A Rebel’s Miscalculation

26 04 2009

There he was, Caiaphas, the high priest, standing in judgement over the Son of God, the Word become flesh.  Now there’s an interesting twist, with a mortal man standing in judgment over the divine.  But Caiaphas did not see the divine.  All he saw was a mere human, like himself, a frightened man at the edge of his nerve, standing helplessly before him.  The miracles and such, healing the lame and bringing the dead to life, were all the tricks of a magician, mere slight of hand, to the high priest.  Magic requires a force, and he saw no force, therefore there was no magic.  All he saw was a shivering, helpless heretic.  Had he considered the signs, he could have had insight to see the power behind the man, that aspect of God which was not a mere mortal, that infinite expanse of power.  Ah, but it feels good to stand in judgment of God.  The god over God is a god, indeed.

There he was, Satan, the archangel, arrayed in majesty with all the heavenly host behind him.  In days past he had come as a servant of the most high God, but today he had come to make God his servant.  This was the day of the coup.  This moment was the moment of glory.  Had he looked beyond the angelic humanoid image sitting on the throne before him, he might have seen that infinite vastness of power that extended beyond the boundary of form which sat before him.  He saw the miracle of creation, how mere words transformed a ball of dust into a thriving, living planet.  He should have known that the life was not formed by ten fingers and two hands, or a breath of warm air.  There was a power that went beyond what he could see.  Had he looked, he would have seen it, but it feels good to conquer God.  He who is a god to God, is a god, indeed.

People have often asked how Satan could have underestimated the power of God, and why he would have ever made such a fool’s wager.  We know from Job and Revelation that Satan can see God, which is more than we can say for ourselves.  While this is true, it is also untrue.  In order to fully grasp the infiniteness of God as one might grasp something ordinary, one would first have to be infinite, which is to say that only God really knows just how powerful he is.  God the Father, in Heaven, has a very human appearance, the one of which we were made in the image.  Yet, there had to be more than hands and feet to construct the intricacies of life.  We know that there is more to him than what the angelic eye can see.  God, as seen in Heaven, is a one who is seen by means of an angelic eye, as Jesus was the Son of God, made visible to the human eye.  The Father is a theophany among angels, existing among them in their own realm, in their own manner of existence.  Jesus was a theophany among men, seen by us, existing as we do.  In both cases, someone saw the image of God in his own realm and saw no further.  The rebel sought to contain God within the blatantly obvious, ignoring what the eye did not avail.  The goal was to subjugate God’s rule, to usurp him, and to stand in judgment over him.

The result was disaster among angels and salvation among men.  Only some of the heavenly host had fallen, but all of humanity was doomed.  God among angels stood his ground.  God among men allowed himself to be crucified.  In the end, the fate was similar for both angels and humans.  Some will live forever in Heaven.  Some will live forever in Hell.  In either case, the individual is given the right to choose between submission and rebellion.  The angels could no longer take Heaven for granted, and the humans would not have to resign themselves to Hell.  In the end, may God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, that God among us be king uncontested.

As for Satan and Caiaphas, theirs is the consequence of a rebel’s miscalculation.

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