(From the Outside is a fictionalized account of the death and resurrection of Christ written from the perspective of an archangel, specifically Rafael. It is an ongoing project, and it isn't done yet, so I'm publishing it a week at a time in hopes that I will be motivated to complete it. A few things: I'm no theologian. I'm a lay woman who works in Insurance who also likes to read. Taking this seriously in anything other than what it is, fiction, is not advisable. Let me know if you have any suggestions.)
Rafael closed his eyes for a moment, remembering the first time he understood this moment would come. He had wanted to protest, but he hadn't. He knew that this kind of thing ruminated in the mind of God far earlier than it was said aloud. Once he said it, with rare exception, it was going to happen. It had been weighed, measured, and plotted to tiny details. Still, the shock settled over his face visibly when he understood what God was saying the Son was going to do. Human. A hairless ape. He also remembered the first time he saw them. Blinking in the sunlight after the light of reason had properly descended upon them. He'd seen it then. The blurry image of God before him on the untamed Earth. There were times it was a like a picture taken through a smeared camera lens but he saw it. It was there. Underneath the dirt and the grime and filthy rituals some of them did after Lucifer's "intervention", it was still there. He wasn't without sympathy, but there was distance. He could do his duty on occasion and help and step back again. It was there, and the end was in view. It still seemed unreal. The Word, made flesh, like a hairless ape. In the wilderness he had watched from a distance until the appointed time. Watched with baited breath until he could intervene. Until the time was right. Until God the Son had begun to come into himself and understood more fully who he was.
He found himself fully embracing humanity. The Son of God, the Word, filthy and tired and hungry and fainting in the wilderness. He'd fed him, bathed him, (He could barely move) put him in a clean set of clothes and put him to bed in his mother's house. Rafael made it look as normal as possible for Mary's sake. She was shocked to find him safe and asleep in a little room off the back of the house. She knew something was different but didn't want to think about it. Not then. She sent word to the family that he had returned in one piece, safe and sound, and tried not to think about the rest.
It was strange to be here now, waiting until he was needed, knowing he couldn't intervene this time when he really wanted to. It was too much. Too much see what he was seeing and do what he had to do which is not spirit Jesus away from all this so he wouldn't suffer. He saw him to fall to his knees in anguished prayer and rushed to his side. Rafael took him in his arms and gave him his strength in the embrace.