by C. Ikpoh
SOCHI: I do not know if I should be angered by your insolence towards my faith, or be sorrowful for how denial has ravaged your consciousness.
PRITI: What do you think you know, friend? What knowledge is this you possess that evades me?
S: Our kind does have a purpose. We must. There is reason and a season for everything. Your lack of faith hides this from you. My faith allows enlightenment to be attainable when I shall reach it.
P: Faith? You people - you people and your faith. The staunch arrogance it instills you with is enough to make me ill! Your faith has taught you nothing,
for your beliefs are misguided.
S: You should heed your own judgments. Listen to them, for staunch arrogance is all I see in you.
P: Spoken like the true merona.
P: Yes, merona. Do you not know Aramaic, christian? It is the language of your savior.
S: I do not.
P: If you cannot understand the language of the one you worship, how can you say you comprehend His teachings?
S: His teachings have been translated. You do realize this.
P: History, my dear theologian, is written by those who won the battle. You think your "translations" have remained unscathed? Do you honestly believe you know the concise teachings of your savior?
S: I know Him, yes.
P: Ha! You know "of" Him, just as you know of your most distant ancestor. But you do not know Him. The institutions of worship, the ideology that is religion, these things are not divine. They were created to serve the ones who made them: man.
S: Is that the reason why you have strayed so far from any spiritual consciousness and you know not of your own purpose? Is it because you do not agree with going to church?
P: Listen to me, merona, and listen to me well. I am more than 3000 years old...
S: ... What is this term you speak of again, this "merona"?
P: Sheep. It is Aramaic for sheep. It is what Yeshua called those who were blinded by their faith; those too deeply entrenched in ritualized and institutionalized faith to recognize His Father's teachings. I heard Him use the term.
S: You - you heard Yeshua teach the Word?
P: More than that. I knew Him. We were close friends.
S: Your words cannot be true. Surely, one as yourself, one of our kind, would have been mentioned in scripture.
P: I was, my friend. Mal'ak d'mot is what Yeshua called me. Mal'akh haMavet is what those who followed referred to me as.
S: What does that mean?
P: The Angel of Death.
S: How is it you came to know Him?
P: Before Yeshua came to the people as recited in the gospels, I entered His path. He was on a spiritual journey, enlightening Himself in all matters of existence and faith, realizing His destiny while away from home and away from everyone. I was drawn to Him. By then, I was over 1000 years old and I had never encountered such a spirit. I yearned for Him, to obtain His life essence. Therefore, I descended upon Him one night. That was when our friendship began.
S: The years Yeshua was not accounted for in the gospels. You are saying this is when you met Him?
P: Yes. He was returning to his homeland.
S: What happened that night?
P: Before I could get near Him, Yeshua froze me completely still. He commanded my spirit as if I was His puppet and He was my puppeteer. For the first time in over 1000 years, I felt fear. He sensed this and said to me, "Come. Sit with me and discuss the ages of time only one as yourself and the Son of God are able to in this mortal world."
S: What did He mean?
P: Yeshua has existed since before the beginning of time because He is God's Son. His spirit was realized before all else. He knew me and all I had experienced when no one else at that time could.
S: Because you are an immortal.
S: What was it like, conversing with Christ?
P: It was liberating. All the years I was on this planet, everything I had lived through, He could speak of. Every question I ever
conceived He could answer. I lost my identity and who I was amidst the millennia of being what you and I are today. He helped me regain all that.
S: Mal'ak d'mot. He knew what you were?
P: Indeed. Yeshua told me how I had taken death into me, becoming it entirely. I did not know this until that very moment. Forever, I believed I was cursed by the gods of my people, sent to plague their descendants until the end of days. The time I spent with Yeshua showed me otherwise.
S: It must have been incredible to be in His presence. What was He like as a person?
P: Yeshua the man was incredibly intelligent and insightful, beyond anything one can read about. He was loving, very welcoming and accepting. But what I think has been mostly lost over the years since Yeshua lived was the unparalleled magnitude of His strength. He was strong enough to save every single person in existence, past, present and future, and that strength radiated from Him like heat from the sun. Yeshua empowered people not only through His teachings, but through His mere presence as well.
S: What happened after that night?
P: I accompanied Him back to His homeland.
S: You must have traveled at night as to avoid the sun for your safety.
P: On the contrary. We traveled during the day.
S: How was this so?
P: Yeshua's spirit, I told you of its strength. Well, he cured me. He rid my spirit of all evil. I basked in the golden rays of light and warmth for the first time in over 1000 years. I felt as if heaven descend upon me.
S: I cannot even begin to fathom such an occurrence.
P: It was glorious.
S: So he cured you from the sun, but what about the desire for sustenance?
P: Cured, my friend.
S: How was He able to do so?
P: Before we left on our journey, Yeshua told me to give Him some of my blood. I did so even though I was confounded as to why He would make such a request. He drank of it, perplexing me further. Then, He told me to drink of His blood. I was reluctant at first, but trusted in His methods. As I did, I tasted my own blood as it coursed through His veins. When I could no longer taste it anymore, I was released.
S: Why would he do such a thing? What was it for?
P: To cure me. He took my blood into Himself, purified it, and gave it back to me. I no longer yearned to feed anymore. He gave me a new mortal life. I was set free by the blood of the Lamb.
S: This is almost unbelievable, what you are telling me.
P: Imagine my state of mind while this was occurring! It was unreal. I tell you the truth when I say from that point on I thirsted no more.
S: Well, what happened reverting you back to being the way you were... or rather, the way you are now?
P: When we reached his destination, it was time to part ways. I wanted to return to my homeland and live the rest of my life as a mortal man. Yeshua told me to live and embrace the blessings bestowed upon me that day, for returning to the past would only damn my tomorrow. I heeded his words and departed. Years passed, and as they did I began to experience an unexplainable stirring inside of me. All my mind could do was ponder Yeshua and His well-being. It was Passover time, so I knew He would be in Jerusalem. I traveled there to meet Him, but when I arrived it was too late.
S: What do you mean?
P: Judas had already betrayed Him, and Yeshua was set to be crucified the next day.
S: Did you do nothing to try and stop it?
P: What could I do? I was only a man. I had no more powers. All I could do was watch as He died on the cross.
S: That must have been horrendous.
P: No words can speak of that which I felt. The pain of every agonizing second burned my soul. I could feel my spirit writhing in torment witnessing the death of one man's life that was greater than the sum of all else in existence. When his loved ones took Him down, I fled. While on the outskirts of the city, I saw man in the distance, weeping underneath a tree along the path. As I moved closer, I discovered it was Judas. A rage overcame me. My mouth salivated as it did once before for a thousand years. The thirst burned in my spirit, and as it did, the sun began to tingle my flesh. I darted toward Judas with a wrathful vengeance. When I reached him, I grabbed him by his neck and slammed his body into the tree. Weeping still, he muttered the words of a delirious man. He was so stricken with grief and regret; he spoke of ending his life. I noticed a rope lying on the ground beneath our feet. But the burning spirit inside of me forced my voice to say, "You do not deserve an easy death. You must suffer as Yeshua did." It was then Judas gazed upon me with a look I knew all to well.
S: What look?
P: The same look I witnessed before Yeshua saved me: the look of one staring at death.
S: Mal'ak d'amot.
P: I did what Jesus told me not to. I delved into my past and allowed anger and hatred to consume me. I did not strive to love and forgive. I damned my tomorrow by granting my demons autonomy over my spirit once again.
S: What did you do then?
P: I bit him and drained him of his blood. Before I departed though, I broke his neck and tied the noose around it. It appeared as if his neck snapped and the branch split in half. Not long after, the birds of prey came to scavenge his corpse. When they did, I drifted into hiding, forever waiting for the night.
S: I'm sorry to hear that.
P: Do not apologize. You did not crucify Yeshua, and you did not do this to me.
S: Having experienced all of that though, you more than anyone should know what true faith is about. How can you say there is no purpose, that there is no reason to have faith when you were loved by Yeshua Himself?
P: When you witness someone so great be destroyed by those He lived to save, and then see His teachings and life's work become diluted by greed, corruption and those in power, you would have no faith either. For all of His strength and righteousness, Yeshua failed. There exists no divine justice. The faith you speak of is a mirage, an illusion of spiritual grandeur. I resist this faith with what heart I have left. God has abandoned this world and everything in it. Back then, you could feel the Almighty in the air all around you. Now, the world is one massive orphanage where debauchery and inequity are the headmasters.
S: But your conversation, what Jesus told you, the truths he revealed to you.
P: Honestly, my friend, I remember the nature of our discourse, but I cannot recall specifics. It is a blur. After I slayed Judas, I felt an immediate disconnect. God left me to my damnation.
S: That is not true.
P: Tell me that in 3000 years. We will see if you still hold such conviction in your faith then.