By Nathan C. Vance
A being stood upright clothed perfectly in white with an incredible presence of force and magnitude. I couldn’t differentiate if the figure was male or female, but somehow as I looked on, I understood that this vision was unique to any I had ever seen. I will refer to the figure as he as I lack any sufficient pronoun, and as I watched, he waited alone with incredible, stoic patience. My curiosity was beyond piqued.
Eventually, a second figure appeared and was flanked by a legion of darkness. The second figure was extravagantly robed, vibrant and charismatic. It was so spectacular that I could hardly keep my eyes from it. Even more than the first figure, I was drawn to this, compelled from the moment of its arrival. I wasn’t sure what role if any I was to play in the coming interaction, but I found myself burning with desire at the second figure.
This leader of the host of darkness ordered its minions to surround the figure in white. A cold wind blew past me causing the hairs on my neck to stand at attention. The air was suddenly tense, but to his credit, the figure in white remained calm, completely unaffected, never even acknowledging the ring of fire that surrounded him.
The colorfully cloaked figure opened its mouth and from it came a sound so majestic that it was beyond explanation. It was a harmonic chord that I had never heard and it was mesmerizing. “You know why we’re here. In fact, it seems you’ve been expecting us.”
The figure in white replied matter of factly, saying, “You’ve spoken correctly. I have anticipated your arrival for some time and I know your intentions.”
The colors of the leader of darkness beamed bright as his face shined in excitement. “You’ll recall our deal. You gave me dominion and authority, based on your first person,” it hesitated and then dramatically hissed, “Adam.” Its face was masked with glee. “And you were supposed to leave well enough alone. But you are incapable, aren’t you? You can’t help yourself, when they call on you, believe in you, you act. You really love them, don’t you? And yet,” it snickered and sneered, “they prefer me. They are so taken with my charm. They curse you in order to serve me even as I steal from them and you act on their behalf.” The colorful figure continued to peacock before concluding, “And now I’m ready for you to admit that you’ve lost!” This pronouncement drew the adoration of the members of the surrounding army of darkness. Their cheers were beautifully ominous.
The figure in white lowered his head and muttered softly to himself. I could barely make out a single word, “premature.”
The leader of the darkness, still excitedly celebrating, wearing a most sinister smile, paused long enough to reply. “I’m sorry. You’ll have to speak louder if you want to be heard. And for the record, I’d like this concession to be loud and clear. I want to savor this moment for an eternity to come.” This statement was met with another roar of horrifying excitement.
The figure in white raised his head. I was surprised to see that his face showed no signs of defeat. It was instead covered by a confident glare that almost took the form of a smirk. Then, with a blinding flash of lightening from his eyes, and the boom of a thousand crashes of thunder in his voice, the figure in white spoke with so much power that the ground shook violently. It caused the legion around him to grow fearfully silent. I myself, a bystander to the event, braced at the rebuttal. “I do not concede! I have not broken our deal and your celebration is premature!”
Briefly, I observed that the entire group standing in opposition to this figure in white lowered their eyes in unison. For a moment, even their dynamic leader, whose magnetism was undeniable, lost the edge of arrogance that had illuminated its colorful being, and in that moment, the figure better represented a submissive puppy dog.
It was during that time that my own perspective shifted. No longer was I taken in by the appeal of the colorful figure, but my eyes were opened to the ugly, warped form that had been hiding behind the attractive facade. Somehow I could see centuries of treachery in its shriveled face. Somehow, I was privy to its plans for my own destruction that were embedded deep within the very being of this walking, talking reptile. I now recognized the obviousness of the counterfeit. No longer was I ensnared by this king of the damned, but my every sense was repulsed so that I could no longer look at the figure without feeling ill and faint.
Rather than turn completely away from the scene, I instead shifted my focus to the figure in purest white. I was moved by his uprightness. I was touched by his steadfastness. I saw him through opened eyes and the perspective of love so great it could not be explained.
And then, my ears rang violently as though they might burst when I heard the shrill screeching voice of the colorful figure cry out, “But I’ve won—and you can’t change the deal! I’ve corrupted the seed of woman. And I’ve destroyed it before I could be defeated. And now, you can’t help anymore! It’s too late! You have no more authority! Just like Adam disobeyed you and Job turned on you, so too has the rest of your precious humanity. Now, they are mine! And their world is mine! Don’t lower yourself. Don’t be a sore loser. Tell me now that I have won!”
And then, with a voice more deafening than before, the figure in white proclaimed, “ENOUGH!” Uncomfortable silence followed. It became very awkward as we all awaited the final verdict. Then, for seemingly no reason at all, the figure in white, whose face was as bright as the sun, became emotional. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It appeared that this incredible, larger than life figure was actually going to admit defeat. “You are correct,” he said plainly.
The slimy, disgusting face of the colorful figure was masked with a hideously joyful smile. “Say it again,” the voice called smugly. “I love that sound.”
Unaffected by the celebration, the figure in white went on, “You have correctly stated that almost all of Adam’s descendants are fallen, as you predicted. Even some of the very best have proven themselves imperfect and blemished. Some have even succumbed to your constant barrage of perversions and temptations.”
“Yes, I love it. Go on.”
“And, if I were judging this based solely on their merit, my only verdict could be guilty as charged. However, there is new evidence that has come to light that makes this judgment impossible.”
“Wait a minute…We had a deal!”
“And per our deal, I am prepared to rule once we have established all of the facts.”
Just then, a man walked into the frame who had not been present before. Compared to the collection of beings assembled, he was unimpressive in every way. His height was average. His body was thin and wiry. His skin was a medium tone. His hair and eyes were dark, but not exceptionally so. His garments were not fine and he wore no jewelry. Yet, as he approached, the dark army backed away from him in utter terror. Even the face of the colorful figure showed incredulous. Only the figure in white seemed pleased by the arrival of the plain looking man, even going as far as to embrace him with affection. “My beautiful son,” he spoke warmly.
Then, the figure in white returned his attention to the colorful figure, still ignoring his legion and said loudly, “I cannot judge humanity based on its own merit. For they have been covered by the blood of a perfect sacrifice. See, this is my son. He is a direct descendent of Adam by way of Seth, through Noah, to Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Judah, through Joshua, to David, and Solomon, and finally born to Mary and Joseph. He was born and lived among them and was perfect. He was never corrupted despite your best efforts. He never gave in to your strongest temptations. He never wavered. He stands before you, perfectly blameless. And, because of his immense love, he voluntarily took their place!”
“No!” The colorful figure shouted. “No that’s not fair! That wasn’t a part of our deal!” Then, scrambling in a frenetic panic, shouted, “This can’t be! This is an imposter! Where is the evidence? How do I know that this is your son? This is not the same man! I watched the one claiming to be the son of God, die! He was crucified at the hands of his own people. You are a fraud and you’re committing a perjury!”
The figure in white gave a deferring glance at the humble man who quickly held up both hands revealing the scars from the spikes that had been driven through them. He pulled up the bottom of his cloak to reveal the matching scar where a spike had been driven through his feet. Then, he opened his cloak to reveal the spear hole in his side. He pulled back his hair to reveal scars from the thorns that had been placed mockingly on top of his head. And then, softly, barely louder than a whisper, he began speaking. “Here is the evidence you asked for. These are the marks that you gave to me. These are the wounds I suffered for the transgressions of the human race and bruises I suffered for their iniquities. These are the scars that were foretold in the beginning where you, the serpent, bruised my heel. So you are correct in saying that you watched me die. But you are careless and stupid. In killing me, you extended an invitation that I gladly accepted. I walked into your hell shouting my victory over your legions! I unlocked the cell door of the member’s of my father’s house that you had in captivity and led them into the heaven they were promised. Though I died, I struck a mortal wound in your domain. And my temporary burial, that grave that was covered with stone. It is now empty! Your death was no match for my power! You only succeeded in my sacrifice. Because of your ignorance, you didn’t know that this was a necessary step in the redemption of all humanity. That my body was broken and my blood was shed as payment for the sins of the first, the Adam that you so willingly corrupted. In your carelessness and jealousy, you sealed your own fate.”
The legion of darkness stood speechless. They looked to their leader for guidance. It was visibly angry. And then, as reality set in, it became desperate. I was astounded as this personification of pride humbled itself, fell to its knees, and begged for mercy. Its followers, the hideous dark creatures that had previously been so confident, were now all fallen on their faces, begging for forgiveness. Their cries were disturbing.
The figure in white beamed with pride as he watched the grace of his only son. Then, his eyes turned fierce and he looked down disdainfully at the whimpering army and snapped, “Be quiet! Your pleas are made in vain. My ears are deaf to them. In spite of every advantage; regardless of every false accusation; and because of every act of treachery and destruction you have caused my beloved, it is my duty and pleasure to announce with all certainty and by perfect authority that YOU LOSE!”
The words echoed for an eternity. I was exhilarated. And then, as quickly as it came, the vision was gone. It had been completely haunting and electrifying. It was magical beyond words. And in the end, I see very clearly that the temptation presented to Adam and Eve was very real. I can also see how easily they might have fallen to the advances of the serpent. And more than that, I realized that the humble man that appeared in my vision is the single greatest force of nature that has ever existed.