A few years back I released a piece of fiction called, The Rise of the Water Kingdom. Some scholars have pointed out that the Bible pictures Jesus being a second Enoch. That is to say, that just as Enoch (in the popular Jewish writing, the Book of Enoch) proclaimed judgment over the angels that created the Nephilim while they were locked up in chains in the underworld, so while Jesus was dead on Holy Saturday, he too proclaimed judgment over those same angels. You can read more about this idea here.
In my allegorical fiction, I tried to picture what this conversation might look like and I thought I’d share it this Holy Saturday. In this scene, Sarx (my Jesus character) had just been eaten (the cross) by a dragon (Satan/Death), and is now waking up in the underworld. I’ll clarify other characters in brackets below.
As Sarx came to in the spirit, he noticed many former angels in front of him, each chained to the wall in this gloomy place.
“Welcome to the afterlife,” one of them smiled devilishly.
“Who would have thought,” said another. “Thee Son of God sentenced to the same place as the sons of God.”
“Perhaps you don’t have to do anything especially wrong to be sentenced here after all,” chimed in another. “You could take up human wives and birth your own creation like we did, or you can try your best to complete God’s mission and fail and still end up in this place just the same.”
Sarx stood up as they continued to talk. “I still can’t believe it worked!” cried another. “I didn’t think Daystar [Satan] would actually pull it off!”
“I know!” laughed another. “I mean, we devised a pretty good plan to use Judah [Judas] against him, but I thought for sure he would call down a legion of angels to help him or something! You did have the power to do that, didn’t you Son of God? Or were you really nothing more than a Son of Man in the end? Because you certainly died like one!”
Sarx surveyed the room of chained-up fallen angels and then surveyed his own wrists and feet. “You do realize that I don’t have chains on like all of you, right?” he questioned.
The angels paused. “Well sure, but you’ve still been abandoned here,” one replied. “Maybe you have a little more freedom than the rest of us, but you’re still stuck.”
“I suppose that would be true under normal circumstances,” nodded Sarx. “Certainly none of you have ever escaped this place before. You’ve been stuck down here for centuries and will remain here until the bitter end for your sins.” The angels mumbled and huffed at him. “I guess that’s the thing though,” said Sarx. “I wouldn’t say this qualifies as normal circumstances.”
“What are you talking about?” yelled an angel.
“Oh come on guys,” said Sarx, rolling his eyes. “You know the omniscience of God better than anyone! Or at least you should. Do you really think that in God’s foresight, he truly did not account for this moment right now?”
“We beat him,” hissed an angel. “All the forces of the underworld banded together and we killed you! It’s done! You are now a slave to death just like the rest of humanity!”
“Ah yes, the curse of death,” said Sarx. “I’m trying to remember—what were the rules on how that worked again?”
“You already know the story,” said another angel. “The Plaintiff [Satan] convinced humanity to pursue the corruption, and their sin brought death into the world. Therefore, all humanity is subject to sin and dies. Simple as that.”
“Well that’s just the thing,” said Sarx. “I don’t recall ever sinning.”
“Of course you did,” said another. “You were human! All humans sin!”
“But you also called me the son of God,” said Sarx.
“Well sure, we can see both identities in you,” said an angel. “But that doesn’t make you sinless. I mean, we were sons of God and we certainly sinned!”
“Check my name in the book of life and you will see that I did, in fact, live a sinless human life,” said Sarx. “Which means you all overstepped your bounds and broke the rules when you killed me. And I believe that means that the keys of death are no longer in your authority to carry.”
“No!” shouted an angel. “There’s no way you lived a sinless life! Only God himself could do that!”
Suddenly Sarx’s entire body began to glow the brightest white anyone had ever seen.
“That’s right, Azazel,” said Sarx. “I am the only one who could do that.”