Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed and in order to make scripture come true he said, “I am thirsty.” A bowl was there full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop and lifted up to his lips. Jesus drank the wine and said “Father, why have you forsaken me?! It is finished…..” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit to the Lord (Matthew 27:45-56, Mark 15:33-41 and Luke 23:44-49).
I closed my eyes as a mortal man for the last time on that day expecting to awaken in the Kingdom of Heaven amongst a choir of angels. I was told by the Lord, or so I thought, that I was to sit to the right of His mighty throne. It was not to be. God either lied to me outright or perhaps he is not truly God. I did everything Jehovah asked of me. I was humiliated for the pleasure of the crowd. I was flogged within an inch of my life, a crown of thorns was placed on my head and I was led through the streets like a common criminal to my own execution. I suffered through all of this because God commanded it, thus I sacrificed myself to absolve the sins of all mankind believing the Kingdom of Heaven awaited me. I was utterly wrong!
The later Catholic Church only got a precious few dogmatic interpretations right. A celibate priesthood was not what I wanted. I am no virgin Messiah myself. Mary Magdalene was my wife and she bore me children. Remember I am the Son of God, but yet I was still a man with the needs of men. Holy wars in my name were not what I wanted. God told me to preach love, tolerance and forgiveness. One thing those papist fuckers were correct about was that all suicides go to hell. Let’s face the facts; what I did was pure, simple suicide. I could have escaped the Romans who came for me in the Garden of Gethsemane. I knew Judas would betray me to them. Worse yet, I told Judas to betray me all in the furtherance of God’s agenda. I could have performed a miracle before Pilot, Herod or the mob howling for my blood, at any time freeing myself. I knowingly suffered and died ever though I could have escaped my fate with God’s blessing. The acceptance of my fate damned me for all eternity, because suicide, after all, is a mortal sin.
When I died in agony, I awakened a moment later in a null zone. A silent black abyss, scientists in later generations would refer to as a black hole. No light, no sound. The only thing I could hear was the beating of my own heart. My thoughts were the only thing I had to keep me company. For three long days and nights there I floated measuring the passage of time by breaths I took and by counting upon my fingers. I told my follower, the Apostle Mark, the day before the passion that, “Remember if the world hates you, it has hated me first.” I felt the hatred of the men who scourged me. I endured the pain of his whip in silence, but the pain of this bitter isolation and emptiness of my soul was far worse than any earthly agony. Was this Hell? If it was, it was a far more bitter Hades than could ever be imagined by man.
Then the hallucinations began. I wasn’t sure at first if they were real or just created by my mind due to the absence of light and extreme isolation of my surroundings. Bathing in light and dark are really drastically different. Light like the light from the sun, envelops you and holds you close, like a warm blanket on a cold night. Darkness or the absence of light is isolation because it is a void. You float in it like it is water in a darkened pool. It is complete and utter nothingness. The isolation of that experience is total and complete. This is why I questioned the visions I experienced, because prolonged isolation can easily drive a man mad.
In my first waking dream the Devil suddenly appeared before me. How did I know he was the Devil? I am a prophet of God, so intrinsically I just knew I was in the presence of ultimate evil. The Devil looked like a mortal man in most respects with the exceptions that he had large black wings, dark as a raven’s, protruding from his back. It was reminiscent of angels’ wings, but far more sinister looking and the man was the most handsome one I had ever seen. He had wavy blonde hair and angular, almost feminine, features. Had I not known who the man was, I would have instinctively liked him at first glance. “So what are we going to do with you?” the Devil said with a charming smirk. “What do you mean by that Lucifer?” I replied. “Ah, you know me, excellent!” the Devil said, floating closer to me. “I just came by to make you an offer, kid. You see, you aren’t quite alive and not quite dead right now. This is what scientists, a few thousand years from now, will call a crux event.” “I don’t understand,” I replied, with a puzzled look on my face. “Never you mind kiddo, just hear me out,” the Devil said, moving within an arm’s length of me. “No closer unclean spirit!” I shouted. “Damn dude take a Valium or something, I’m not going to bite you!” the Devil shouted back. “What’s a fucking Valium?” I wondered. “The fact you are in limbo means that we have an interesting opportunity here Jesus” said Lucifer. “If you would like this all to end now so you can go back to a normal life, I would be happy, even overjoyed, to grant your wish. After all, you’re a nice Jewish kid with a lot to offer the world,” he said. “I died for all the sins of mankind. It is God’s will and I shall not go against the word of God,” I said, shuddering at the thought. “Too bad kid, because all suicides go to Hell, my domain, and you are a suicide,” the Devil said, offering his hand. “The answer is and shall always be no, dark man!” I said, turning my back to him for emphasis. “Bummer dude! Well at least you’re a man of strong convictions. I kinda admire you for that. We will have a space ready for you in Hell in a couple of days. I am fairly certain you are not going to like it, but I call it home. Later!” And with a snap of his fingers Lucifer disappeared from my sight.
My next vision was of a conversation Judas Iscariot and I had the day before I was taken to be scourged. “Judas, I have a mission for you,” I said to him. “Command in all things my friend and it is done,” Judas replied, smiling. “I want you to betray me and tell my whereabouts to Caiaphas and the rest of the temple rabbis,” I told him grimly. “Oh hell no! I’ll be damned for all eternity if I do that Jesus, ask anything of me but that!” he shouted frantically. “Are you my best friend and follower?” I asked. “You know I am,” he said. “Then if you won’t betray me because I asked you to, do it because it is God’s will.” Judas walked off mumbling something that sounded like, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Then the dream ended as abruptly as it had begun.
The third and last dream, or was it a vision, was of myself making love to my wife Mary Magdalene impregnating her with my child. It was a very pleasurable dream, almost feeling like an out of body experience. We made mad passionate love without speaking a word or making a sound, for the Apostles were asleep in the room next door. I didn’t want them to know I had cravings of the flesh because if they know, the mystique of my passing might be tarnished. I needed to seem like more of a God than a man to them because God told me it was necessary if we wished to save mankind from itself. It was the last time I was inside Mary before I died. The Devil’s offer of a normal life was tempting for only one reason. I could be with my wife until we both passed if I accepted his deal. That time had come and gone, for God has forsaken me.
A voice issued forth from the throne and said: “Be praised our God, all you his slaves who fear him, the small ones and the great.” (Revelations 19:5). As I floated in the dark abyss, I questioned my sanity during every waking moment. Sleep was a blissful escape for I did not dream at all and that, oddly enough, was comforting to me. In the last hour of my third day in nothingness, there appeared to me a small flickering light far in the distance. It was the light of a flame, like somebody a mile away had just struck a match and lit a candle. It was a welcomed sight because, even at that distance, its appearance served to warm my heart. Fire has always comforted man from the very first day the secret of its creation was discovered and I am, after all, a man. I strained my eyes to see the light more clearly for several hours, but could not make out its source. Then in a flash I was speeding towards the faint flicker faster than the voice of a man carry over a long distance. It must have been much further away than I had anticipated, for it took me several hours whizzing through the abyss at a high speed to reach it. With each passing moment of travel, the flame grew larger and larger until it loomed very large in the distance. It was an impossibly large ball of flame, the size of earths own sun. I slammed into the fire at high velocity and the blackness of unconsciousness darkened my eyes as I blacked out from the shock of its searing heat and force of my impact.
When I awakened I was laying in front of a great black metal gate 100 ft. high. Flames issued forth from this gate as if fueled by some mystical force. The gate stretched as far as the eye could see in either direction and through the bars of the gate I could clearly see a land that stretched out over hundreds of miles, all of it set ablaze with hellfire. I had arrived at the gates of Hell. I walked along the gate to the left searching for an entrance to this ghoulish Tartarus for many miles. After several hours of travel, I came to an opening in the gate that had a great black wooden desk sitting in front of it. Sitting at the desk, in a comfortable looking leather bound chair, was a strange looking man. Strange because his clothes were unlike anything I had ever seen. He wore a shirt with a jacket, of some kind, over the top of it all in black with matching pants. The man wore some kind of cloth tied around his neck that hung down in front of his shirt. His hair was short and strangely perfect without a single hair out of place. The man patiently waited for me to approach and then said, “Hi, I’m Dick Clark! Welcome to Hell!”
The name “Dick Clark” meant nothing to me and the name was as foreign to me as the gate keeper’s appearance. “I wish I could say I was pleased to meet you Dick, but under the circumstances…” I replied, smirking. “I’m the official gatekeeper in Hell, Jesus and my job is to host all newcomers and give them an orientation concerning how things work down here.” “I’m from, what you might call your future,” he continued. “Say what?!” I replied puzzled. Dick smiled and explained, “Time has no meaning in either Heaven or Hell, so in the Infernal Kingdom every sinful human who has ever died throughout history arrives at the same time.” “I was wondering why you were dressed so strangely,” I said nodding. “I’m not the one who looks like a cast member of ’Jesus Christ Superstar‘, buddy!” Dick said, his eyes flashing angrily. “Once again, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about!” I said. “I personally died in 2012 A.D.” said Dick. “What does A.D. stand for?” I asked, once again puzzled by his strange verbiage. “After the death of Christ or should I say after your death, my friend,” Dick said with sympathy in his voice. “Holy Shit! I hate when that happens!” I thought to myself. “Let me ask you Dick, you seem like a genuinely nice guy. What on earth did you do to wind up in Hell?” I queried. “Well to be honest, Jesus, the Devil appeared to me when I was 30 years old and working on a rock and roll music show called ‘American Bandstand.’ He offered me a deal to have an unnaturally long life and eternal youth until my death. I took the deal and sold my soul to Lucifer and here I am,” Dick said, his eyes showing remorse for his actions. “That sucks!” I replied. “As far as damnations go, mine really isn’t that bad. It mostly consists of me working this gate, sharing the duty with Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. And in my off time I host Hell’s most popular game show, ‘Deal or Damnation.’” “What is a game show?” I asked. “Oh, that’s right you were born long before television weren’t you, Jesus? I will have to keep that in mind,” said Dick. “You’ve lost me again, Dick,” I replied.
“On to the business at hand daddy-o. You’ll learn all about the Devil’s favorite invention when you pass through the gate. In the meantime, I’ve got some good news for you and some really bad fucking news. Which do you want first?” Dick said, flashing a fake smile. “The bad news first, if you would Dick,” I answered, shaking my head. “The bad news is you must make a choice in the next 10 minutes to either go back into the abyss for all eternity or enter Hell through this lovely gate we have in front of us. If you don’t mind me saying, the abyss really sucks my balls. If I were you I would choose Hell, but that’s just me talking,” Dick said, using his best game show voice. “So what’s the good news Dick?” I said. “The good news is if you choose to go to Hell, you have the opportunity to earn your way upstairs. Due to all the good things you did prior to your little suicide, the Devil has decided that you’re not irredeemable. If you travel the road behind the gate called Highway 666 through the seven levels of Hell performing all the tasks the Devil requires of you, the Devil will give you a one way ticket to the gates of Heaven,” Dick said. The abyss was definitely out for me. I’d much rather feel the fires of Hell than absolute nothingness. I was going mad after only three days in the blackness. “There’s only one major drawback to taking Highway 666, Mr. Savior. If you fail to satisfactorily complete any task on any level of Hell you get sent back here to start your journey all over again. The same thing happens if you are killed on any level. Very few folks have ever made it all the way upstairs. I think the last lucky winner was comedian Sam Kinison 140,000 years ago,” Dick said chuckling. “Sam who?” I said. “A fallen, heroin addicted, preacher turned funnyman.” I stared at Dick clueless. “Oh forget about it! You don’t have the time for a full explanation!” Dick said. “I’ll take the Highway there Dick. At least then I have a chance to go to Heaven,” I told Dick, after a moment’s contemplation. “Good choice, Jesus, and good luck to you Mr. Christ! It’s been a real pleasure meeting the man who died to absolve all man’s sins!” Dick said, reaching across his desk shaking my hand vigorously. “Tell the Messiah what he has won Don Pardo!” A disembodied voice announced, “Jesus Christ has just won an all-expense paid trip through the seven levels of Hell. He will suffer endless torment, pain, deprivation and anguish along the way. Jesus has also won a George Foreman Grill, which the Messiah can use to make free food once per day!” Don Pardo announced, as Dick Clark handed me a strange looking white object. “You don’t have to sound so happy about my trip through Hell Don Pardo!” I yelled. “Fuck you Jesus!” Don Pardo replied. With that the gates of hell swung open and I started walking down Highway 666. As I began to walk, I met a strange white fat guy dressed in a one piece leather outfit with very tall black hair including oddly long sideburns. “Please tell me Dick’s not pissed, I’m late relieving him, baby?” said the strange looking man. “Not that I know of sir,” I said, staring blankly at him. “Thank you, Jesus! I love you, baby! Hunka, hunka burnin’ love….” he said and then ran up to Dick Clark, who proceeded to punch the fat guy right in the face knocking him unconscious. I turned around without looking back and trudged into the Seventh Level of Hell, shaking my head in a very bewildered fashion.