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Posts Tagged ‘Redemption of Adi’

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…continuation…

Losing his grip on the balcony rail overlooking the city of Soteria, the King slipped to his knees. His muscled body shaking in anguish as his son’s pain ripped through him. Father and son had never been separated before. They were bonded together by the strongest kind of love—a love that caused the King to feel the torment that his son was suffering.

Father! Joshua’s cries raked through the King’s soul. How desperately he wanted to comfort his son, but he could not. It was decided long ago, that the Prince would have to endure this alone for Adi’s sake and for the sake of all Soteria. How would it prove their love to the Soterians if they weren’t willing to sacrifice everything for them?

A movement caught the King’s attention. Quickly drying his eyes, he stood to his feet looking at Gabriel’s stricken face.

“Gabriel?”

“I have news about the Prince, sir,” Gabriel quietly said.

“I already know. I have felt my son’s pain.” The King wearily turned toward the skyline of Soteria, his heart longing for Joshua.

Gabriel nervously shifted his feet, “”How much more must he suffer?”

Fighting for composure, the King at last responded, “Much more.”

“For how long, sir?” Gabriel cried.

“Until the seven year sentence has been served so that Adi can be fully pardoned.”

“That’s a high price to pay for just one girl,” Gabriel quietly observed.

The King turned to face Gabriel, “One girl? It’s not just for one girl, but for all of Soteria, but even if it was just for Adi, it’s a price we’re willing to pay. She’s worth all the suffering because she is precious to us.”

Gabriel sighed, not fully understanding, “I hope she’ll realize that soon.”

Nodding, the King turned back to stare out at the blackened, smoke-filled sky. “Leave me, Gabriel. I wish to be alone.”

“Yes, sir.” Gabriel quietly stepped into the palace, but not before seeing the broad shoulders once more shaking with muffled sobs.

…to

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…continuation…

“Matthew?”

“Yes, this is Matthew’s doing. He and his dominions.” Rasha grumbled.

Confused, Ze’ev defended, “But Adi hasn’t seen Matthew in awhile. She’s been with me! I’ve made sure of that!”

“You idiot!” Rasha lashed out causing Ze’ev to shrink back in the bench. “Matthew and his warriors were there last night at the play.”

“But how? I didn’t see …warriors? What warriors?”

“Of course you didn’t see them, they’re not of this world. My shedim reported that Matthew with his winged creatures sabotaged last night.”

Ze’ev scrunched up his face in confusion, “Winged creatures? Shedim? What are you talking about?”

Impatiently Rasha retorted, “”Matthew’s winged creatures are his warriors, his dominion that fight against the Shedim which works for me! They, too, are not Soterians, but are helping Soteria move into the New Age! You must learn to listen to them, Ze’ev!”

“How and why?”

“Through meditation. Through your chakra! They will come to you when you learn to relax and open your mind. I will send you Shakti, and she will instruct you on how to accomplish our goals and to get in touch with your divinity.”

“I would like that!” Ze’ev felt a rush of excitement at the thought of power.

Rasha broke through Ze’ev’s daydream. “Don’t worry about Adi. I’ll have her running back to you and when she does, you had better accept her with open arms.” He warned.

“Open arms? More like a slap on the face!” Ze’ev huffed indignantly.

“Put your ego aside, Ze’ev, and show her love, love, love.” Sarcasm oozed from the brute’s mouth.

“But I showed her that and look where it got me!”

“Ze’ev, the moment you get a ring on her finger, I’ll give you half of Soteria to rule over!” Rasha continued quietly wooing Ze’ev with promises of power and wealth. Ze’ev sat there hypnotized by the drone of Rasha’s voice. Lust, greed, and pride burned within him. A duck quacked snapping Ze’ev out of his trance. Looking about, he was surprised to see that Rasha had vanished. Ze’ev jumped up and rushed toward home with eager anticipation to invoke Shakti.

…to be continued…

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…continuation…

A sharp rap sounded on the motel’s door startling Thomas. Jumping up from where he sat, he moved cautiously toward the door. Opening it slightly, he was able to make out a man in the moonlight. “Yes?” he questioned suspiciously eyeing the man dressed in a navy blue polo shirt and khaki pants.

“I must speak with the Ambassador,” the man stated crisply. Everything about his manner and posture spoke of being a military man. `

Thomas stared at the muscular man with suspicion, “Who’s asking?”

“Gabriel.”

Thomas waited for more information, but seeing that the man was not going to offer any explanation, he humphed and closed the door. A few seconds passed when the door reopened.

“Gabriel, come in, quickly!” Matthew urgently waved Gabriel in.

Once Gabriel passed through the doorway, Matthew made a quick glance about the dark parking lot making sure that no one was lurking in the shadows. Satisfied, he shut the door and turned to face the messenger.

“Sir.” Gabriel gave a respectful bow to Matthew.

“You must have orders from the King,” Matthew stated.

“Yes, sir. Michael has been sent specifically to watch over Adi.”

Matthew nodded, “Good, good. Tell Michael that he needs to stay close to her, but not to interfere. She needs to make the choice, he is to just keep her safe.”

“Yes, sir. Michael wishes me to inform you that she has spent the day with that man, Ze’ev. He has offered for her to spend the night.”

“Yes, I knew he would.” Sighing, Matthew paced back and forth in deep thought. Gabriel stood attentively watching his commander.

Thomas looked at both men, confused. He desperately wanted to be a part of the conversation. Before he could think, he blurted, “Well, that could be a good thing! At least Rasha hasn’t found Adi!”

Matthew stopped in his pacing and looked squarely at Thomas, “A good thing? Do you have any idea who Ze’ev is?”

Thomas shrank regretting his outburst, “No, sir.”

“Ze’ev is a con man, a deceiver. He’s a master at manipulating people. Everything he does is to benefit himself. So, how is it a GOOD thing for Adi to be with Ze’ev, Thomas?”

Completely embarrassed, Thomas mumbled, “It’s not.”

“No, it’s not. Adi is in a vulnerable position to be deceived by Ze’ev.”

Gabriel cleared his throat, “If I may interject, sir, a meeting between Rasha and Ze’ev was observed the day before Ze’ev met up with Adi.”

Anger fickered in Matthew’s eyes, “I’m aware of the meeting. It’s quite clear that Rasha wants Ze’ev to lure Adi into marriage.”

“Why would a man like Ze’ev want to marry a girl like Adi?” Thomas quietly asked.

“Like I said before, Ze’ev will do anything that will benefit himself. Rasha loves to promise people wealth and power. He tells them that they can be creators of their own destinies, they are responsible to no one. I’m sure that he gave quite a compelling speech to Ze’ev, promising him all these things if he would marry Adi!” Matthew shook his head in disgust.

Thomas’ eyes widened with understanding, “Rasha doesn’t want Adi to marry the Prince because then he loses control over her. He also knows that this would inflict great pain upon Joshua if Adi rejects him, and also it will ultimately destroy Adi!”

“Precisely, Thomas, now you see why she is in danger. We’ve got to show her the truth that’s the only way she will be set free from Rasha’s deception.”

Thomas humphed, “Isn’t that ironic? Ze’ev is deceiving Adi, and yet, he himself is being deceived!”

Matthew sadly nodded, “We hope that in the process of rescuing Adi, Ze’ev, too, will come to see the truth!”

“Ambassador, Michael says that Ze’ev will be taking Adi to the play The Goddess of Soteria tomorrow night at the Emerald Theatre on the boulevard.” Gabriel informed.

Matthew nodded deep in thought. “Gabriel, tell Michael that I will be there at the play. During the intermission it is imperative that I speak to Adi alone. He needs to distract Ze’ev as well as Rasha’s other men who have also been following Adi. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sir, what may I tell the King about the Prince?”

Matthew quietly responded, “The King already knows. It is His plan.”

Gabriel hesitated, agony filling his vivid blue eyes, “May we protect the Prince?”

“Absolutely not. Did Joshua summon you? Did the King send you to him? No, they didn’t. The contract with Adi must be fulfilled without any interference, do you understand?” Matthew snapped.

“Yes, sir.” Gabriel crisply responded.

Softening his tone, Matthew laid a gentle hand on his messenger’s arm, “We are all grieving. It is difficult not to protect the one we love, but we must remember that all things will work together for good.”

A tear gathered in Gabriel’s eye, “Yes, sir.” he whispered, swallowing hard.

Matthew stiffened, once again becoming authoritative, “Now, go. Give the orders to Michael and report to King Penuel.”

“Yes, sir!” Gabriel saluted, clicked his heels, and quickly vanished into the night.

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picture: Satan being cast out of heaven by the Archangel Michael, by Gustave Dore

…continuation…

Cockroaches scurried towards their hiding places when Thomas flicked the light on in the motel room. He grimaced at the sight, but remained silent about it. Matthew hadn’t spoken a word since they left Rasha’s house. Sensing Matthew’s troubled mood, Thomas wasn’t sure if he should try to break the silence.

“Thomas, I know you probably have many questions, but it’s been a long night. Let’s get to bed. We’ll have more time to talk on our way to Miskana tomorrow.” Matthew wearily took off his bow tie and threw it down on the bed.

Thomas’ mood instantly brightened, “We’re going home tomorrow?”

“Yes, but we won’t stay for long. We need to notify Prince Joshua and King Penuel immediately about what happened tonight. Time is running out for Adi.” With that, Matthew flipped open his phone indicating that he wasn’t going to explain any further. After talking with his pilot who had been waiting nearby, Matthew quickly changed and crawled into the filthy bed. He was immediately asleep, but Thomas, on the other hand, tossed and turned, replaying the events of the night and trying to figure out what it all meant.

As they settled in for the flight the next morning, Thomas couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer. “Sir, I really don’t understand ANYTHING!” He blurted.

Matthew smiled, “You may not understand everything now, Thomas, but someday you will.”

Thomas sighed with impatience, “Okay, I’ll just have to trust you on that, but can you answer one question?”

Matthew chuckled, “Okay. What is your one question, Thomas?”

“It seemed like Rasha knew King Penuel on a personal level. Did he?”

Matthew hesitated. “Yes, Thomas, he does know King Penuel, very well as a matter of fact. He was the King’s highest official.”

Thomas’ mouth dropped open as past conversations came to mind. “Wait a minute. I thought the official split the kingdom, and. . .and. . .” He couldn’t finish as he struggled to comprehend the full meaning.

“Yes, Rasha was King Penuel’s official that split the kingdom. He desired to be just like King Penuel. But when King Penuel cast him out of Miskana, he sought to destroy everything that King Penuel worked so hard for, including turning His own people against him.”

“Then why isn’t Rasha mingling with the high society crowd? Why live in a dump?”

“Trust me. He controls the leaders of Soteria. He just works behind the scene because it’s easier to deceive and manipulate when people can’t see who really is giving the orders. Someday, Rasha will reveal himself and will ultimately destroy everyone! Life as they know it will become unbearable under his tyranny if he reigns openly. Through drugs, poverty, and the promise of wealth and power, he is subtly grooming people to blindly follow him. That’s why King Penuel and Prince Joshua want to give the citizens of Soteria a chance of escaping from Rasha’s ultimate destruction.”

“But how is marrying Adi going to achieve that?”

“Would people really feel that they could be given hope if Prince Joshua married a self-sufficient woman? No, they would just feel more resentful that she gets all the ‘luck’ so to speak. But, if a Prince married a woman such as Adi and offered her a change of life, then they will be more inclined to believe that Prince Joshua and King Penuel really do care about them and their offer is sincere.”

“It seems as if Adi is just a symbol of diplomacy, but does Prince Joshua really love her?”

Matthew smiled wistfully, “More than you can ever imagine, Thomas. You will soon discover how much he loves her.” Again, Thomas noticed the strange mixture of pain, sorrow, and love on the Ambassador’s face. Chilled, Thomas stared out the plane window with a heavy sense of foreboding.

….to be continued…

The Inner Workings of the Story:

The Hebrew name Rasha means “wicked”. In The Redemption of Adi, Rasha’s character symbolizes Lucifer. After Lucifer and his following angels were kicked out of heaven for assuming he could be like God, he has since sought to destroy God’s most special creation, mankind. In the Garden of Eden, he deceived Eve into thinking that she, too, could be like God if she were to eat of the fruit. Adam and Eve made a most devastating decision to disobey God, and the shattering result was the ushering of sin and death into the world. From that point on, mankind has been born into sin making us a “child” of Satan. He continues to appeal to our pride with the promises of wealth, power, and god-hood through the use of drugs, alcohol, materialism, immorality, and whatever else. Even though we can’t see him, we can see his destruction through crime, broken families, diseases, and death. There will be a day, when Satan will be revealed. When that day comes, the world will live in terror and life as we know it will end. This is why God the Father and Jesus Christ have sought to bridge the gap between heaven and hell, to give people opportunity to choose eternal life instead of eternal torment. Which will you choose?


Daniel 7:25- He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
Daniel 8:25- He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
Daniel 11:36- “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.
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TO FOLLOW THIS STORY FROM THE BEGINNING, GO TO WWW.KRISTENZURAY.COM

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…continuation

As in a daze, Adi stared at Thomas and then at Matthew, “Prince Joshua wants to marry me? But why?”

Before Matthew could answer, Rasha grabbed Adi’s arm and pulled her roughly to him. “NO! Adi will not marry your silly Prince Joshua!” He exploded.

“It’s Adi’s choice,” Matthew stated firmly staring at Rasha.

With a trembling voice, Adi began to respond, “I’d like…”

Just then the front door flew open with a bang as a dozen police officers invaded the house. It turned to chaos as the shouts of the officers overpowered the startled screams and groans of the drugged residents. Within a few minutes the house was cleared with the exception of a terrified girl in a torn overcoat, a young red-headed young man with his mouth hanging open, and a dignified strong built man with a cool, calm demeanor.

“Who are you?” an officer snarled at Thomas.

“I-I-,” Thomas stuttered.

Matthew quickly interjected, “This is Thomas, my student.”

“Ya, and who are you?” he barked.

“I’m Matthew, the Ambassador of Miskana.”

The officer humphed, “I heard ya was here.”

“Watcha doin with Rasha?” The question seemed to remind the police officer that they had not apprehended the leader of this drug ring. Before waiting for an answer from Matthew, he shouted to his men, “Hey, anybody seen Rasha?”

“He ran out the back door,” Adi quietly pointed to where he ran.

The stout officer motioned for two of his men to check the back and then turned narrowed eyes towards Adi. “We finally got ya this time, Adi. Your numbers up!”

“What did I do?” Adi protested.

“Does breakin’ into a hotel safe and stealin’ twenty grand sound familiar?”

“What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Adi made sure she looked insulted.

“We’ve got it on the security cameras, Adi. It was a girl your age, height, and in a pink gown with her hair up.” The officer looked her over carefully.

Adi self-consciously touched her hair which was still up but with damp wisps hanging about her face and neck. “What would I be doing in a gown? You know I wouldn’t own a dress!” Adi said haughtily as she hugged her coat closer to her.

“Uh, huh, sure. Take off your coat then if you don’t got anything to hide,” The officer smugly said.

“I’m cold.”

Matthew, who had been standing quietly observing, broke into the conversation, “Adi, it would be best to just do as the officer has requested.”

Knowing that she couldn’t fight it any longer, she shrugged off her coat to reveal the pink gown. With head down Adi stood there in defeat shaking from the cold and fear.

As the police officer slapped the handcuffs on her, he chuckled, “Well, Adi, this is the best I’ve seen ya even in spite of your hair bein’ wet and mud on your dress.” He leaned in closer to her face and humphed, “I see Rasha’s beatin’ on you again. Well, at least you’ll get a break from him while your in prison!” He let out a laugh as though he had made a joke.

Shame overwhelmed Adi as the police officer grabbed her arm to usher her out to the car. She didn’t have to look, she knew Matthew’s eyes were on her. Why should I care what he thinks anyway? A longing stirred deep within her as she realized that she did care about what Matthew thought of her. Without knowing it, she had thrown away her opportunity to escape her hopeless existence. She would never marry Prince Joshua. She would never become a princess. Her needs would never be met, but worse of all she may never experience the love that she so craved. Loneliness shrouded her heart as a tear slipped down her face. As she passed by, she felt a gentle hand on her arm. Looking up, she saw that Matthew’s eyes were moist.

“Adi, don’t despair. This changes nothing, the offer still stands. Prince Joshua loves you, we love you, Adi. Don’t lose hope!” Matthew’s pleading tone sent Adi into confusion, but she had no time to question as the officer shoved her out the door.

The slam of the car door brought a finality to her present life. Life was about to change but not for the better. Every poor decision has a consequence. The memory of Matthew’s warning broke into her thoughts. Was this worth it, Adi? she chided herself. I thought this was going to make me happy. Then a flicker of hope sprang to life as she remembered Matthew’s parting words. What did he mean that the offer still stood and that Prince Joshua still loves me? Another question immediately interrupted her thoughts, How could anyone love you after all the things you’ve done? You’re unloveable. Adi hung her head giving into the sobs. She wasn’t crying in fear for the future, but for what she thought she had lost.

“Quit your bellyachin’, girl! Your lyin’ and thievery and whatever else has caught up to you and now you have to pay the consequences. Should ‘ve thought of that afore!” The police officer grumbled at her as the squad car raced down the darkened highway towards a future that would be worse than her past.

….to be continued…

The Inner Workings of the Story:

“How could anyone love you after all the things you’ve done? You’re unloveable!” Have you ever heard this question in your own thoughts before? Whether you’ve thought this way or whether someone has actually said this to you, just know its wrong. Satan uses this statement to deceive us into thinking that Jesus can’t love us, so why accept His gift. The truth is no matter what you’ve done, God’s mercy is greater.

The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20, 21 HCSB)

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photo-22Adi’s knees buckled causing her to fall back into her chair. Soteria’s Women’s Prison! Hard labor! She had heard horror stories of the place. Most women sentenced there never came out, and if they did, they were never in their right minds! Stories had circulated about food deprivation, beatings, rats, and diseases. This was a death sentence! Adi closed her eyes as she choked back the hysteria that threatened to overwhelm her.

Just then a deep voice from the audience shouted out, “Wait! Your Honor may I approach?”

Startled and annoyed, the Judge snapped, “And who are you?”

“I am Joshua, the Prince of Miskana.” The simple statement sent a ripple of shocked gasps throughout the crowd. Adi whirled around in her seat, her eyes growing wide with fear. There stood a young man with bronzed skin, six foot three inches in height with broad shoulders, and powerfully built. His deep expressive brown eyes looked with determination at the judge.

The Judge stared at him, weighing the potential impact of this man’s presence. At last she sneered, “You may approach, Prince Joshua.” Emphasizing the Prince in a mocking way.

“Your Honor, I would like to take the prisoner’s place,” the Prince stated firmly, ignoring the Judge’s sarcasm.

Astonished, the Judge questioned, “Do I understand you correctly? You would like to take this girl’s punishment?”

“Yes, your Honor, I will serve the seven years in her place.” Joshua didn’t waver in his proposal.

“But why? You’ve done nothing wrong!”

Joshua turned fixing his gaze upon Adi. “Because I love her!”

The gently spoken words hit Adi with such force that before she could think, she cried out, “No! You can’t do this!”

In a few strides Joshua was by Adi’s side, “Adi, I love you, and when this is all over, I wish to marry you, if you’ll have me.”

“But I don’t know you!”

“You will. Matthew will tell you all about me.”

Adi couldn’t bear to look any longer in Joshua’s pleading eyes, “I’ve done all this. This is my fault! I’m not worthy of your love!”

“Adi, ” Joshua reached out and cupped her face in his strong hands, “My dear sweet Adi, I love you and will always love you no matter what you have done. I know its difficult for you to understand this right now, but to show how much I love you, I am willing to take your place.”

Adi stood in shocked silence staring into his warm brown eyes. The room seemed to grow very quiet and still, even the judge seemed mesmerized.

“Judge?” Joshua looked up at the stunned woman.

She wiggled uncomfortably in her seat trying to decide what to do. “This is most unusual. The sentence must be fulfilled.” She said sternly. In an attempt to dissuade Joshua, she continued, “Adi has broken the law, and punishment must be served; do you understand that?”

“Yes, your Honor, and I would like to take her punishment” Joshua stated resolutely.

The Judge looked at the crowd and then to the jurors with a questioning look. Flustered, she repeated, “This is most unusual.”

Someone called out from the crowd, “Go ahead, Judge, let the Prince take her place! One less nut job on the street!” Everyone laughed, nodding their heads in agreement.

“We’d rather have Adi walking the streets instead of this guy stirring up trouble by saying he’s the son of King Penuel!” another jeering voice was heard from the back of the courtroom.

A woman chimed in, “Yes, lock him up! He’s been brainwashing our children’s minds with such ludicrous stories about a faraway paradise!”

People began shouting in agreement. Growing nervous at the prospect of losing full control, Judge Wilson pounded the gavel until the room quieted. “There must be order in this courtroom!” She admonished the crowd and then, turning back to Joshua said, “I don’t think you know what you’re in for, but the crowd has spoken, and I will allow you to serve out Adi’s sentence. You will be sent to the Men’s Correctional facility and serve out seven years. Once you have completed the seven years, Adi will receive full pardon.”

Joshua nodded his head in agreement. “Your Honor, I have one request before I leave.”

The Judge leaned forward, “Yes?”

Joshua looked longingly at Adi. “Judge, I’d like for a marriage contract to be drawn up. While I am gone, I’d like Adi to know my intent. When the contract has been fulfilled at the end of the seven years, she can decide whether or not to accept my proposal.”

Judge Wilson motioned for the court stenographer, “Type this down.” Then looking back at the Prince nodded for him to continue.

The Prince reached out and tenderly held Adi’s cuffed hands. “In my kingdom, there are several traditions that we follow when a man wishes to marry a woman. First, we send out a matchmaker, which in this case was Matthew. Next, the father of the groom pays a bride price. Let it be known in the contract that my father, King Penuel has sent me here today to take Adi’s place. Once the seven years have been fulfilled, the bride price will have been paid.”

A sob escaped from Adi’s lips while tears coarsed down her cheeks. Prince Joshua tenderly wiped away the tears, his touch bringing comfort and strength to her. He smiled and continued, “I also want the rights of the bride to be included in the contract. Adi, if you should accept my proposal, then you will also be adopted into King Penuel’s family. You will have all the rights of a daughter of a King. You will be an heir to the kingdom.”

“How can this be?” Adi whispered wishing that she could believe him.

Joshua leaned towards her, “My father loves you, Adi” he said in a voice filled with emotion.

The Prince straightened and looked back at the stenographer, “One last item to be included in the contract is my promise as Adi’s groom.” He turned back to Adi, his gaze intent upon her face, “Adi, I promise to never abandon you. I promise that you will always be provided for, and I will protect you from all harm. I will watch over you for all time. I shall be yours, and you will be mine. I will love you with an everlasting love. This I promise.”

Confusion rattled through Adi’s dulled senses. Everything was happening too fast for her to be able to comprehend. She stood there trying to form her thoughts. Before she could reply, Joshua looked at the crowd and said loudly, “My father, King Penuel and I care and love each of you very much. He wishes to extend forgiveness and restoration through me. It is our hope that you will come to understand this and accept that the only way to be saved from the coming destruction is to turn to me. I can help you!”

A roar of outrage erupted from the crowd. “Cuff him!” the crowd shouted. “Get him out of here!” The courtroom went into chaos. Several men rushed forward tackling the Prince to the ground. Adi screamed as the men smashed their fists into Joshua’s face and stomach. The judge’s gavel could hardly be heard above the mayhem as she attempted to restore order.

Thomas jumped up from his seat, hands clenched ready to defend. Matthew stood quickly blocking his path. “Thomas, let it be.”

“What? Matthew, we have to help!” Thomas struggled to get past Matthew, but his small frame was no match against Matthew’s strength.

“No, Thomas. This is a part of the plan; let it be.” Matthew said firmly. Thomas stepped back in stunned silence and watched as the guards pulled the men off the Prince and roughly helped him to his feet. The bailiff rushed over to Adi, unlocking the cuffs from her wrists and turning to slap them onto Prince Joshua. Their eyes met, and time seemed to stand still for a brief moment. Adi stared in fright at the blood streaming from a gash on the Prince’s face. His right eye and bottom lip were quickly swelling. In spite of the obvious pain, Joshua looked at Adi with compassion, “I love you,” he mouthed, and then the moment was gone.

The crowd pressed in with anger as the guards propelled Joshua out of the courtroom. As the side door slammed with finality, the hostile crowd rushed out the back hoping to get one last glimpse of the Prince before the prison van drove away. Adi slumped down into the chair and sobbed. Why am I crying? Shouldn’t I be relieved that I’m free? Adi thought. But the Prince was innocent! Why did he do that for me? No one has ever shown me kindness before. Another unwelcoming voice broke into her thoughts, Don’t think you’re free yet, Adi. Seven years is a long time, especially in prison. He’ll soon change his mind and realize that you’re not worth it. Adi cried harder.

The Inner Workings of the Story:

A few thousand years ago, in the city of Jerusalem, a man who was fully God and fully human, stood before Pilate. Pilate possessed the authority to pardon the accused or to condemn him. After interviewing Jesus, Pilate declared him innocent, but due to the pressure of the crowd he decided to give the crowd a choice. Do the people want to release the known criminal, Barrabas, or does he release Jesus? The crowd jeered, “Release Barrabas and crucify Jesus!” Pilate honored their request and condemned Jesus to death. Why? What had Jesus done to deserve crucifixion? His crime – declaring to be the Son of God, sharing the good news that they could be redeemed from their sins and protected from eternal damnation.

Each one of us stands in a “courtroom” guilty of breaking God’s standards. We have been tried and found wanting. Our punishment is hell and eternal separation from God. Just as we sink into despair, Jesus steps in and says, “Judge, I have taken their punishment already. If they accept what I have done for them, they can receive full pardon.” Many choose not to accept the gift, but instead decide to take on their full punishment. Others gladly repent and place their trust in Jesus, and they have gone on into heaven, into eternal life. How will you choose?

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. (John 3:16-18 HCSB)

To understand this Jewish wedding custom of the marriage contract, watch this 1 minute video.

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As I’m sitting here in my favorite noisy coffee shop watching the steam from my coffee swirl into the air, my thoughts are focused on the character of Adi. Her name simply means “jewel”, but it would be difficult for anyone to consider her as a jewel. After all, she’s a thief, a drug runner, and who knows what else. Despite what she does, I can still empathize with her situation. I can relate to her feelings of being trapped in a situation beyond her control. The feelings of hopelessness and despair is like a bottomless dark pit that sucks a person in. Is this all there is to life, pain? Have you been there, too? Adi attempts to hide her bruises with concealer and a beautiful gown, while many in this life turn to an endless list of activities, or alcohol and drugs, or they try to find love in one relationship after another. How do you cover up your emotional bruises? In search of happiness and love, we often make poor decisions that may bring a temporary relief from the empty moment, but in the long run hurts us even more. With all the scars, deep down we don’t feel very much like a jewel. Adi didn’t see herself as a jewel either, but much to her surprise someone will, but let’s not get ahead of the story. Adi represents each one of us who are searching to have a purpose, searching to belong, searching to be loved in spite of the wounds.

The coffee is about gone and time is ticking on. Soon my husband and I will be off to sing in the nursing home. Before I go, I want to tell you that you are a “jewel” no matter where you’re at in life, no matter what your past, you are precious in the eyes of Jesus. Join me next week as we continue on with Adi’s search for love and Matthew’s search for a match for the Prince.

“And they shall be mine, saith The Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” – Malachi 3:17

“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” – Psalm 56:8

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