April 9, 2023
He is alone. Oh, there are others with him, but he is deeply and hauntingly alone. The mystical fingers of olive branches stretch. A full moon stares through a ragged window of limbs and curtains of greenery. The broken man is stricken with grief. His sobs are intense. His body is weakened. Crimson tears weep from his skin. He strains against the gates. He pushes against the will to walk away. A legion of angels lean in, armored for the moment, ready for a word, just one word that calls them to action; hands gripping a thousand hilts of swords. They will come to the rescue. They will slay a million demons swarming around the lamb. But they cannot just yet…the man rocks on his knees.
The moans are earthquakes from the soul. Tremors ran down his arms. His body shakes, his hands trembling, seismic waves of death are uncontrollable. His beard is matted with dust and blood and mucus, his face now coated with sweat and tears; he is drenched, he is drained. There is exhaustion from a thousand memories of bulls and goats, their blood seeping through the soil of the past; the shuddering thought as a lamb, he envisions the sharp blade of the knife, destiny must cut him, must draw salvation from his veins; the high priest of justice demands blood. And like Isaac on Mount Moriah he must be willing to lay down on this altar of wood, he can already feel the splinters of the cross in his imagination. He shudders and shakes and the tremors ripple through him again; he’s not sure he can do this; at this moment of terror and dream and nightmare and hope and horror, he doesn’t want to…
The sobs seem inhuman, like a wounded beast caught in the sharp teeth of a snare. His face is too red. His body is too stressed. The filthy goblet sits before him. It oozes with poison. It bleeds…listen now.