With renewed strength, but with growing concern, Linus returned to the Square to help deal with the prophet queue. Taking the microphone straight away, Linus began his speech: “Everyone knows that we angels have always distinguished ourselves as messengers.” His speech was interrupted as the angels sent p an enthusiastic cheer for themselves. “God’s servants are truly flames of fire among whom Michael and Gabriel hold highest honors for exceptional service.” Another cheer went p for Michael and Gabriel. “However,” Linus continued, “you are aware that the perfect life to be sacrificed for sin will have to be given by a man, as announced earlier. Having failed to find a perfect life among the priests and kings, we will have to look among the prophets, who will thus perform a double role. I regret to say that all angel applicants may be dismissed.”
The host of herald angels dropped out sadly, since anyone of them would gladly have given his life if given the chance. A fine collection of prophets was left, man of whom had been martyred in the line of duty. During the confusion there was a spontaneous conference held by the prophets, following which a self-appointed spokesman signaled with his hand that he would make an announcement in their behalf.
It was Jonah, who said, “My brothers agree with me that there was never a prophet like Moses. He was the meekest man in the whole earth. Obviously, any prophet would have to belike him in order to fulfill the requirements for this great job. We would like to concede the post to Moses.”
Moses proceeded meekly to the desk where Linus took out his files and said, “Truly, Moses, you are the most outstanding of the prophets, the one to whom God chose to speak face to face. But I notice that you are not among the martyrs. . . .”
Moses looked down at the golden pavement and in a very soft voice said, “No, it was not the will of the I AM to end my career in that way. However, when the people rebelled and would have certainly paid with their lives, I offered to have my own name removed from the book of life instead.”
Linus looked grave. There was indeed not a greater prophet than Moses, and yet if his name were submitted, where would the perfect life come from? He gave Moses the same reminder about his imperfect life that he had given to the other finalists.
Subordinates from Heavenly Bodies took charge of returning the Square to normal. The interviewers were thanked, and a very concerned Linus headed for the conference room.
Evan Junius looked a bit concerned as he took the floor. “It would seem,” he began, “that our job is twofold. . . ,” and he wrote on the chalk board:
1) Choose between Abel and Zechariah
2) Find a perfect life
Andronicus, the member of the senior advisory staff known for his analytical mind and few words, volunteered that it would be of little use to settle on a priest if they couldn’t come up with a perfect life. The committee sat silent for a long time. Junius erased the board and slowly printed two words: “PERFECT MAN.”
Turning to the committee, he said, “If we can find a perfect man, he will obviously be able to herald the good news, rule God’s people, and also offer his own life as a sin offering.”
The wise angels looked at one another some more, each beginning to see sparks of light and hope in the others’ eyes.
“It’s never been done before,” said one.
“But with God nothing is impossible,” said another.
“But would He?” That was the question.
Linus said quietly, “I knew from the beginning that this job would require the best that heaven had to offer.”
As they prepared to select a spokesman, a knock was heard at the door. Each angel stood at full attention as the Prince entered the room. All waited expectantly for Him to speak.
“I have talked it over with my Father,”He said simply, “and it is with His consent that I am offering to become a man and thus pay the price of man’s redemption.”
And so He did!
THE BEGINNING. . . .