Come Die With Me: Reflections on Redemption

There’s a gritty, protracted, and asymmetric war for the redemption of your spirit. Your human spirit lies on the battlefield. On one end rests God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Lord’s Army. They hold the redemption of the human spirit and the only eternal connection to the Creator. On the other, Satan, his demons, principalities, and dark powers wait for the charge. They possess all that is counterfeit; the cheap pleasures of the world that conveniently appear when you’re searching for peace. Your fleshly body and soul are in between, the objective of both combatants. Split seconds whisper by, and as both sides gallop head-on, the tumult rattles your brain. Seeing your Creator causes you to turn your back on Satan’s army as you yearn for a connection. Above the din, you hear a snarl that causes your spine to spasm. You whip your head around and spot an opening amongst Satan’s battle lines. The Father of Lies himself walks smugly through the part and plants a banner that reads, You Must Die. Remembering your sins and indulgence in his cheap pleasures, you see one of Satan’s principalities walk alongside him with a coffin that has your name engraved on its surface.

Hanging your head, you walk towards Satan’s lines. With each step, everything becomes clearer. You see right through all those cheap pleasures that you put your faith in, and as the underside is exposed, you see dark mark of Satan’s signature. There’s all sorts of remorse, regret, and retreat. It’s the retreat from the possibility of a relationship with the Creator. You come face-to-face with Satan. He smirks with the satisfaction of another soul lost from the narrow path. Satan sweeps his hand emphatically towards the coffin. He puts a gnarled hand on your shoulder to give you a friendly reminder to remain on the course. The lid of the coffin is open, and you drop to your knees when you see the inscription inside where your back will rest. In nauseating block letters, it spells, Eternal Torment. The stench of rotting flesh and sulfur suddenly assaults your nostrils. You drop to your knees, knowing your final hour has arrived. A demon dresses you in thick chains, and each link has a sin you committed written on it. Another demon comes to your side with a blindfold that reads Condemnation. You promise yourself that you’ll be resilient as the blindfold is wrapped around your eyes, but deep within there is anguish from the tatters of a lost life. As you put one foot inside, you give a final cry to God for some sort of redemption. Satan grabs your neck and pushes you deeper, his legions of fallen angels uttering curses towards you and every blasphemy known to man.

With both feet in the coffin, every fear, anxiety, and torture that ever haunted you begins to swell around you in tsunami-like waves. Your legs and feet begin to buckle, and you know that once you lay down, all hope will be lost. Through the cacophony of curses, your ear catches a whistling sound. The blindfold suddenly loosens, and you look up above you. A dove is circling above the Satanic ensemble. The dove is singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy…is the Lord God Almighty!” Over and over again you hear it. It’s sweet to the ears and peacefully intoxicating at the same time. Satan and his army begin to screech and cover their ears. Some begin to thrash about and bang the coffin around you. Somewhere in the distance, a reverberation flows outward from the Lord’s army. You see God the Father at the front of His lines, rushing forward towards you. As He approaches, all of Satan and his fallen followers begin to depart in haste. They scatter to every corner of the battlefield from the glory of the Almighty. You see the Father’s hands wrapped around a blood-slathered cross. His Son is on it, suffering like no man before or after Him would or could. Jesus Christ’s blood is dripping onto the Father, and God Himself is weeping as it happens. The Father charges to the lip of the coffin and thunderously plants the cross right before you. Now you see the Savior you so desperately called for.

He’s above you, bleeding down on you. Your chains are soaked with it, and they become brittle. Your blindfold drops to the coffin floor. The Son utters a cry that shakes you to the core, “IT IS FINISHED!” The brittle chains so diligently recorded with your sins completely shatter, filling the coffin with broken links. You step out of the coffin and bow your head at the deceased Christ’s  feet. You know that your sins put Jesus on that cross, and you violently cry in confession. The dove appears above once again, repeating its endless song, “Holy, Holy, Holy…is the Lord God Almighty!” A whistling wind sweeps through your body, rattling your bones. You feel two hands rest upon your shoulders, and you look over your shoulder. There He is, your Savior. Jesus takes your hand and speaks to you, “I died so that you might live with my Father in heaven. We were there when we formed you in heaven and knit you together in your mother’s womb. Will you accept this salvation that my Father has given you through Me?” You lift your head towards your redeemer and wrap your arms around Him. You can barely choke out the definitive words that somehow come to your head, I choose life this day. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart. The dove above you coos in unison.

Jesus brings out two horses. He climbs upon a white horse, and you follow on a brown one as well. Both of you ride towards the Lord and His Army. When you reach the Father, He smiles and says, “Welcome to family.” The Holy Spirit tells you, “I was the dove above you and the wind rushing in your bones. You are now filled with my presence. I am the one who searches the things of God and your comforter.” The Father motions for Jesus to ride beside Him at His right hand. The dove appears again on the Father’s left, and you sit before the Godhead on your horse. The Father says tenderly to you, “Your name now resides in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You are part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation. You are my child and I shall never leave you nor forsake you. Receive the grace I have given you, take up the cross of my Son daily and live a life of repentance before the arm of My salvation. Now is the time for you to fellowship with Us.” With a shout that could break Jericho an eternity’s time over, the Lord’s army and all His angels lauded Jesus and His sacrifice. They cheer for you as well, the new member of the kingdom of heaven. The Father sweeps His hand forward and begins to ride off the battlefield with the dove flying above Him. The rest of the army follows suit, continuing its roar of praise.

Jesus stays with you and says, “Look at your coffin.” You turn and see three bloody nails that have sealed the coffin. On it’s lid, it now reads, Found not Guilty. With nothing but adoration, you grasp the hand of your Savior. He declares to you, “You have been baptized in my death. Before you is the strait and narrow path. Stand rooted in my Father’s ways and the Spirit’s call. Remember, broad is the gate that leads to destruction.” You see the Lord’s army rumbling down the narrow road, preparing to war for another soul. Jesus reminds you of one final warning, “You will be persecuted because of my cross and suffer your own tests of faith. Satan will come again for your. Keep your eyes fixed upon me, for I am the author and finisher of faith. I am the way to the Father, so stay rooted in Me. Never forget that I died for you because my Father and I love you  so. Now, come die with ME.” Jesus rode off towards the same path as you are left to ponder those words. Come die with ME. Then you remember the litany of sins you were saved from, and realize that you must die to the carnal lusts of man every day. You slap the reins of your horse and beginning to ride forward, locking your eyes on Jesus. All the while, the words continue to beat in your head like the riddles found in rap rhymes. Come die with ME.

I hope you enjoyed this short story, and this is the beginning of a narrative series that will be posted periodically under the title, “Come Die with Me.”

Kevin Cochrane is an eighteen year old writer and blogger with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with ears to hear to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. His mission is to live by the words he writes and develop his character along with the prose he pens. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.

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