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FROM THE GRAVE TO THE SKY
‘THE PLAN’ Chapter 21 (edited)

At the moment of his death the cosmos convulsed. An earthquake tore a searing gash into the mountainside and people were toppled off their feet. A blanket of darkness fell over the place as rocks split apart and the graves and tombs on a nearby hill cracked open. People ran in fear, but they did not know where to go. At that moment there were priests in the temple about to sacrifice the Passover lamb. When the knife pierced the sacrificial animal the priests were thrown off their feet by the earthquake. The temple shook as huge stones fell from the parapets and the great veil in the temple proper, which separated the place of God’s presence from the rest of the temple was lightning torn from top to bottom. The priests fled in panic as tempest swirled through the city.

Lucifer’s dark mind was being assaulted by a force he had not expected. It was a desperate feeling of failure and futility. What was going wrong? Jesus was dying with a magnificent hope, not a dark and dreadful despair. The offering of Jesus’ spirit to Father God had released a tangible power into the universe. Lucifer
tried to flee back into the darkness but a huge bolt of lightning from the throne room gathered him up and catapulted him downwards. He was traveling face down at a furious speed, and for a split second he saw, or imagined he saw, a burning lake beneath him. It struck him with horror, and he believed he must have imagined it. He was turned on his back and drawn up with the same speed into the darkness above, and then turned back onto his face as he found himself again being plummeted downwards. The Prince of Darkness now realized that this man’s body, which had just been destroyed on Skull Hill had contained no fault or sin, and therefore could no longer be kept captive in this lower world.

As Jesus hung on the cross and offered his spirit to his Father he felt his spirit being lifted up above his body. From there he saw the scene on Skull Hill, and all the people standing around, still looking at his dead body hanging on the cross, and he saw Centurion call for the lance. He also saw the bolt of lightning and Lucifer being caught in it and hurled downwards. He then began to travel downwards himself, and knew he was on a mission of great purpose. Below him was a place called Paradise, and next to Paradise was a place called Hades. Jesus again recalled what had been written in the Psalms.
“You will not let my soul rest in Hades, you will not let your Holy One see corruption.”

Jesus plummeted downward toward this special place of repose called Paradise, where there were millions of souls who had been waiting for him from the beginning of time. These had lived their lives on earth in hope, many of them guided by the Life Commands, but many simply by a good conscience. They had resisted The Lie, and were now locked away from eternity till eternity would come to get them.

Lucifer had thought that all he had to do was get Jesus killed as a human being and Jesus would then be forever locked away from human life and from God life. When darkness entered our world and human beings became separated spiritually from God, The Lie laid claim to the physical and spiritual death of every human being. But death could not demand payment for something it did not own. It did not own the perfection of the sinless life of virtue resident in Jesus’ body. The moment Jesus died, a cosmic law of sin and death was overturned and became the cosmic law of the spirit of life in Christ.

Jesus now stood in the gulf between Paradise and Hades, the gulf that separated two eternal worlds. As Hades looked on at him it became an eruption of violence disgorging its anger and hatred at him, while Paradise sat quietly, not mute, but waiting in serene silence to hear his words. Jesus began to tell them of the wonder of his father’s plan. As his words fell upon them all, many but not all of those in Hades put their hands to their ears and turned away in horror, while those in Paradise sat serenely still, as that beautiful truth transformed their hope and faith into a glorious reality. He was to wait there for three days. It was toward the end of the third day when suddenly everyone’s conversation began to fall off and diminish into silence. Then could be heard beautiful music dancing with itself on waves of exuberant joy, then overlaid with a swell of magnificent singing which became stronger and louder as hosts of flying angels swept into their presence. Jesus stood to greet Michael and Gabriel, and it was then that he was given the keys of hell and death to unlock freedom. Jesus then took hold of the key of freedom to unlock the grave and begin the journey of taking a patient Paradise into an eternal Heaven.

Jesus led them on a triumphant upward journey, to their new home, his home. The entire company was escorted by Michael and Gabriel and the hosts of angels around them as they ascended ever upwards until they reached the earth, from where they and he most recently, had come. There they all stopped for a brief period of time, because there were things for Jesus to do there. The first thing that he had to do was to go to his tomb where his earthly body lay. Michael and Gabriel flew before Jesus to the tomb and found the guards there that the temple priests had appointed to stand watch at the tomb. As the angels alighted the ground shook and the massive stone rolled away as a huge burst of lightning hit the place sending the guards reeling headlong to the ground. They leapt up in fright and bolted. Jesus entered his tomb and united himself again to the wounded shell of his body, leaving the headpiece and shroud lying separated from one another in the tomb. Michael and Gabriel waited inside the tomb while Jesus walked bodily from the temporary resting place, out into the garden.

A very strange thing was also happening in other parts of Jerusalem. Hundreds of souls who had just accompanied Jesus from below and who had recently died were making the briefest of appearances to their loved ones. At that same time some women had prepared oils and spices to anoint Jesus’ body, and while on their way to the tomb they were discussing the problem of how to move the huge stone that covered the entrance. When they arrived they were astonished to see that it had been moved and the guards were nowhere to be seen. They peered inside the tomb and were met by the majestic appearance of Michael and Gabriel, sitting in the place where Jesus had been laying.
”Are you looking for Jesus? Gabriel said. He has come back to life as he said he would. Go and tell the disciples that he will be coming to see them, and that they are to wait for him in Galilee.”
The women ran to tell the disciples but one of them dropped behind and walked slowly through the garden, still confused and weeping. She almost collided with Jesus who was also walking in the garden, and she apologized, not recognizing him, thinking he was the gardener. But he called her by her name and said,
“It's alright Mary, it's me, it really is.”
When she recognized him she ran towards him but he held up his hand and said,
“Please do not hold me because I cannot be touched until I have presented the complete offering of my body to my father. I will be back with you very soon, so go and tell the others.”

Jesus then regrouped with the company from Paradise and the magnificent procession began to move in splendor with its escort of glorious angels, from the earth to the sky. As Jesus led the ascending journey closer and closer to the throne room with the freedom keys in his hand, a mighty heavenly voice could be heard proclaiming, “Open up you everlasting gates, and let the King of Glory come in.”

When Jesus turned this key of freedom in the Everlasting Gates a tremor shook every particle of matter in the universe with a frequency lower and more profound than anything ever experienced in all of creation. Power from Father and Spirit God in heaven was released into and through Jesus that changed the nature of every atom of matter in existence and brought it into union with Jesus, Messiah, The Promised One. This was the Power of the Resurrection, and all of creation which was once separate from its creator was joined in new fusion with Jesus God who was resuming his creation majesty. The extraordinary and absolutely astonishing wonder of this phenomenon was that this power would be given to humanity, to reside in ordinary people, who would receive The Holy Spirit from a loving and gracious God. This power would be the power of faith, resurrection life.

The heavenly music began. The sound of thousands of pipes, the voices of hundreds of harmonies, and the ascending range of every stringed instrument created a majestic symphony in this moment of triumph. Jesus had come home.
THE OUTWARD JOURNEY OF FAITH TOWARD A BODILY RESURRECTION.
Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my body I shall see God,
1Corinthians 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty… If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot.
Colossians 1:16 For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
Jesus was given the keys of hell and death. The soul of humanity now had a new source of life; the New Creation was born.

THE INNER JOURNEY OF FAITH TOWARD RESURRECTION LIFE
Philippians 3:9 that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in sin, we were made alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Jesus finished the work on the cross while heaven released its power into the time of the tomb – a powerful sign of faith
Matthew 12:39 … You seek for a sign, but no sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Psalm 16:9 My heart is encouraged; there is a deep inner joy as my soul rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul in the grave, or let your faithful one come undone. You have made known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Acts 2:24-30)

The Bible uses this Scripture as prophetic evidence of Jesus in his death burial and resurrection. David’s heart cry of helplessness with his soul in the grave, was triumphed by the expectation that he would be touched by the presence of God in his spirit and strengthened with the joy of God. Heaven would come to his aid. This experience was a parable of Jesus going through the same tomb experience while the entire order of the universe would be changed as a new order of life, resurrection life, would take its place in the universe. Jesus had authority to lay down life and take it up again. The authority of this grave experience was in those keys of faith. The gates of hell do not prevail and the everlasting gates open up as we prevail for ourselves and others in prayer .

 

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