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At that moment Lucifer swooped in towards the hastily arranged encampment, but swerved suddenly aside as Gabriel blazed directly in his path.

“No!”  commanded Gabriel, “you are not welcome here.”  Gabriel stood erect, his great wings unfurled and ready, his sword clasped in two hands pointing to the sky.

“You dare forbid me to enter?”  demanded Lucifer.  “I have authority here!”

“It is not yet time,” Gabriel said, holding his ground.  “You may watch and you may listen but from outside the circle.”

One by one the angles guarding the olive grove unveiled themselves to mark the boundary across which Lucifer could not step.

Lucifer hovered above Gabriel, his whole body a posture of frustrated, angry questions, unsure of what to do next.

What he did not need right now was an all out battle with the heavenly hosts.  He wanted to give them no excuse to interfere in his plans this night, but he needed to get close enough to Yeshua to take advantage of the weakness he had seen in him.   The gore in his throat began to rise with his frustration and furious rage.

Then, suddenly, all of the tension left him as he resigned himself to the role of an observer

It didn’t matter anyway.  He would take Yeshua by force if he had to.

This was a temptation in which he would have no part.  Yeshua would have to face that nameless hesitation, that desire to find another way, any other way, to avoid the cross.  But he would face it alone.

Well, maybe that was the point.

Maybe this temptation was to be as pure as his own temptation at the beginning of time.  Maybe this was no more than God’s question mark in the life of His Son.  Not that it was easy.  God had a way of asking His questions that laid bare the secret thoughts of the heart in a rather painful way.

It may be true, but it did not make him feel any better.  He was not confident that Yeshua would succumb in any event, but he wanted to be there to confuse him, to deceive him, to plant doubts in his mind if he could.  But he would not get the chance.  Not this time.


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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.