"Christ in Perspective"
EXCERPTS FROM "SCENES BEYOND
Gradually a pale light shone over
Calvary, revealing more clearly the scene. And the three crosses
became more visible, until the form and features of the sufferers were
plainly distinguished. "IT IS JESUS! JESUS SUFFERS!
JESUS EXPIRES!" burst from every spirit. A sudden shuddering seized
them: and they bowed their faces, still repeating, "JESUS SUFFERS!
While they were thus bowing, Jesus
said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Near the cross were bowing a few
of the friends of Jesus, who were past weeping from their excess of sorrow.
Agony held them even as death holds the pale corpse. One of that
little company was Mary, the mother of Jesus.
While witnessing the scene, which
only revealed cruelty added to cruelty, a form, terrible in appearance,
approached Jesus. Around his ghostly visage, like satellites, revolved
unnumbered lesser creatures, the image of himself. His appearance
was like one sure of victory when engaging in the final conflict - a conflict
upon the issue of which depended the interests of ages.
With a hoarse, sepulchral voice,
a voice of terror, and in a manner characteristic of a never-failing conqueror,
he addressed Jesus, Who hung upon the cross, saying, "I arise and meet
thee in this Thy day of folly. Thou art chained. Thou art a
victim. Angels, saints, and men have shouted Thy triumph over Death.
Death is my name...Thou too shalt perish. Lo, I come to seize this
vase, and dash it against the marble of rock, of dissolution." Then
reaching forth his hand, he seized the body of Jesus, whose sensitive nerves
quivered from the touch of his cold, contracting fingers.
Then Jesus cried, "Eloi, Eloi, lama
sabachthani. My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Upon which a voice from above said, "He treadeth the winepress alone."
Death: "...I hold the Conqueror.
Give back, ye Heavens, when I ascend from sphere to sphere, and shake the
Eternal Throne, and make of celestial worlds a cemetery for the dead."
Then with wild exultant glare, he met the Savior's face, and with menacing
reproach said, "How vain for Thee to seek this issue. Have I not
slain unnumbered legions? And thinkest Thou to escape? Nay,
Jesus, Thou God-Man. I sacrifice Thee, my last foe!"
"Then the Divinity of Jesus said,
"NO MAN TAKETH MY LIFE. I LAY IT DOWN OF MYSELF...Lo!
I come through Death's portals to bind thee, thou Destroyer!
And from thy power, rescue my people-those whom I redeem! THAT I
MAY PREVAIL, I MEET THEE IN THY DOMINIONS."
Thus saying, He bound Death with
a chain of Light. Then, raising His eyes toward JUSTICE, who witnessed
from the cloud, He said, "Behold! The Spirit of Life prevaileth over
The Lord then said, "Father, into
Thy Hands I commit My Spirit!" And with a loud voice, cried, "IT
IS FINISHED!" And then holding Death subject to His Will, DESCENDED
TO PREACH TO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON.
Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, 'twas blind but now I see.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.
'Tis Grace that brought me safe this far and Grace will lead me home." Thank you, Lord Jesus.