A few months ago, I shared An Angel’s Perspective on Christmas. If you didn’t see it (or want to refresh your memory), you may wish to read it now and then come back … because this is Part 2 of the story.
Finney – new resident in Heaven
Zyor – Finney’s guardian angel
Elyon – Creator of the universe, God
Michael – archangel
The angel who viewed Christmas as “the heart and soul of the cosmos itself” continues…
“And just when we thought Elyon could not surpass this greatest miracle with another, there came the greater one.” Zyor stood, and his voice trembled, not only with awe, but now with unmistakable anger.
“That little hill, where little men were permitted to do unspeakable things to Elyon’s Son. My comrades and I jammed against the portal, begging permission to break through and strike down the cowards, to unleash the relentless wrath of heaven’s army. We longed to raise our swords as one, to destroy every atom of the dark world. All that was in us thirsted for revenge. We ached to once and for all obliterate that cancer of rebellion against the Most High God.”
For the first time Finney saw in Zyor seething anger, fierce rage erupting to the surface. The angel paced back and forth like a caged lion, seeming suddenly much taller and more powerful, no longer the gentle teacher. Finney backed out of his way as Zyor metamorphosed, appearing as a towering oak tree blown in a storm of wind and lightning, casting a menacing shadow and whipping out wildly with its branches.
“Here were these puny men obsessed with the offenses of others against them, while themselves committing the ultimate offense of the universe, driving nails through the flesh of God. We longed to make them eat the dust of the ground and vomit clay. Any one of us could have struck them all down, and we yearned to do it. Millions of us, legion upon legion, crowded forward, from every corner of heaven, pressing and pushing, crying out and begging leave to destroy those who would dare to curse and mock and savage the holy Lamb of God!”
Zyor’s mighty voice echoed in Finney’s ears, and he couldn’t imagine there was anywhere in heaven outside its range. Zyor was completely lost in the memories of that day. Then suddenly it was over. The angel sat down, the anger subsiding as swiftly as it had materialized.
“But Michael would not permit us,” Zyor said softly. “For Elyon would not permit him.”
For a moment Finney thought he saw a tear in Zyor’s eye, but told himself angels did not cry. Did they? Yet now it was clear. Zyor was touched by emotion Finney had assumed him incapable of. And something else was happening. Zyor was becoming a blur. Finney’s own tears obscured his vision now. He too had gone back two thousand earth years, he had been there with Zyor, pushing against the portal, longing to go to earth to punish the enemies of God and rescue the Lamb. He too, in Zyor, had then fallen into a broken heap at the horrid realization that the Lamb must be left to suffer alone.
They both sat in silence now. Finney drew close to Zyor, with whom he now felt profoundly one. He realized worship came in many packages here, and this was yet another.
“We writhed in agony,” Zyor continued. “We had never thought such pain possible here in the perfect realm. And yet we grew to know — though not completely understand — that all this was necessary to meet the demands of Elyon’s justice and his love. He did not need us to rescue him. With a single word, with merely a thought, he could have unmade all men, destroyed the universe, purged all creation of the ugliness that nailed him to that cross. But he did not. He would not. He did not go there to be rescued. He went there to rescue.”
Zyor buried his face in his hands. Finney noticed for the first time how huge and hard and callused those hands looked, in stark contrast to the gentle softness of his face. Finney also realized in this quiet moment that the Bible’s promise of no more crying or pain was indeed for a day yet to come.
As wonderful as this place is, Finney though, it cannot be everything that heaven will be until Elyon’s plan is completed on earth.
“I can say the words which attempt to explain what happened on that day when Elyon’s Son died…” Zyor drew a deep breath. “But they are only words. I will never understand it. Yet I will never give up contemplating it. And I will never run out of time to do so, nor ever lack the company of those who share my quest and are eager to contemplate the wonder with me. And of all the adventures eternity will bring — most of which I can no more guess than you — the fact that Elyon was slain to buy the souls of men will overshadow everything. May his name be forever praised.”
Zyor wound down what was less a discourse than a drama. “These, Master Finney, are things you will never fully understand either — yet I sense that in some ways you already understand them better than I. You are, after all, among those created in his image. Among those for whom he died. You are the bride of Christ; I am merely the servant who attends the wedding and rejoices for both bride and Groom. You are among the privileged people those in the far reaches of the universe marvel at, and shall marvel at for all eternity.
“If I look at you sometimes in apparent awe, remember it is because I know your kind and what you are capable of. I know how all the offenses you chronicle others having done against you pale in comparison to your offenses against the Almighty. How all the rage your people direct against others, and a billion times over, should be directed against each of you by Elyon, and for eternity. When you were first closed out of the Garden of God, I thought he was done with you. You have seen many things here that cause you wonder, and you have barely begun to see. But for me, the greatest wonder is simply that you are here at all.
“For I knew what you were before Elyon captured you, and I knew your transgressions on earth even after he first laid hold of you. I marvel at your transformation, which began on earth, from darkness to light. I have never known darkness, though some of my closest comrades once chose that path, before your world was born.
“Twisted and marred beyond recognition, you were transformed by his grace and empowered by his Spirit to live as a light in the midst of the darkest world the universe has ever known, or ever will. And so you lived, Master Finney, not perfectly, but faithfully. And this you see now is only the beginning of the glory still to come.”
Finney was at once warmed by the thought of his unspeakable privilege in being here, and chilled by the angel’s dark and morbid description of the world he’d once thought of, rather fondly, as his home.