The Great Escape
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 by Dave Holland

Deep in the bowels of the earth lies a stinking, burning, garbage dump for those who never worshipped God in truth. My name is Unholy, and I live in this hellhole. New arrivals usually bellyache, “someone’s made a mistake, I don’t belong here.” Or “I’m a good person. I don’t deserve this.” And my favorite, “I believe in the Big Guy upstairs, I’m not perfect, but I’m a decent person.” Welcome to Hades.

Hell stunk of sulfur that day. The essence of rotting eggs wafted through the gray haze of Hades as demons and all manner of horrific creatures poked and prodded the new arrival. Fresh meat to taunt gave them a sick pleasure. Laughing and kicking the corpse, the evil minions asked each other, “Who is he anyway?”

Lucifer laughed maniacally, “Jesus, ‘King of the Jews’ and now he’s mine, all mine.” Cackles of hisses and boos cascaded through the smokey caverns of hell. “This miserable, bleeding human was supposed to ‘save people from their sin,” he mocked. All the inhabitants of Hades reveled in their master’s contempt. Then the corpse moved.

Bloodied and beaten, Jesus rose, stretched, and preached to the captives of sin, death, and the grave, “Turn to God and believe in me.”

“Oh, you silly so-called Messiah, don’t you know I won? They’re mine forever.”

Ignoring the ancient liar, the Scarred One thundered, “I am the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world. All who believe in me shall be saved.”

Satan smirked while admiring his fingernails. “Yet, here you are,”

Still tattered and bleeding, the Scarred One marched straight to Satan’s throne and snatched the keys of death and Hell. The Devil’s long claws grasped for the keys as he hissed, “only those who believe in you can leave this place, ask them and see.” Satan’s glowing eyes swept across the inferno, intimidating all who came under his threatening glare.

Christ urged the captives. “Turn from your ways and follow me.” 

A condemned human called out, “Follow you? Where are you going? You are here with us, locked in the dungeon of the dead. Why should we listen to you?”

“Behold my bleeding hands, put your hand in my pierced side. I died as a sacrifice for you and all humanity. Put your faith in me and I will deliver you from this place.”

At that moment, a breeze unlike any other swept through that stifling place. Even the demons smelled it. “What was that?” The imps cried.

A fallen angel sneered, “Shush foolish goblin, that is the Breath of Heaven.”

The Savior’s voice grew stronger as he rose, imploring the masses, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Look to me and be healed of your wounds. Come and I will deliver you from the torment of hate, doubt, and fear.”

The Spirit-Wind swirled with growing intensity and the Christ began to rise above the stench of death and the grave. “Believe in Me,” He called out, “and this day you shall be with me in Paradise.” And faith rose in our hearts.

“No!” Satan roared. “They’re mine. Their own guilt condemns these stupid, wretched humans.”

Jesus declared, “I redeemed them by paying with my life. We rise to go back to the Father and place my blood on the Mercy Seat.”

Christ arose by the power of the Holy Spirit, leading the captives to freedom. Multitudes followed him and his ragtag band ascended beyond the gates of Hell, above earth’s atmosphere, and through the portals of heaven.

Children played with strange animals, large and small. The smells of nature mixed with the aroma of Mama’s baking wafted on living breezes. Birds and butterflies introduced the music of heaven. A hummingbird hovered near my ear and whispered, “you are no longer Unholy, but you shall be called Holy in the Beloved.”

Multitudes of angelic creatures marveled at the spectacle parading into the Holy Place. They recognized the Son of the Highest, bloodied but unbroken. Seraphim gasped. “What manner of creatures are these with Him, still wreaking of sulfur and stained with guilt?”

Heaven hushed as the Lamb approached the brazen altar. Wiping His bloody hands there, the Christ moved to the Mercy seat. The Lamb of God lay there with His pierced side still bleeding.

“Boom” The scepter of the Great God pounded the golden floor of heaven.

“Innocent!” He shouted for all creation to hear. “The sinless blood of my Son paid the price for all who believe. He redeemed people from every kindred, tongue, and tribe. Forever.” The Ancient of Days stood from his throne. “Wash them in the golden laver of my truth and clothe them with the righteousness of my son.

The Father turned his gaze upon me. He said before all the heavenly masses, “Unholy, you are now made Holy by the blood of the Lamb.”

Heaven’s choirs stood on tiptoe and sang, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, for he has risen and redeemed humanity out of every kindred, tongue, and tribe.”

All the believers cried out, “Christ has risen. Christ has risen indeed.”


By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you…

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day… I Corinthians 15:2-5

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:3-7

This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”[

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Ephesians 4:8-11

And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant with his blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat; blood that continued to speak from heaven, “forgiveness,” a better message than Abel’s blood that cries from the earth, “justice.” Hebrews 12:24

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)

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