"Christ in Perspective"

                               Dali (1950)

                           PROLOGUE CONTINUED

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!  JESUS EXPIRES!"

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 Death."

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.

"Amazing 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.