by Jay O'Toole
This is chapter #10 of The Quest for Home, my NaNoWriMo novel for November, 2017.
What is Aslan's human name?
Why is there import?
Has He come to take our blame?
Why do we fall short?
"Let me try to express it in my own words. Your Plan and Purpose for everything succeeds no matter what. Is that right?" Casa asked.
"That's exactly right," Aslan affirmed.
"But what about Hell?" Casa's confusion was almost over-the-top, but, of course, he is not by himself.
"What would you like to know about Hell?"
"Why does it exist for one? Isn't that a little petty, even for God? Your enemies reject you, and your response is to create this HUGE everlasting bon fire to 'get back at those meanies'! Why?"
"Alright, now it's my time to ask you a question, before I answer yours. What proof do you have that I started a 'HUGE everlasting bonfire' for the purpose of punishment of my enemies?"
"If you didn't start the fires of Hell, then who did?"
"Casa, do you remember that I created angels, my Heavenly helpers, in the state of perfection at the beginning of The Creation?"
"Yes, Sir, I do!"
"Then, do you remember that these angels could see me clearly, could listen to the beating of my everlasting heart, and still a large group of them rejected my leadership, revolting, which forced me to put them outside of my security perimeter for the protection of the rest of my Heavenly realm?"
"I remember your account of this."
"These angels became enemies (or demons,) which were no longer faithful to my leadership. They chose a new leader, called 'Satan,' who had formerly been 'Lucifer,' 'The Light-Bearer,' my second in command."
"But what does this have to do with Hell?"
"I'm getting to that. I need to paint a little more into the background of this everlasting canvas. I had made the choice before I ever created the angels, 'I will not force the angels to obey me, but I will protect the ones, who do.' In order to keep my word all defectors must leave in order to protect those, who choose to agree with me and to love me. Ask yourself a question, 'Do you allow enemies to live in your home?' Why should The God of All Creation be forced to do something that a resident of Earth would never force himself to do?"
"I never thought about that! You make a great point, Aslan! But still,...How DID Hell come to exist?"
"The revolting angels could not be in Heaven, but they did need a place of their own. Therefore, they were assigned to the dark interior of Planet Earth. Since I am Light and they hate the Light, their residence needed to be dark after the chosen desires of their hearts. WIN-WIN Scenario, wouldn't you say?"
"Hey! I remember my science class in school. The interior of the Earth is molten magma or lava, like from the heart of a volcano. I thought you said you didn't start the everlasting bon fire? I thought you said you never sent anybody anywhere for the purpose of burning forever. Didn't the very creation of the Earth and the spinning of its rotation cause the molten interior. By extension that would make you responsible for the suffering of others by virtue of the creation and your relocation of the rebellious angels to this place of burning?"
"DID I do all that?"
"You must have done it! Who else is there to create? You look like a lion, but I think that is only a physical representation for God Himself. Aren't you ultimately the cause of all pain and suffering in the entirety of Existence because you did nothing to prevent it?"
"Casa, are you, personally, responsible for every bad and harmful choice that Quest has ever made in his lifetime?"
"That's not fair! I'm mortal. You're Divine!"
"True, but the principle is the same. A mentor sets limits for the safe living of his ward, but the ward has the choice of living within those limits or violating them, suffering the consequences. 'Don't touch the hot stove! It will burn you.' The ward touches the hot stove, when the mentor is out of the room, saying, 'OW!' Is the mentor culpable for the ward's pain?"
"NO! But what about Hell? What about burning? What about everlasting pain?"
"That is just my point. The rebellious angels revolted right about the time I was creating Earth. I assigned them to the interior of Earth, which at the time was just very dark, the way they like it. As time progressed the interior was filled with molten magma, like a volcano. How?"
"Why are you asking me? I'm asking you!"
"Funny, but wrong sketch. This is not 'Who's on First?' Back to the subject at hand,...Let's look at a Bible verse that the Apostle Paul wrote many years ago, which documents My Nature, My Character and my Method of operations. Colossians 1:15-17, (ESV) says, '15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.' For a few moments let's focus on that last phrase, 'in him all things hold together.' How much science do you know about the physical body?"
Casa thought for a moment. "I know that the physical body in made of blood, bones, muscles, the lungs for processing breathable air, the stomach for processing food, the eyes for seeing, the ears for hearing, the nose for smelling, the tongue for tasting and the paws for touching and grasping things, but I'll bet there's something more on your mind!"
"Right you are, Sir." Aslan smiled. "What do you know of cellular integrity?"
"You mean that even our body's cells are required to do honest business?"
"If by 'business' you mean the buying and selling of goods and services, then not at all. However, if by business you mean properly ordered operations, then absolutely."
"Please, explain. I'm starting to get a little confused in the minutiae."
"Be glad to do so." Aslan paused for effect. "By cellular integrity I mean, 'What (or Who) holds all cells together in every physical body?'"
"'...Holds all cells together...'? Dude! You got me!"
"Indeed, I do." (Wry Smile) "Were you aware that there are a thousand trillion cells in every human body of 70 kg weight, for example?"
"No. I did not know that."
"Were you aware that there are 7 followed by twenty-seven zeroes that stands for the number of atoms in every human body of 70 kg weight?"
"No. I did not know that."
"Just doing the math, that would mean that there are about 7 trillion atoms in every cell of the human body of 70 kg weight. Did you know that?"
"No. I did not know that."
"Did you know that there is potential energy in every atom of the body's existence that must be held together in order for the body to continue to function properly?"
"No. I did not know that."
"Did you know that if you were translate this potential energy into actual heat for the maintaining of a fire that there would be nearly 90,000 MegaJoules of photonic heat energy produced from the body of a 70 kg weight human?"
"No. I did not know that." (eyes glazing over)
"According to Colossians 1:17, 'in him all things hold together.' Scientifically, the 'holding together' keeps extant almost 90,000 MegaJoules of photonic heat energy. This massive heat energy is extant, not expressed. I keep the heat that is available in the physical body in proper check...for those, who agree with me and love me, but for those who reject me, who hate me and who rebel against me, should I be forced to maintain their body heat in absolute control, when they reject every other form of control that I would offer them in leadership?"
"No. You shouldn't be forced to do something that is beyond your personal will."
"That's right. Just as I do not force others to agree with me, to follow me, to love me, to obey me, letting them go to agree with their own wills, then I reserve the right to remove my protecting hand, which keeps nearly 90,000 MegaJoules of potential photonic energy from being fully expressed. Either a person submits to my control in every aspect of life or they reject my control in every aspect of life. I am not a smorgasbord. I have friends. I have enemies. I allow no frenemies. Isn't that fair?"
"I think that's very fair."
"How long do you think it would take for the dark interior of the Earth to become molten magma or lava, if I merely place all the rebellious angels there and instantaneously allow all of their kinetic energy to express itself, forevermore?"
"I bet the effect would be instantaneous!"
"Exactly. Did I create Hell's fires? Or did the fallen angels create Hell's fires, when I removed my Manifest Presence? Cause and Effect. Scientifically, the answer is 'YES!' Philosophically, the question is unanswerable, making it a moot point. However, the tension between Free Will and Sovereignty remains intact. The rebellious angels chose to reject my authority. I remain sovereign, regarding the outcome of the choice."
"Thank you, Aslan. Casa needs a nap."
"Rest for now, My Friend. There is much more to say." Aslan curled into a large catlike ball with a large smile on his face.
Casa stretched his sleepy limbs in slow and comfortable circles. Soon, he was on his feet, walking and then, loping. He was quite playful, considering that it was still the middle of the night. Quest was still fast asleep. Aslan, on the other hand, was still alert, curled in his favorite cat ball. He gave a low, playful growl to let Casa know that he was there and available to talk, whenever he was ready.
Casa slowed to a walk and sidled up to Aslan.
"That was some good rest. I'm ready to learn more, Aslan. What about Jesus? I am starting to think he has something to with the mess with the good angels and the bad angels and the forbidden fruit and whatnot. Am I right?"
"You are quite right, Sir," Aslan winked. "Jesus is the name by which the humans know me. I appear to many of them as a man because only a child would consider a lion to be a harmless friend. Remember Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia?"
"I have heard about her. I want to know more as soon as I can find a library of the series to read."
"Allow me." Aslan pulled a large, hardbound volume from behind his back, giving it to Casa. You will find the entire series within this binding."
"O! Thank you, Aslan! But how did you... O, never mind. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that you have just given me a grace gift. I am honored. Thank you, again."
"You were asking about me as Jesus?"
"O, Yes! How does Jesus (or you) come into play, regarding that question Quest and I have to make, since we can 'not NOT Choose.'"
"There are many zealous preachers in the world. I am especially fond of every one of them." Aslan smiled a big toothy grin. "However, in their zeal they often make it difficult for the listener to choose wisely, due either to lack of information or an over-exciting of the nervous system."
"That is just what happened to us last night. We had a hard time getting to sleep."
"Let me help to put you mind at ease. I would like to guide you gently through your choice, if I may."
"I would love that, Aslan. Please, do."
"In the historical account of the two humans in The Garden of Eden, Adam & Eve, the eating of the forbidden fruit caused a terrible rupture in the Space-Time Continuum of my perfect Creation. It was an entire rewriting of the DNA of the Physical Realm. If you are familiar with photographs, the disobedience of Adam and Eve created an existence that was like a soft focus photograph. You are still able to make out the reality of objects and people and animals and the like, but everything is not perfectly clear. It's all a bit out of phase."
"Right! I've seen photos like that. I can't look at them for very long. They start to hurt my eyes."
"I understand. Maybe you've been to a concert in which the main instrument, a piano possibly, is slightly out of tune. The pianist can be playing his concerto flawlessly, but if your ears know perfect pitch, then you tend to cringe through the entire concert."
"Been there. Done that."
"In order to set things right, I left my Heavenly Throne, reduced myself in size and restrained my Divine Powers to become forevermore the new individual, named, 'Jesus' (or Aslan as you now see me to be.) In short, I am truly One-of-a-Kind. I am the Only Individual in all of Existence to be 100% God and 100% Man, simultaneously, intellectually, emotionally, spatially, spiritually. In these and all other possible ways I am the God-Man. I will never, again, be separately God. I will always and forevermore be God and Man."
"That's more than a little hard for my Earthly brain to fully comprehend."
"Don't worry about trying to do so. Just trust me. Bottom Line: That in a nutshell is the very thing that broke the perfect picture of The Creation. Man stopped trusting me as his only Source of Truth."
"He trusted a snake. Now, anybody, who is considered untrustworthy is called, 'a snake in the grass.'"
"You catch on quickly, My Friend. After Adam sinned humans couldn't consistently see me. I appeared to the humans to whom I chose to appear for instruction, for warning and for blessing. However, toward the end of History, I placed myself into the womb of an untouched virgin, which made me the God-Man. Her egg was needed that I might be a human, but the mother's seed never determines the gender and the character of the child. The unique characteristics come from the Male seed. For me that is God, My Father, retaining my Divinity. The impartation of the sin nature comes through the male sperm. Since I have no human male chromosomes in my DNA, I became the sinless, pure, perfect Sacrifice, which could mend the rift in The Creation, including the separation of fellowship and eternal relational connection between God and every human being in his or her natural-born state."
"Wait you died to mend the tear? How are you alive, standing before me right now?"
"I mended the tear between God and anyone, who would choose to believe that I had done so by dying on a cruel cross one Friday, being buried in a borrowed tomb through the Sabbath (Saturday,) and by raising myself back to life in the early morning of the third day, which was a Sunday. Just as in the death of any wealthy land owner, my death set free the tenets of The Will to my heirs. My resurrection sealed the deal from any future accusations of unworthiness of payment because I was alive to be Lawyer for all of the heirs of the Promise."
"You covered all of your bases."
"Like the old Southernism, 'It ain't braggin', if you can do it.' I told my twelve disciples (or students) that I was going to die and to rise from the dead in new and real life, not as some Hollywood zombie. (Of course, I didn't tell them that last part, even though I knew it be one of the tools of my enemy to try to discredit my reputation. However, I would never defend my reputation because my friends don't need the defense and my enemies would never believe it anyway.) Again, I told them, but they couldn't believe my words. Some didn't choose to believe my words. I'm sure that some thought I was bragging, but when I rose to New Life, they all knew by experience that I could (and did) do what I said."
"Thank you, Aslan, for the thorough explanation, but I am still a little confused about one thing. How was it possible for you to pay an eternal penalty, during only a finite period of time?"
"The infraction was made against the Divine Person. Only the Divine Person could pay the price in full. I am eternal in the role of the Offended and in the role of the Payer of the Penalty. Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) states this plainly, '...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.' I poured out my blood on the Cross of Calvary as the Payer of the Penalty. I arose on the third day completely satisfied with the transaction. No more payment would ever be needed. No more payment would ever be accepted. The rupture in my Perfect Creation of Relationship with God Almighty has been completely mended for anyone, who receives me personally as their Savior, their Payer of the Penalty, their Friend, their Everlasting Brother and their Eternal Bridegroom."
"So, that's the choice the prophet mentioned."
"Yes. It is."
"I can choose FOR you and my entire life is eternally blessed, simply in the accepting of you as my personal and only Savior. But if I choose against you (or I tacitly choose against you by choosing not to choose at all,) then my life will forever be without Hope. I can't Not Choose."
"That's the size of it."
"Then, this one is a no-brainer for me. I want you Aslan (and Jesus) as my personal Savior and Lord. You may have my life. I want only to belong to you forever, to have the privilege of seeing you and of being with you forever. You have the best plan for my life. I need you."
"That's wonderful! Done. You belong to me forever."
"But what if I lose heart and become faithless at some point?"
"John 10:28-30, (KJV): '28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.' Did you see those words, '...no man is able to pluck them out of my hand...my Father's hand'? Not even you can take yourself away from me now because the term, 'man' covers the physical/temporal and I and my Father are supernatural/eternal. As for the 'faithless' part, 2 Timothy 2:13, (ESV) says, '...if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.'"
"So, I belong to You no matter what."
"I got this!"
"Now, that IS comforting."
"You have no idea. The best is yet to come." With that Aslan smiled and vanished.