewhere, in this total fog of excruciating pain, he found the strength for one of life's hardest acts.

Forgiveness.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they have done."

He continued on. The worst was yet to come.

"ELI, ELI, LEMA SABACHTHANI?"

He was utterly alone. Never before had the flesh of the Trinity experienced separation from the love of God the Father. The physical agony of the past hours paled in comparison to being forsaken on the cross that day.

Eventually, he could no longer continue. His bloody, naked form hung on the cross, flesh ripped off of his body and nails in his wrists. He breathed one last time, and whispered, "It... is finished."

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