I’m the reason Christ is dead. I don’t mean that the way you think I do. You should be angry. Some of you are thinking, “We are all the reason why Christ is dead. He died for our sins.”
That’s so not what I mean.
This is actually a very twisted story for me. I’m caught between feelings even now, as I tell it. I was happy, feeling triumphant, when I did it. Then I felt remorse. Then I realized that I hadn’t actually won at all, so I felt anger. Now I don’t know what I feel. Maybe it’ll help to tell my story, too.
My name is Lucifer. My friends call me Satan. Well, my enemies call me Satan, too. And sometimes people call their enemies Satan. I’m a pretty popular guy. I’m in the bible, for God’s … crying out loud.
After our big fight I’ve held a grudge against God. He seems to have forgiven and forgotten (I hated that ad campaign) but I’m not one to be so Christian. I knew for a while that he was going to send his “I’m-Mister-Perfect-And-Can-Walk-On-Water-Holier-Than-Thou” first born to earth. I had a plan.
“Demons of Hell – gather.” They grudgeningly put down their shovels and made their way (still grudgeningly) to the Hell Colliseum. I’m not sure why we have shovels. Must be that shoveling forever was the best God could come up with.
My first mate, Cain, answered the call vocally, “What the here do you want?”
“Quiet. Or I’ll give you a smaller shovel. It has come to my attention that the Allslighty is sending his only son to earth.”
Cain snickered. “What does that matter? Earth is the last you’d send something you love. He’s given up. What does it matter to us?”
“Cain, how much of the Jewish doctrine do you remember? Do you remember that part where the Gates of Heaven are shut until the Savior of the World returns to offer salvation?”
“I was too busy killing siblings to recall old books by dead prophets.”
“Why did I make you my first mate?”
“Because I was the first person down here who had tenacity.” He nudged Adam hard in the rib. Adam muttered something under his breath and walked to sit down somewhere else. I almost felt sorry for that guy. It’s my fault he’s down here. Go figure; I’m good at what I do.
“We have to kill him before he accomplishes whatever it is that he’s trying to do. Intelligence is sketchy on exactly how he will open the gates. Watch him, people. Make sure he doesn’t get near any lock-smiths. If he buys a crowbar, kill him. If he asks for the price of an SUV, kill him. If he seems to be jumping extraordinarily high, kill him. I’ll give you more later.”
There was the din of people getting up and moving around. Then Cain came up to me. “You know, you could just kill him instead of playing this wait game. I have a contact in the government. I can get him close to the Mess. I can have things arranged.” As cocky as he was, sometimes he was useful.
“Alright. Start this.”
On earth, Cain roamed invisible. The power of a demon is temptation. We walk around, unseen, and whisper ideas to you. You don’t have to listen, but the fact that you’re thinking about greatly increases the chances of doing it. No one’s ever done something without thinking about it. He saw the official that was his contact. He had convinced this guy to extort money, sleep around, and kill criminals. His name was Scruyus; he was a tax collector.
Scruyus was talking to his friends Bilus and Judas, also tax collectors. Cain wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. He thought he’d just whisper his idea when it seemed right. He listened to their conversation.
“I’m sorry, my friends. I have a meeting with Jesus. We’re eating out and then we’re gonna go pray,” Judas was saying.
“Are you pretty good friends with this guy?” Scruyus asked.
“Yeah, I guess. We’re not best friends, you know. I don’t even know his middle name, but I know it starts with an ‘H’. I’m about as close to him as I am to you guys.”
Bilus didn’t like that statement. “Maybe we should kill him. The government is looking for buyers.” Scruyus laughed.
Cain saw his opportunity. He whispered into Scruyus’ ear, “No, Judas should kill him. He would never suspect it. It’ll be funny.”
The first seed was planted. I could already tell what was going to happen. Judas would be the one to betray him. It wouldn’t be enough, though. You can lead a horse to the cross, but you can’t make him die. He needed something else, but what? I would have to wait for the answer.
Soon Jesus was on the cross and bleeding. He’d been tortured, mocked, and now hung out to dry. I almost felt bad for him. And despite all this, he was not dead. There was a bit of a crowd gathered at the Mount. I had a plan.
“Find me the list of boys who tossed rocks at the Wailing Wall today.”
“How many are at the Mount right now?”
“Locate Judas and Bilus.”
“How close are they to any of the boys?”
“100 yards from one of them sir. Boy by the name of Thomas.”
“Excellent. Cain, I have a new assignment for you.”
Cain, again on earth, quickly located Judas and Bilus. Judas was feeling guilt. That stupid human. Cain walked up behind him. It didn’t matter what they were talking about – this was important. He whispers, “There’s a boy over there named Doubting Thomas. Get him to say an ‘H’ word. Don’t ask why, just do it now.”
They walked over to Thomas, who was sitting with a friend. “Hello boys. Is one of you Doubting Thomas? I heard that you were throwing some rocks at the Wailing Wall today.”
“Maybe I was.”
Cain whispered, “Son, you see Jesus down there? He’s in pain, son. He wants release. You can give it to him.”
“No. I will NOT kill Jesus. I believe him.”
As I watched this, I heard the voice of my lead intelligence officer. “Sir, we have new intell on this situation.”
“Go ahead,” I said.
“It seems that killing the savior is a bad idea.”
Uptop, Cain was whispering, “You’re a good Jewish boy, aren’t you?”
“Intelligence has recently translated part of the bible that suggests that through Christ’s death the gates will be open. In which case, we don’t want him dead.”
The boy was furious at such a question. “Of course!”
“What did God give the Israelites in the desert?” Manna.
“Sir, if he dies, we lose.”
“What is the square root of 144?” 12.
“Get Cain back here now! Shut that kid up!”
“Do we serve Caeser?” No. It’s a ploy for us to save up money until we can move out, get our own place, and party all the time instead of study like we said we would.
Alarms went off. Cain’s cell phone rang. That’s right – cell phones originated in hell. And TV and rap music. Like you didn’t know.
Cain wouldn’t answer it. He was so close. What could it be?
Cain whispered, “What is Jesus middle name?” The boy froze. Maybe he didn’t know. Did Cain have to whisper to this kid, too? That would take time. They needed this guy dead now.
Then the kid spoke, “H.”
“No!” It was done. The sky became abruptly overcast and the ground quaked. The Son of God died before their eyes. Cain’s laughter was louder than the thunder. I could fell my authority shrinking as souls left my dominion. One by one, ancient servants of God disappeared in front of me. I got more than my share of raspberries.
Then, uptop, I heard, “Way to go, Tom. You’re going to hell.”
‘Well,’ I thought. ‘It’s a start.’