We all watched.
And then we saw him emerge from the deep darkness. My eyes widened with surprise. I could hear the sound of his name echo thunderously all around. I went down on my knees and so did every other person watching.
He was closer to us now but the brightness he radiated still contrasted strongly with the very deep darkness. I joined the others in saying his name.
Then I saw what he held in his hands. A long black chain, thicker than what I have ever se
en, was in his hands. He was pulling something… things at the end of the chain. As he drew closer we saw what lay at the far end of the chain and we bowed lower and called his name louder.
The seven Princes of hell – Beelzebub, Baphometh, Belial, Asmodius, Mephistopheles, Mammon and Lucifer, were all squirming in pain at the end of the chain. The chain wound tightly around each of them tying them in a bunch, wings and all, and pulled them along.
Jesus, the Son of God was holding this chain!
The triumphant look on Jesus’ face and the wails and squirms of the Princes of Hell told all the story. Jesus had gone into the deep darkness and messed them all up. I was overjoyed and so were the others with me. A soft song started and I joined in.
The lot of us split into two groups, creating a path between for Jesus to walk through. As he walked past where I knelt, I looked to his radiant face and I remember the words he spoke the evening before. He had told about good things, and salvation and the everlasting love of the father. His words replayed in my head. His voice. Smooth. Powerful. God.
“No, no, Joe… The value of a thing is how much you pay for it. The value of a sinner’s soul and salvation is my blood, my life… Dupe, yes, that’s right… I have put this self-destruct mechanism inside Lucifer. He must respond to your resistance or he blows up. In the words of power will it be written ‘Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you!’ He has no choice but to get on his heels and flee… No, God will no longer count their sins against them…. Yes, Philip. I will leave this place. I will rise from the dead… and if the spirit of him that will raise me from the dead dwells in anyone, that spirit will revitalize that person’s mortal body. It shall give life to it…. Angelique, These Everlasting Gates will respond to word of God…”
His words kept playing in my head. I felt the power of his words move in me, lighting up every cell of my body… every fiber of my being! He was three people away from me when he stopped suddenly and started the show.
He raised the chain above his head and started turning it in circles, swinging all seven Princes of hell in the air. Lucifer’s howl was loudest. How he hated being disgraced. Jesus didn’t relent. Instead, he swung harder and hit them on the quaking ground time and time again. As Jesus whipped the proud Princes around, our soft song became a victorious chant.
“… and having disarmed principalities and powers” We sang, “…he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
Then it happened.
One tiny demon with wretched broken pipe-wings and a sharp and curved talon, was in the air. It was coming from the deep darkness, piercing through it, following a parabolic path, a trail of glowing sulphur behind it. It was headed for Jesus.
Just as it came close enough to Jesus, a lightening flash of an upper-cut sent it back the exact path he had come from. His screams as he burst through his own trail of glowing sulphur, disrupted our victory chant.
But, it didn’t end here.
We could see five new trails of glowing sulphur coming from the deep darkness and heading for Jesus. A few yards back, a trail of ten followed the first five. Behind the ten, another trail of fifty followed.
As the first five reached Jesus, he did something. It was too fast and I didn’t understand how but now the five demon were pinned, wing to wing, under his right foot.
The next ten demons came and found themselves under his left foot. I turned from Jesus and looked towards the deep darkness and I must confess, my heart skipped and the words of the triumph song disappeared from my lips.
Glowing trails of sulphur lighted up the deep darkness and approached fast. The demons were in a formation. I couldn’t count. The closest rank had fifty demons. The next rank had five hundred demons. The next, seemed to have ten thousand demons and a new rank was starting to emerge from the deep darkness.
The song had stopped totally now. Every one of us watched with utter fear. Was this story going to be a tragedy? Would the Son of God be defeated in hades? Then his words from last night came to me and I had a shimmer of hope… a very thin sliver.
“Joe and Asadu… don’t ever think that way again… see, when the enemy comes in one way, he shall flee in seven ways… when the enemy comes charging like a flood, the Lord will raise a standard against him.” Those were his words.
As the first rank grew closer to Jesus, I expected to see a large wall appear and block them off from him. I was disappointed. They reached Jesus but one quick spin from Jesus and they all swooshed away screaming as the force from Jesus flung them all in different directions.
The next rank reached Jesus almost immediately and as he sent some howling away, a few got to him. A particular one stood on his shoulders and immediately sank his canines into Jesus’ neck. I could feel existence pause for a moment. There was no movement in all of everything for that moment and then it all came in a rush. Ten demons were upon him. As they sank their canines into his body, they sent the sharp points of their tails into him. The tail-point was where their venom lay.
I saw the black liquid of their venom as it spread, quickly discoloring his body… and then I didn’t see Jesus anymore. He was covered by more than fifty demons and even more rained on him. They kept coming. More and more of them. Ranks and Legions.
Our hopes shattered. I could see defeat on the faces of the others also. The heap of demons that covered Jesus rose many feet high. It had formed a large mountain. I knew Jesus was in there, somewhere but I had lost hope in his salvation news. It was over.
Five minutes gone and the only sound to be heard was the sound of miserable and slimy demons as they struggled to find their way to the base of the heap all for a piece of Jesus. Ten minutes. Twenty.
An angelic voice broke the reverie. Sharon had started singing but her words were that of Jesus.
“Our Lord is able, he’s able, we know our Lord is able… For he has healed the broken hearted, he has set the captives free, he healed the sick, he raised the dead and walked upon the sea, Our Lord is able…” she sang on and a few of us joined in. I was quiet. Without hope and dejected… until the ground beneath us started to quake and tremble.
Instinctively, we all moved far away from the heap and watched. Was he dead again? Second death? I wondered. The ground started to shake more ferociously and through the heap, I noticed one stray ray of glorious light escape.
That light was from Jesus.
He was alive. Hope resurged through me and at that moment I knew that this man was truly the son of the Most High. I knew that nothing would ever be impossible with him.
A loud bang. An explosion. The mountain of demons over Jesus exploded and all the thousands of demons, the seven princes, the lords… all of them, shot upwards with loud deafening screams. Their screams were the explosion I heard.
The sky was yellowish-green with demons. They kept shooting upwards and we all kept our eyes on them. Watching. Astonished. Until we heard the familiar voice of Jesus did we lower our heads and focus on Jesus.
“It is finished! I’m out of here” he said boldly.
We bowed and worshipped him. He gathered us together and told us to come with him. He walked towards the Everlasting Gates. I wondered what the plan was. Did Jesus intend pushing the gates open? I refused to doubt his ability. No, not after what he just did to all the demons in hell. But, there was a reason the gates were called ‘everlasting’.
As we stood in front of the Everlasting Gates. It started to rain demons. They fell, like dead frogs, from the sky. One after the other. Lucifer fell and landed in front of me. I sent it a flash-quick power-studded kick that sent it spiraling across the ground and jamming into other wounded demons. Jesus smiled at me.
Jesus stood in front of us all and told us how he needed to return to Jerusalem, and then, back to the father. He turned around and faced the Everlasting Gates.
He held his hands up to the sky. On the right one was a key. I recognized the key. I had seen Death with that key just a while back. With his hands still stretched up to the sky, Jesus spoke.
”Lift up your heads, o ye gates; and be you lifted up ye everlasting gates, that the King Of Glory may come in!”
We heard the gates immediately rumble and we held our breaths. For the first time ever, we heard the gates speak, its voice- the sound of clashing waves of water.
“Who is this King Of Glory?” It asks.
“The Lord, Strong And Mighty, The Lord, Mighty in Battle. Lift up your heads, o you gates; and be you lifted up you everlasting gates, that the King Of Glory may come in” Jesus answered, his voice, the sound of raging thunder!
“Who is this King Of Glory?” the gates ask again.
“The Lord of hosts, I am the King Of Glory” Jesus answered again and as he did, the Everlasting Gates swung open in obedience.
Written By: Aito Joe (For Easter)
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