A Difficult Order

unseen This week, I would like for you to imagine with me what the crucifixion of Jesus may have been like in the spiritual realm. Following is an exerpt from my latest book for children (although adults may enjoy it, too). For more information on the book, visit http://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Human-Eyes-Spiritual-Dimension/dp/1500181366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403551556&sr=8-1&keywords=unseen+by+human+eyes

Lonely and concerned, Reuel stands by himself, away from the crowds, away from the other angels, away from everything that is happening on earth. Sadness has overtaken him. He knows what has to be accomplished. He knows this is part of the plan. But he also knows his fellow angels. It will not be easy to keep them from interfering. But he must. He must follow orders no matter the cost.

It does not take long for the interruptions to begin. Flying in at a pace faster than anything known to man, Cala arrives with the first report. “Sir,” he cries out, trying to catch his breath, “the soldiers just approached Jesus in the garden. Judas is with them and he is going to betray Jesus. They are going to arrest Jesus. What are our orders?”

At first, Reuel cannot answer. Inwardly, he desires to tell his troops to advance. He knows that together they can easily defeat the enemy and rescue Jesus from the harm that is about to come to him. However, he also knows that this would be only a temporary solution and would not take care of the problem long term. That is not part of the plan. And so, he takes a deep breath and firmly, but sadly, commands, “Stand down.”

Cala is about to open his mouth in protest, but something about the way Reuel is standing silently tells him he needs to obey. Quietly, he lowers his head and takes his place beside Reuel, away from the crowds, away from the other angels, away from everything that is happening on planet earth. Now he, too, must wait.

An eternity seems to pass. It is abnormally silent where the two angels stand, both lost in their own thoughts of what must be happening on earth. Finally the silence is interrupted by the sound of shouting and the fluttering of wings. Micahel has arrived. “Sir!” he cries, swiftly approaching Reuel, his sword drawn, his face anticipating a fight, “Jesus has been arrested and he is standing before Pilate. There have been people who have given false testimony about Jesus and they are accusing Jesus of blasphemy. What are our orders?”

Again, Reuel has to force himself to answer. Blinking away a tear, he responds firmly, “Stand down.”

Micahel is about to argue. He knows he must do something. He is ready to fight. One look at Reuel, however, and he silently, yet confusedly, retreats to a position near Cala, his head held low, a feeling of defeat overtaking him.

No one is sure how much time actually passes before Melody rushes in, tears streaming down her face, her sword held tightly in her hands. “Sir!” she calls as she sees Reuel, “the humans have beaten Jesus. They’ve had him flogged, they’ve spit on him, they’ve mocked him, and they are demanding that he be crucified. What are our orders?”

Unable to hide his tears any longer, Reuel looks directly at Melody and states, “Stand down!”

Melody opens her mouth to protest, but stops short. She knows by Reuel’s face that she must follow orders. Dejectedly, she stands next to Cala and Micahel.

The angels are silent. Lost in their own thoughts, in their own time and space, they grip tightly to their swords, waiting for the moment when Reuel will call them into action. But that moment never seems to come. Could it be possible that they really must stand down, that they must be kept from interfering in anything that is happening on planet earth? Slowly, they become aware of movement around them. The scene is now unfolding before their very eyes. No one wants to look. No one wants to see what is happening. But they can’t help it. It is right in front of them now.

While they can close their eyes or turn away to block out the sights, they cannot block out the sounds. Beginning quietly at first, the sounds quickly grow louder and louder until there is no escaping the noise.

They can hear the roar of a crowd. They hear yelling. Mocking. Hatred. Evil . . . pure evil.

And then they hear one sound that stands out from the rest.

It is the sound of a hammer pounding a nail.

“Sir, they are crucifying Jesus!” Micahel shouts.

“Stand down.”

More silence among the angels. More yelling from the crowd. More mocking. More hatred. More evil. More nails.

“Sir,” Melody cannot hold her crying in any longer. “They have placed a crown of thorns on his head,” she sobs, the tears flowing freely down her grief stricken face.

“Stand down.”

The silence among the angels is broken only by Melody’s sobs. Those sobs are soon joined by the sobs of the women standing down below. Micahel repeats what is happening, hoping for a different response, but dreading the answer from Reuel. “Sir, they have nailed Jesus to the cross.”

Every part of his being is crying out, ‘Attack! Get him off the cross!’ but Reuel knows he must follow orders — no matter what. And so he answers once again, “Stand down!”

Outraged, Cala challenges his leader. “Sir, he is going to die! Are we to do nothing?”

Tears freely flowing, Reuel takes a deep breath and replies firmly, “Our orders are to stand down.”

The angels lower their heads. They cannot bear to look. This cannot be happening; they should be doing something. If only God would give the command, they would instantly fly down there, take Jesus off the cross and get rid of all the evil humans. But those are not the orders. The orders are to stand down. Why?

And then they remember the prophecies. They remember the whole reason Jesus took on human flesh in the first place. He is the lamb without blemish or defect, the perfect sacrifice, the one who, by his death on the cross right at this moment, is going to redeem all of mankind.

But they still cannot look. They turn their heads away from the evil on earth and they stand down.

— from Unseen By Human Eyes:A Story of the Spiritual Dimension by Cheri Gamble (2014).

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Author: Cheri Gamble

Cheri Gamble is a minister's wife and mom to five boys who lives in Southwestern Lower Michigan. She and her husband, Tom, have been married for over twenty years and they have been involved with vocational ministry for just as long. Cheri enjoys working with the children and youth at her church as a Sunday School teacher, children's worship leader, and children's music and drama leader. She also works as the Project Manager at the local Pregnancy Resource Center. In her free time, Cheri enjoys reading, writing, working on her blog, and watching football with her boys.

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