It Is Finished

The searing, desperate words ricocheted off of stars and pierced the heavens before finally crashing into the throne room of Heaven, the glorious throne room of the King. "My God, My God-Why have you forsaken me?" It was the cry of a lost, frightened son frantically looking for his father. A cry that emanated from the depths of loneliness, from a sudden realization of utter despair. A cry that was met with silence. Thousands upon thousands of stalwart, brawny angels mount their snorting horses, draw their swords and prepare to attack. The heavenly warriors are straining to be released to protect and defend the Prince of Light. They are indignant and furious at the turn of events that would even cause these words to be uttered. But the King is silent. He does not give the command they expect and yearns to hear. All is ready; a single word from the King and Heaven would explode with their fury. But the King simply turns away. This is the hour for which He has planned. He knows what is about to happen; He has waited and dreaded to hear these words since the beginning of creation, since the poison was first smuggled into the Garden of His creation. This was not the first time that the King would NOT send his mighty soldiers into battle, even when they were pleading to go. The poison did not look like poison. There was no foul smell, no caustic bubbling brew, no menacing-looking ugly liquid. It was in a golden cup, and it had the flavor of a sweet fruit. It was smuggled into the garden in the hands of a prince - The Prince of Darkness Up until now, everything had been perfect. There was no reason to be afraid or hide from anything in the beautiful, peaceful garden. The King came to the garden daily, and He walked and talked with his creation, his children. They enjoyed the beauty and continual wonder of the Garden. They shared thoughts and ideas as the children learned and grew in the constant protection and comfort of perfect love. The children knew their Creator and King. There were no secrets, no fears, no doubts, sadness, no darkness. But then the Prince of Darkness came and with him he brought the poison. The Prince of Darkness had once been the most beautiful creature God had made. So beautiful in fact, that he became prideful and thought that he deserved to be worshipped as an equal to God. He was banished from Heaven because of his pride and desire to be God. In reality, now his face was no longer beautiful but was scarred and marred by his pride and self-worship. And so, he had to use a beautiful animal to disguise and hide his ugliness when he came to the garden. The poison he brought with him in the cup was also disguised as a sweet fruit. "Taste it, he told the woman. "It is sweet with wisdom and knowledge. Don''t you want to be like God and know all things?" "But God has said if we eat of this fruit we will surely die," said the woman. "No. You shall not surely die. You will be as God having knowledge of all things," said the Prince of Darkness. The daughter was tantalized and intrigued by the idea of knowledge. What a wonderful thought, to be like God, to know all things and have wisdom. The King watched from heaven. His powerful army, standing ready, knew that the Prince of Darkness was no match for the mighty army of God. They were willing, ready, and able to go and defend God''s children. Just the word to go was all that was needed. But no command was given. The choice is hers, the King said. If she turns to me or asks for me, you will deliver her. But if she doesn''t ask, doesn''t look to me, do not go. The choice is hers alone." The woman reached out, took the cup, and drank fully of the poison by eating the sweet fruit that God had told the children not to eat. She did not ask for God''s guidance or help, her eyes never looked up. The poison soon distorted her vision and twisted her heart. She felt lonely and missed intimacy with her creator that she had been made to know; but there was a growing sense of self-pride and vanity that she had never known, almost a smugness. Instead of looking to the King, she looked for her husband to show him this new feeling. She refilled the cup and offered it to him. Once again, the King''s army snapped to attention, ready to leap into battle for the husband. Once again, the King stated "If he looks to me, then rush to him. If he does not, then do not go. The choice must be his” "Eat it," she said offering him the cup. She told him all of what the Prince of Darkness had said. "See, I am still living. I did not die." Adam lifted the cup and ate the fruit, thereby drinking the same poison, his eyes all the while fixed on Eve his wife. The heavenly warriors, their swords now at their sides looked at their King and saw his tear-filled eyes. "Bring me your sword." said the King. The General of the army brought the King his sheathed sword. The King touched it and it blazed as he withdrew it from its sheath. "Their choices will be honored. They have chosen to disobey and disregard my command and have drunk from a cup of poison. Where there is poison, there is sin and death. They have chosen to live without me. They must leave the garden." The general took the flaming sword, evicted the man and woman from the garden, and posted mighty angels with flaming swords at the entrances to the garden The King hated the darkness and shadows because in the darkness the children could not see their King and all his blessings. The poison caused the darkness that made the children forget the Father. Now having been put out of the garden, they continued to eat of the fruit of selfishness and drank the cup of pride, and the darkness spread. With the spread of darkness, all the children drank from the cup of pride; more vision was distorted, more hearts were twisted and finally, all sight of the King and Father was lost. True to his word, where there was poison, there was sin and death. But the King had a plan-a plan that was in place since before the children even existed. One day, the King sent his Prince, his son. The Prince of Light. His arrival, like the arrival of the Prince of Darkness, did not go unnoticed. His birth was marked by a brilliant star- a bright light in the sky Burn brightly, my Son", whispered the King As the Prince of light grew into a young man, He kept his eyes and thoughts on the King as he sought to bring men back to his Father, the King. He was offered the cup of poison many times, but never touched it. The Prince of darkness himself offered the cup to him with promises of fame, fortune, power, and satisfaction. To mankind, the poison still looked very appetizing and still had a sweet fragrance of promised pleasure and power and riches. But to the Price of Light, Jesus, the cup was filled with a putrid stench that promised only death. Jesus knew, however, that he would have to deal with the cup at some point in time. Finally, that time came. The Son went to have one last visit with the Father in a different garden the Garden of Gethsemane. "Does it have to be this way?" He asked "It does, my Son" "Is there no one else who can do this?" The King whispered. "Only You, my Son, are qualified. No one else on Earth or Heaven is suitable. Jesus was so distraught he was sweating. "Father, do I have to drink from this cup? This cup of poison?" "Yes, Son. This same cup" The King looked at his Son. "The darkness will be great," the Father said. "The stench and ugliness overwhelming. But the pain will be even greater." The Father looked at his anguished Son, then paused as He looked out over the darkened kingdom. "But there is no other way." Again, the angels, mighty warriors of heaven mounted their muscled, snorting steeds and grasped their swords eagerly awaiting the word of the Father to rush and defend the very Son of God. Surely this time, He would give the word - this was His Son! But once again the King issued no command to go or charge. "It is His choice." "Then so be it! Let it be done. Give me the cup," cried the Son. "Moment of sacrifice, hour of death, it is your time. It has been rehearsed a million times on temporary altars with substitute lambs led to be slaughtered. The time has come for the One True Lamb. The Lamb of God Look up now, Son, and see my face before I turn away, hear my voice before I silence it. Would that I could keep You from this, but the living must die so that the dying might live. Here is the cup- cup of sorrows, the cup of poison- the cup of sin. Now drink fully- drain the cup empty." The Father wept as he said these words, Every sin-every lie, every vile and despicable act or thought; every shameful, hideous ruthless, cruel thought and deed ever committed in the past and in the future-every one of them was in that cup. And as the Son drank, each and every one of those deeds thoughts, and intentions were absorbed into the body of the Son. The perfect 33-year life of the Son, the spotless shining Lamb was now filthy, ugly, and stinking. The perfect and pure Son of God, now repugnant and totally repulsive, disgusting, even nauseating. The King obeyed his own edict: "Where there is sin, poison, there is death." The King turned away from his Son. He could not bear to look upon such sin as was now contained in what was once the Prince of Light. Now the undiluted wrath of a sin-hating. righteous and penultimately just God fell with full force on his sin-filled Son. The stench of sin permeated the body of Jesus as the dark shadows surrounded and covered him. Jesus, as He always had, looked up for his Father''s comfort and strength, but this time Jesus could not find him, could not see him, could not hear him. "My God, My God... Why Have You forsaken Me?" his tormented voice cried. But the sound simply bounced through the heavens and echoed off the rocks. The throne room is quiet. The King stares straight ahead. He thinks of his Garden - the first Garden where He walked with his children in the cool of the evening. "Father..." Oh, how he longs to hear those words again from his children, and from Jesus. Then He realizes He did hear the word, Father. He looks up to see the transcendent, gleaming spotless, and pure figure standing at the doorway of the throne room of Heaven. "It is finished, Father. I have come Home and I am the firstborn of your children - cleansed and purified to spend an eternity with Us. As by one man sin entered the world, so by one man have all been saved!