The Final Stand

As I sat in the cold, damp dungeon, surrounded by rats and mouldy food, questions, raging with conflict, raced through my mind. Each question tormented my already frayed emotions and threatened to undermine my once steely resolve. “Why? Why, at the age of 20, are you here and not at home with your mother and lovely sister? You knew that they needed you since your father died. Why would you not listen to your mother’s warnings?” Though self pity threatened to engulf me…I knew the answer.Shortly after I met Jesus Christ as my Saviour through an underground meeting of Christians, I began to tell others about Jesus. Two days ago I was arrested for speaking treason against the state. My mother begged me to stop preaching, but I could not. I love my mother dearly, but I cannot deny my God.I heard the footsteps of the soldier coming down the hall. My mind raced with the ultimatum I was given, “Renounce the name of Jesus and you can live.” My mind tossed back and forth with the thought of living with my family and dying for my Saviour. The heavy iron door creaked open. I saw the large figure of a man standing in the doorway.The soldier pointed at me with his rough finger, “You! Get Up! Come with me!” As we walked down the long dark hall, only the noise of our footsteps and the crackling of the torch, which the soldier held in his hand, was heard. He turned to me, “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.” His voice was filled with disgust and bitterness.At the end of the hall was a large oak door. The soldier knocked three times, each one echoing in the hall behind us. The door slowly opened with a long creak. The soldier pushed me into the room then yanked the door shut.I was standing in front of a long table. There were five men sitting at the table, each had the look of hatred on his brow. The one seated in the middle, dressed in a long scarlet robe with many jewels and a crown, stood up and pointed at me with his long bony finger.“You have been accused of speaking blasphemy against the state. Your crime is preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. What is your defense?”I stood there stunned. I knew of the risks, but my love for God was greater than any risk I could take. Knowing that God was at my side, I boldly said, “I cannot, nor will I, deny my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”The face of the ruler turned cold and cringed with anger at the name of Jesus. He said with an evil sarcasm, “I pray thee, tell me thy doctrine.”With utmost confidence I turned to the tyrant and said, “I believe in God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died and rose again on the third day. I believe in the Holy Spirit who completes the Three in One.”The tyrants face reddened with rage as I continued.“I believe that salvation comes through the grace of God and the shedding of the blood of Christ, not the state nor the church. I believe in a place called heaven and in eternity with God. I believe in God’s Word as….”The tyrant stopped me with a “Cease your perverted mouth! How dare you speak such heresy!” He motioned to a nearby soldier who bound my hands and took me outside where a jeering crowd awaited my execution. I was tied to a large steak surrounded by wood and dry straw.The ruler asked me with an evil grin on his face, “Any last word, sinner?”I turned to him with all sincerity and said, “I may die today, but it is still God who is on the throne.”The tyrant turned to the crowd, “So shall be the end to all who speak the name of Jesus.” He motioned to the executioner to lower his torch and start the blaze at my feet.As the fire grew hotter and more intense around my feet, I softly looked at my mother and sister who were crying. I wanted to cry out “Stop, I recant!” But I could not, I loved them so much, but I knew that God would love them more. I slowly lifted my eyes to heaven as the fire caught my clothes. With tears coursing down my face, I cried in agony, "Father, behold your servant…comes home!”

The Final Stand

William Blair

Joined July 2007

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Artist's Description

I wrote this while I was in college… it was an assignment for Speech Class, I thought I’d add it for others to comment on.

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