Gabriel smiled. The Divine Sting had taken root. Lucifer would be undone this night and not even know the reason why. His own great pride and evil desire would be his downfall.
It was not Lucifer, or his pain and suffering that brought such anguish to his Master. It was love. It was the deep, abiding natural love that Yeshua had for his Father. He lived in that love, he breathed in that love, he existed every moment in that love and could not imagine otherwise. Now it would be taken from him and he could not bear it.
Lucifer was merely being used.
He would be the instrument of pain and suffering and death, but it was an instrument in the hands of a wrathful, loving Father. It was the cup of wrath, his Father’s wrath that Yeshua could not bear. The depth of this temptation was equal to the depth of his love for his Father. The strength of his love – and therefore also of his anguish – nearly destroying the fragile body that clothed this most holy, loving Son.
But Yeshua had chosen obedience over love, obedience over fellowship, obedience when all the world had forsaken him, when even the face of his Father was turned against him. Still he obeys.
This is truly the dark night of the soul and the only way out is to obey despite appearances, to have faith without evidence, to love without expectation of return.
This was Eden in reverse.
Yeshua would not doubt his Father’s love, even if the fires of hell rose up around him. He would not doubt his Father’s will, His Word, as the best thing for him in every circumstance. He would not decide for himself what was good or what was evil, even in the desolation and grief of abandonment.
The fruit would stay on the Tree, the Tree, itself, cut down and cast into hell by his own hand. The great bow of deception would be torn from the hands of Lucifer to be broken and burned to a cinder in the hottest fires of God’s wrath, never to bother the sons of men again.
And so it would be.
Gabriel also knew the power of temptation but it was a small thing in comparison with what he had just witnessed. And because Lucifer, his brother, had never understood love and faith from the very beginning, he would be defeated, destroyed. He would be cast down forever. The Divine Sting would expose his pride and demonstrate to the world, both spiritual and human, just how insignificant he really is.
Although Yeshua stumbled briefly on his way back to the disciples, he was regaining strength quickly and Gabriel was able to let him go on alone.
Yeshua found them asleep once again, but in the flickering firelight of the torch he saw the stains of dried tears on their faces. They must have heard his sobs and cries of anguish in the darkness and wept with him, not understanding his grief but sharing it just the same, until exhaustion finally overcame them.
And Yeshua loved them.
He spoke to them gently as they stirred uncomfortably in their sleep. “You can sleep on now and take your rest.”
But then Yeshua cocked his head to one side, listening.
He turned back to his disciples, shaking them awake, and saying loudly, “Now the hour has come when the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is already close at hand.”
Simon Peter and James and Yochanan stumbled through the darkness, the lethargy of sleep still clinging tenaciously to their feet, to warn the others that someone was coming.
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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.