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Who Killed Jesus, and Why?

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Chapter 13: The Dead in Christ

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Gone -- A Novel about the Rapture
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© 1987, 1996, 2000 G. Edwin Lint


G. Edwin Lint, Author
PO Bos 473
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

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Gettysburg Military Cemetery
Friday, January 3, 11:59:30 A.M.

The LCD numerals blipped away the remaining seconds to noon. While idly noting the passing seconds Lacey was aware of the country preacher's strong voice rolling through the old cemetery. What did he say he was going to read? First Thessa-something. "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first . . . "

Lacey continued to look at her digital . . . 58 . . . 59 . . . 00. And then, no 01 to start the next minute! Her watch had stopped at exactly twelve noon. Angrily she tried to tap the watch's buttons and get it going again but her finger wouldn't move. In fact, her entire body was held in a total state of instant paralysis. Except her eyes. She could move her eyes and she did so frantically, scanning the little knot of people attending the graveside service. Everyone else seemed to be in the same fix she was in. Absolutely no one was moving at all.

Then the trumpet note began and for a while, Lacey was aware of nothing else. Maybe she made her living with an all-night country show for truckers but her first love was trumpet music. And the shelf below her stereo system contained some of the best.

But this horn man, whoever he was, had all the pros beat. And as the sustained tone began to swell, the sharp January air gave the sound an added measure of brilliance and resonance which sent shivers of appreciation up and down her spine.

Suddenly the focus of her senses shifted from what she was hearing to what she was seeing. A wraith-like vapor was swirling up from the carnations topping Ben Haydad's casket and swiftly began to assume the appearance of a human form. And then her eyes widened as similar vapors appeared above several of the graves within her field of vision. She turned her gaze across the drive and saw that the grave of the 538 Civil War soldiers from Pennsylvania was almost obscured by the vapors.

Amazement, terror, and an unknown sense of reverence strove for supremacy in her consciousness as she tried to make some kind of sense out of what she was seeing and hearing. The preacher had been standing directly across the grave from Lacey when the phenomenon began and she searched his face for some clue to what was happening.

His big Bible was still open in his hands and his head was bowed toward it in the posture of reading. But his eyes were as mobile as Lacey's and his glance touched hers. However, she saw no fear or even awe, only a curious kind of--triumph. Whatever was happening, it apparently met with his full approval.

And then Lacey noted with increasing incredulity that a total environmental change had occurred without her being aware of it. Snow no longer covered the ground and the subfreezing bite was gone from the January air. Instead, green grass and flowers carpeted the cemetery and a gentle summer breeze stirred living leaves on the trees. A scarlet-vested robin flitted down to perch on a handle of Ben Haydad's casket and a heavily-laden bumblebee flew laboriously across Lacey's range of vision.

Impossible? Yes! But, in fact, it was summer within the wrought-iron fence of Gettysburg Military Cemetery and for at least a hundred yards beyond. Outside that perimeter, however, 14 inches of snow still glistened in the clear light of a January noon.

Again Lacey turned her full attention to the vaporous entities eddying above certain graves. What had started out as vapors were now clearly seen as human forms. Well, perhaps not "human" forms but living forms, nevertheless. Forms with faces of sublime beauty and bodies of flawless physique!

The former soldiers were dressed in soft robes of lustrous blue. There were one or two women in the group and they were similarly garbed in pink. All were unshod. Although there were distinct differences in minor facial characteristics and hair color, all the men were about the same height--six even-- and the women were all about five-five. Even more astonishing was their apparent age. Each person, male and female alike, seemed to be about the same age, probably 21.
Once more Lacey looked toward the mass Pennsylvania grave. No tattered blue uniforms with bodies broken by minie balls or grape shot now. About 100 strong, young men were materializing from the eddying vapors.

Throughout the cemetery, the vapors which first heralded the appearance of the apparently-resurrected forms quickly dissipated and the creatures began to move. And with their movement they were given voice. Instantly the cemetery rang with shouts of "Hallelujah!" and "Praise the Lord!" as the creatures ran to and fro, greeting one another with joyous embraces. Lacey could only imagine she was witnessing the reunion of comrades in arms. Persons long dead and of various shapes, sizes, and ages were now somehow miraculously resurrected. Resurrected to a state of beauty and perfection which transcended anything Lacey had ever seen or heard about. It was absolutely beyond belief!

After at least three rounds of greetings had been exchanged by the newly-resurrected creatures, they began to join hands and form a large circle which circumscribed the halted graveside service of Ben Hayhad. Lacey had lost track of which of the glorified persons had been the dead trucker but she knew he was in the circle somewhere.

When the circle was intact, the resurrected ones began moving in a clockwise direction around the open grave, dancing lightly on bare feel across the verdant summer carpet. And as they circled, they sang a song with a tune which was unknown to Lacey. The words sounded like . . . "All hail the power of Jesus' name, Let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all!"

Lacey had a keen ear for music and appreciated all kinds when done well. Even country. What she heard now was the most perfect male harmony imaginable. The first tenors were as clear as a silver bell with the flutelike tones of the second tenors blending in perfectly. The baritones and basses provided a solid anchor to the total effect. The few ladies who had been buried in the military cemetery shared their soprano and alto voices to provide perfect harmony!

As the singers entered the second verse the speed of their circling motion began to increase. Faster and faster they moved until their unshod feet scarcely touched the grass. As she watched, Lacey noted that now and then their feet didn't touch the grass at all. First one and then another would take several strides a few inches above the soft, green grass.

And then before Lacey's widened eyes the exception became touching the grass rather than gliding above it until the entire circling assembly of resurrected forms was completely airborne and rising slowly.

Throughout the singing and circling the trumpet note had continued to swell in volume and intensity. And as the swell increased, the circle of beautiful creatures rose with increasing swiftness until it was nothing but a rapidly-diminishing speck in the eastern sky.

When there was nothing more to see, Lacey glanced down at her wrist where her index finger was still pressed to the button of her digital watch.

It was still 12:00:00 noon!

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This product is an excellent tool for creating IEPs and curricula. It consists of the following components:

  • 16 Subject Areas
  • 105 Goal Areas under the Subject Areas
  • 4,830 Objectives under the Goal Areas
  • 2,719 Suggested Activities for achieving the objectives.