The story of the crucifixion from an angel who guarded Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph was awaken to the shouts of an angry mob. He covered himself with his outer cloak and then went to his window. There he stopped, and stared in horror.
I stopped and stared as well. In horror, and as a terrible freeze began to clench my spirit.
No, no, no, no! I thought. So much confusion, so much pain, horror and bewilderment. The thoughts whirling through my head.
For there, on the same street Jesus had been accepted into the city, he was being taken out. But instead of on a donkey, He was being forced out by carrying his own cross!
Joseph stared at the Man, and I heard him speak.
“Who is that?”
I turned to him, and then realized the only way I knew it was my LORD, was because the underlying, untouchable spirit.
“It is Jesus,” I whispered, and my tongue seemed so slow. What was happening? Why was this happening?
“No, it can't be,” Joseph gained revelation, and a whole new disgust and horror spread across his face, paling it even further. He rushed from the house, and I went with him.
We were met with a crowd, all yelling. I shuddered, everywhere I looked, there were demons. They seemed to have taken control of the city.
There was Michael. The strong, imposing archangel standing beside the LORD. My leader. Oh, the pain and agony on Michael's face. His eyes darted from side to side, and his hand lay on the hilt of his sword.
One demon tried to jump on Joseph and I drew my sword. It backed away. Joseph tried to get close to Jesus, but the crowd pressed against him, and he could not.
I tried, and all the demons pressed against me.
“Michael!” I cried. Michael looked towards me, then back to Jesus. I knew at once he was torn, was being torn apart.
Jesus fell, his earthly body failing him. Michael lunged to catch him, and all the demons laughed. I tried to get closer, shoveling through the crowd, leading Joseph with me. But now, the Romans guiding the condemnation parade stood against the crowd and neither I nor Joseph could get through. I saw Michael lean close to his LORD.
“Let me take them,” he pleaded. “Please, allow me to destroy your foes! I will strike them, strike for strike, for everything they did to you. Everything they want to do to you.”
Jesus barely had enough to shake his head. A Roman officer reached through Michael and pulled Jesus roughly to his feet.
“Get going, we don't have all day.”
Jesus started towards the fallen cross. And for the first time, I realized they were making him carry the full cross, while the other two were just carrying one of their beams.
“Get up, this is torture enough,” said one of the thieves. Jesus did not even glance in his direction, but focused solely on trying to carry the cross.
Michael roared in frustration, laying on the ground. He beat the ground with his huge fists. He could not protect his charge!
He could not protect the LORD!
The avenging angel could not avenge!
“Michael,” the LORD said. But He said it in HIS spirit. Michael looked at Jesus, and seeing the unknowable face, he got up.
“Yes, LORD?” he answered, unconsciously grabbing the other side of the cross and alleviating some of the weight.
“You will understood soon.”
That was it. Then Jesus began to walk. It was a slow, halting walk filled with inexpressible agony. And they began again.
Jesus fell a few steps later once again, and Michael dropped the cross to catch him once more.
Again, he pleaded with the LORD to allow him to end this now. Once more the answer was no. I could not understand why. My heart was with Michael. Why couldn't this end now?
“Get up!” the officer shouted at Jesus. The LORD of angels tried... and though his spirit rose, the body failed.
“Get up!” the offer repeated, motioning for two of his underlings to come. Micheal bellowed in rage. I shuddered, and even the demons dared not get close to him.
“Can't you see?” Michael yelled. “He can't!”
And, as if his words had materialized into a man (which, they did not, but, it seemed like it,) they were echoed by another man in the crowd. Joseph looked up to see a man, as strong as an ox, and as compassionate as a deer, shoulder his way through the surprised Roman officers.
“He is at his end!” the man cried.
“Then why don't you help me, yourself,” the lead officer sneered. “Yes, you, you will carry the cross. This man, he is spent, isn't he? Get going!”
“I do this as a free and innocent man!” cried the man. “Just remember that!”
“Of course,” the officer nodded. Then the man, I think his name was Simon, reached and took up the already bloodied cross.
The two officers grabbed Jesus by the arms, and roughly began to drag him on the stones. Michael rushed after them, and grabbed Jesus himself. His strength seemed to strengthen Jesus, and the Man began to walk by himself. The officers laughed.
“Then go,” they mocked.
Joseph and I followed them all the way to Golgotha. When we reached the place of execution, Michael began to transform into his avenging state, out of his mind because he was not allowed to do what he was created to do.
“NO!” suddenly Gabriel was there, and he held down Michael. “Do not do this, Michael!”
“I must!” Michael cried, and I, though scared, went forward and pressed Michael to the ground with Gabriel.
“They are going to kill him!”
“They can't!” Gabriel shouted. “He is Life!”
“But you heard HIM yourself!” Michael countered. “HE said so HIMSELF!”
“HE is LORD!” shouted Gabriel, hardly heard above Michael's roaring. “HE knows what HE is doing!”
Raphael came down and latched himself onto Michael as well.
Meanwhile, the Romans had tied Jesus to the cross, and were about to nail his hands to the cross.
“What are they doing?” I heard Joseph ask out loud. “This is not a part of crucifixion!”
“No, it is not,” said one beside him, whom he did not know. “They are doing something new with this one.”
“But why, why him?” Joseph said, with a breaking voice. “Have they not done enough to him! He barely looks human. Not even his own mother would recognize him!”
The man shrugged. But Joseph's words had stirred Michael, and he gave a roar, and began to pull free from us.
“No!” we all shouted, and Gabriel and Raphael turned to their most strengthened states to hold down the crazed angel.
“Michael!” Gabriel called. They were good friends, and I knew if Michael would listen to anyone, it had to be Gabriel or the LORD at this point.
“Michael! Think! Why is this happening? Why have you not been allowed to avenge? Do not stray from HIS commands now! Did you not hear HIM when HE said that he could call down legions to protect HIM! But he hasn't. Do not be like Lucifer, Michael! Do not turn now!”
“What?” Michael paused, and the light of his avenging state faltered and dimmed.
“Do not be like Lucifer!” cried Gabriel. “Do not turn now! Do not stray from our LORD's commands. Do not disobey now!”
“But, Gabriel,” Michael said, almost pleading with his best friend. “I have to. This is what I am created to do, just as you are the head messenger. What if you were not allowed to deliver that message to Mary?”
“But I was, and I did,” Gabriel said. “Think, Michael. Soon, soon, you will be able to avenge everyone here. But just think, breathe.”
“But, Gabriel,” plead Michael. “I must, please you must allow me this one thing.”
“This one thing could be the ruin of all,” Gabriel said. “No, Michael, not this time.”
“But HE is going to die!” Michael yelled in desperation. “Gabriel, I am his guardian.... and HE is going to die.”
“HE said you can't do anything until it happens!” Gabriel said. “And if you are his guardian, have you not seen how he is to die.”
“No,” Michael said. “He told me I would not be able to see. That HE would know, but I would not.”
“Then rest on that,” Gabriel said. He turned toward me. “We have him, guardian. You may return to your charge.”
I nodded and returned. Michael, overcome with not being able to guard the LORD, lay on the ground and sobbed, looking up at the sky.
And then, laughter.
I looked around and saw the Fallen Angel himself. Gabriel looked and then glanced at Raphael, and then both transformed to hold Michael down, but the Archangel of avenging had his eyes closed.
The Fallen Angel turned to the cross and up at Jesus.
“So, you, like all men, die,” he said. “What is the use of being man, o mightiest of the mighty, if you are to die in the end.”
Jesus stared at the Fallen Angel, but did not answer.
“You are mine, I have won,” the Fallen angel said. He gestured with his hands, and suddenly, there before him, was Death. Jesus stared at the spirit, and then looked up.
“Father!” HE cried. “Into YOUR hands, I commit MY spirit!”
At this cry, the world suddenly turned very dark, and both clouds and a black mist began to move in and cover. They covered the cross and Golgotha. An earthquake trembled the ground, and I transformed to protect Joseph.
The people who had remained all cried out, and fell to the ground. Then the earthquake spread out from the hill, and encircled the earth in a ripple pattern.
But out from the cross a bright light burst out. And from it, I saw the hand of GOD reached out and taking a hold of the spirit of Jesus. And so the Man of God did not surrender his life to Death, and Death was confused.
Everyone there began to cry aloud in fear, but the remaining officer fell to his knees.
“Surely this was a righteous man,” he said.
At this, my charge could take no more and fled down the mountain, for he knew Jesus was dead.