Josprel's Articles of Faith - That You May Live Again

Writer Author  Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
Christian Column : Other  - Fiction  Yes

Christian Author Writer With apprehension, Odom and Chevva approached the spot indicated by Logos. They lifted their guilt-lowered eyes, and were astounded by the scene before them. Trussed on a large, flat-topped rock was a lamb - a pure-white yearling, - uttering no sound. The couple never had seen any creature so handled. The animal obviously was uncomfortable on its stone bed.

Logos stood at one side of the rock, facing them. The ethereal presence of the Ruah occupied the other. Behind the stone was Jehovah, a long, narrow, fine-pointed, slate blade in His right hand. The sight of the blade sent the unfamiliar sensation of cold shivers tingling along the spines of the First Couple; something terrible was about to happen!

From the beginning, Odom and Chevva never had doubted the love of The Three. And, though they understood they still were loved, from the moment they ate of the Forbidden Tree, an alien emotion dominated them. It was internalized by horrible sensations of impending doom that discomfited the fellowship they always had enjoyed with The Three. Somehow, a veil seemed drawn between them and The Three, who now appeared inaccessible.

Turning towards the lamb, Jehovah pulled back its head with His left hand. Still, the lamb continued its silence. Jehovah plunged the blade into the stretched-out throat and, with a forcible backward tug on the head, he made a deep, slashing cut that instantly severed the jugular. The lamb convulsed, heaving against its trusses, its eyes rolled back into their sockets. With a gurgle, tongue lolling from one side of its wide-open mouth, the dying creature desperately - vainly - attempted to draw air. From the wound, the pulsating heart pumped blood mingled with red froth, spurting the gore to the cold, gray surface of the execution stone.

Legs rendered incapable of supporting her petite frame, with a soft moan, Chevva sank to the ground, her long, raven hair blanketing her trembling form. Hands hiding her face, attempting to erase the horror, she lay sprawled on her side, sobbing.

Odom also was profoundly moved by the spectacle. Wave after nauseous wave of revulsion surged through his being, their sequences seeming to correspond to the pulsating, red fountain issuing from the lamb. He quaked uncontrollably; only by clinging to a nearby tree did he prevent himself from joining Chevva on the ground. Face ashen, stomach in revolt, he clung to his support desperately, eyes riveted on the lamb.

Finally, with a last convulsion, the creature lay still in the widening pool of its blood. Reflecting a deep crimson against the gray of the stone, the gore crept over the edge, widening into multiple streams that, descending the sides, flowed down to soak the ground.

Anguished gaze still transfixed by the sight, Odom's mind struggled to comprehend the horror. What happened to the lamb? A strange, profoundly uncomfortable sensation rose from the deepest well of his being; desiring to flee, he couldn't move.

Finally, with a great effort, Odom managed to tear his gaze from the lamb and set it on The Three. He sensed an ambiance of such profound compassion that, with remorseful tears, he joined Chevva on the ground. Penetrating through his mournful sobs, Logos said, "Do you see, Odom? Do you see, Chevva? This is death!"

Jehovah again raised his right arm, forefinger extended heavenward. Slowly, he lowered it in an unbending arc, indicating the lamb. Descending the sky, a brilliant flame struck the carcass, entirely consuming it.

Two more lambs suffered execution, but were not burned. Then Jehovah spoke, sorrow freighting his voice, "Your transgression has caused this. You have broken the commandment, and now you have learned what death is. As are these lambs, so should you be; they died because of your transgression.

"You have seen these creatures severed from the source of their lives. Thus has your disobedience severed you from the source of your lives - your communion with The Three. You have died, and through you, your race has also died. Though you still exist, you are dead, but you may live again.

"To live again, your race must observe this Memorial throughout all their generations, until he who has done no transgression comes. He is perfect in his obedience. He is my lamb who shall offer himself for you. With his blood, he shall purge your transgressions that you may live again. Those of your race who receive him also shall live again.

"The blood of these innocent Memorial lambs hides your guilt from my sight, but only until my lamb is sacrificed. His blood shall thoroughly purge those who receive him from their transgressions. Until he comes, you must do as you have seen me do, and your seed after you must also do so - that you may live again."

When Jehovah finished speaking, he began skinning the remaining carcasses. When the grisly task was completed, he summoned the couple and held out the fleeces still stained with blood. Cringing back, Odom and Chevva refused to except them.

"Take them! Wash them in the stream! The red stains are from the blood. Cleanse the fleeces thoroughly and return to me. Don't dawdle. Work quickly, then hurry back."

The First Couple backed away, but no reprieve came from The Three. Gingerly holding their malodorous burdens at arm's length, they headed for the nearby stream.

"Man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be permitted to must partake of the Tree of Life and live forever in his transgression," Jehovah said.

Yes, Odom and Chevva must leave the Garden Reserve," agreed Logos, "but they shall attempt to return."

The Ruah said, "I have summoned one of the Shining Ones for that reason. Odom and Chevva indeed shall seek to return to the Garden Reserve, but the Shining One shall prevent it. The time will come when Odom's race shall partake of the Tree of Life, but not now."

The First Couple returned from their chore and handed the skins to Jehovah. After inspecting them, with infinite precision, he tailored one into a garment obviously intended for Odom. He finished it, laid it aside and fashioned another in Chevva's size. Logos then presented Jehovah's handiwork to The First Couple.

"Remove your aprons of leaves and don these."

Odom grimaced, but dared offer no protest. Chevva, remembering the recent bloody condition of the skins, balked.

"Please let me keep the one I have."

"You must wear the coat that Jehovah provides, Chevva; your apron is inadequate. It soon will wear out and its coverage is insufficient. The Three disapprove of it. Remove your apron of leaves the coat Jehovah has prepared."

"Yes, you must wear the coat," The Ruah said.

Reluctantly, Chevva joined Odom behind a clump of trees. Both returned in obvious discomfort.

"Please, Logos, this coat is so uncomfortable; it's very stiff. Let me wear the apron," begged Odom.

Chevva nodded. "Yes, please, let me wear the old one, too. This one scratches my skin and it smells so bad. "

Jehovah shook his head.

"You will grow accustomed to them. The smell will soon wear off."

"But why do we need these in The Garden?" Odom inquired.

Jehovah tone was tinged with sadness, when he responded, "You shall no longer be in The Garden. You must depart now; you cannot remain here."

Chevva took on a look of stunned disbelief. Sharing it and rendered almost speechless, Odom stuttered, "B...B...But, this...!"

"You must leave The Garden Reserve," interrupted Logos, "You have listened to Lucifin and have broken the commandment. You no longer can remain here."

The First Couple turned to flee, but The Ruah captured them. "You cannot remain here. Your disobedience has disinherited you, but someday The Promised One shall come. He shall regain your inheritance for you. Come, you must leave."

Chevva was carried bodily by Logos, as she kicked, screamed and pounded him on his back with her fists. Odom also resisted vehemently, but was pushed along between Jehovah and The Ruah. With resolute firmness, The Three delivered them at the gate. Waiting there was one of the Shining Ones who, previously had been with The Three on their frequent visits to the Garden. Now, however, he held a long, flaming device, the likes of which Odom and Cheeva had never before seen. After The Three deposited them outside The Reserve, the Shining One positioned himself before the gate, his flaming instrument oscillating in all directions to prevent their re-entry.

The Three vanished, leaving the pair standing before a thick thorn-vine wall that separated The Garden Reserve from its surroundings. Screaming with terror, Cheeva darted toward the Shinning One, bent on running past him into the still wide open gate. The Shining One aimed his instrument at her and a small bolt of light jetted from it. It struck Cheeva on one of her legs, sending her sprawling to the ground. She made one more attempt, with the same result, before crawling on hands and knees to rejoin Odom.

Trying to control his panic, Odom sat cross-legged under one of the numerous clusters of trees that receded from the surrounding forest. He now resigned himself to their fate. This was the first time they had been outside The Garden Reserve. He felt abandoned, forsaken and vulnerable.

"We can never get past him, Cheeva. It makes no sense to try again. Lie down and get some rest, for we must leave this place soon."

Chevva placed her face on her arms and instantly fell into an exhausted sleep.

Through his daze, Odom noticed that, beginning at the gate, the barrier stretched as far as he could see in both directions. Composed of thickly woven thorn-vines, its height did not appear insurmountable. He thought of going further down its vast length, away from The Shining One, hoping he and Chevva could climb over it. Then a strange phenomenon diverted his attention - a glow that covered the entire surface of the barrier. Pulsating from a dim blue, it increased to an intense red, and then diminished to blue again. In continuous sequences it pulsed until, from one of the trees, a small monkey - one of a troop of monkeys attracted by the recent strange events - attempted a leap to the barricade. When its reaching fingers entered the mysterious luminescence, the glow intensified to a brilliant white. At the contact point, a splashing explosion of multi-colored flashes repulsed the unfortunate creature, hurling it backward to the ground. In screeching terror, its fellow tro!
op members swung a disordered retreat into the forest, abandoning their stricken companion to its fate.

Odom, all thoughts of scaling the wall seared into oblivion, sat staring at the limp creature. At first he thought that, like the lambs, the monkey had suffered death. But then the creature began to move its head from side to side, slowly at first, then more rapidly, as though attempting to clear its senses. Regaining its feet with a stagger, it stood dazedly, arms hanging limply, head rhythmically nodding on its chest. Finally, with it hands dragging the ground, it weakly limped into the forest, disappearing from view. And, with it, went Odom's hope of regaining his former paradise.

The sun was arcing into evening before the man rose from his resting place under the trees. Softly, he shook his mate awake. The woman, stupefied by the day's events, appeared muddled and hopelessly exhausted. Even the incident of the monkey had not wakened her. Kneeling, the man helped her to a sitting position. With a delicate embrace, he lifted her to her feet.

"Come, Chevva, we must find shelter; darkness is falling."

Slowly, clinging to each other for support, the dejected, desolate pair departed the vicinity of The Garden Reserve to locate shelter. Reaching the forest's rim, they stopped and, before entering the foreboding dimness, both turned to gaze again at the impenetrable barrier that, glowing eerily in the shadowing dusk, separated them from the joys they had known. Reluctantly, they turned and penetrated the obscurity, yearning for that New Day, when The Promised One - Jehovah's Lamb - would be offered, that we may live again.

© Josprel (Joseph Perrello)

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