An Angel's Longing

by Glenn A. Hascall


A monologue that looks at Jesus' time on earth (Christmas to Easter) from the perspective of an angel who doesn't always understand what is happening to Jesus.




ANGEL: We kept asking if this was time. The answer was always "no".
Perhaps a gentle rebuke, but we watched with fascination as the girl's stomach swelled. Our Sovereign had taken residence within that blessed womb. One day soon our Master would assume the flesh of man.
None of us could understand the reason why. However, we were ever alert should our services be required in this era when everything we had come to understand was changing.
The girl and her betrothed arrived in Bethlehem seeking refuge.
However, refuge was not to be had. I was quite upset and asked if perhaps a host of angels might be dispatched to make a palace ready for His arrival. A splendid palace with servants and the finest clothing and food. Not the perfection of heaven to be sure, but the best accommodations we could think of - given the circumstances.
Again we were told, "no."
We watched as the man paced outside the cave waiting for the wail of new life.
Suddenly, new orders arrived. This was not at all like mortal man receiving orders from a high ranking official to his subordinates. We knew without knowing how that we were called to the hills of Judea with a new song to sing.
Legions of my companions converged on that hillside. We discovered a menagerie of sheep and a few lonely shepherds guarding the flock. Their expressions held great apprehension, and I remember calling out, "Do not be afraid, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be for all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord."
We told the men where and how they would find - God. Then we sang. Long glorious notes rippled over the crisp night air. Thousands upon thousands of us singing as one, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill to men."
These men will remember our visit. The song they will never remember. It will simply dance along the edges of their memory but will only be fully recalled in eternity.
We watched as the shepherds left their flock and hastened to Bethlehem.
I remember telling the girl that she would bear the child whose voice we are waiting to hear. I remember the shame the man felt when he discovered her condition and realized that he was not the father. I know the pain they felt as family shunned them. Yet, our God was about to be born with human skin.
Why was there a refusal to allow this child to be born in surroundings more befitting a king? Why must there be the disgrace of such a mangy birth? Common beasts of burden companions to our King. He rested amid straw in a cattle trough. Why? We didn’t understand.
Years passed and we watched the infant grow to boyhood. We saw the boy turn into man and we saw the man tempted by one who was once one of our own.
He hadn’t eaten in days. The enemy barraged Him with temptations that would immediately satisfy the needs He has. We were ready for battle - yet God steadied our indignation and we were made to watch as our Lord suffered through a temptation not meant for Deity.
Suddenly we heard the words we were longing for, "You may go", and we raced to our Lord’s side ministering to His needs. We had missed His presence. We were anxious to take Him home - away from the evil of the world in which He found Himself. Yet He was determined to stay and we slowly left Him, wondering what more He must accomplish before He comes home.
A group of men came alongside our God-in-the-flesh, and there was much rejoicing as many who were blind received their sight, many who were sick were made well, and those possessed by the adversary were cleansed.
Perhaps God’s plan was to become one of them so that He could set up an earthly kingdom. This had been hinted at. Indeed the masses glorified Him, shouting "Hosanna in the highest," as He rode through Jerusalem on a donkey.
Then came the meal. A solemn affair in which the "twelve" and our Lord dined together. Yet, this was not the celebration of a conquering king. Our Lord spoke of His body being broken and His blood being spilled.
"May it never be", I remember saying and was startled to hear similar statements from the one called Peter. We were told to hold our peace as soldiers took our Lord away. I watched as the "twelve" scattered like the sheep on the Judean hillside years before.
After being taken by the soldiers He was beaten, spit on, tufts of beard were pulled from His beloved face, thorns that He had created were fashioned into a crown and placed on His head as drops of blood trickled down His face.
Yet we were made to stand down. There was something happening and we must wait.
The mockery of a trial. The baiting of a crowd and the walk up a hill, a cross beam strapped to his shoulders would soon be an instrument of death.
Surely we would be called to save Him soon. Yet we watched as spikes were driven into flesh - as waves of nausea passed through our Lord, as precious blood was spilled on earthen clay.
The sky grew dark. Surely we would be called upon soon.
"You must gather sins from the four corners of the world and place them on His shoulders."
Those were the unbelievable orders. We wanted to refuse but were powerless to resist.
"Past, present and future - He must bear them all."
Anything but this.
"Now, we must leave Him alone."
And all heaven turned away from Him. And for a time we were made to endure silence.
Mourning? No there was no mourning in heaven, for this is something that cannot exist there. Yet we were very somber at such a loss. We did not understand. We had waited and were willing to help whenever the call came, yet we were asked to refrain from helping when that was our greatest desire and we were made to place all the sins of mankind on His shoulders when He himself had never sinned.
Why this needless sacrifice?
"You must go and be with Him now."
"Be with Him now. In the grave?" I asked.
I went quickly, with another, and we waited outside the cave. Such joy filled our being as we heard from within, the call of life. He sat up and smiled at us. The marks of cruelty still held their place on His body, but He was alive.
Suddenly we understood. Our Lord had deliberately chosen to become a man and chose the only means possible to pay the forever penelty for sin. That’s why we had to place the sin throughout all ages of mankind on Him. He paid the sin debt and He had emerged the victor over death.
We asked if it was time, and He said "Yes" and the angels rejoiced.

Copyright 2001 by Glenn A. Hascall
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