Saturday, June 19, 2010

Waking The Fallen (2003) "Radiant Eclipse"

[reprinted as written by Avenged Sevenfold]
As performed by A7X

Two nights ago I was shot
A bullet sunk straight through my skull
A friend pulled the trigger that silenced me
No pain as I awoke, but dead
Seeing the face of the man
The time as he lays down his gun
I knew this was going to take place
White silence, so peaceful, so numb

No one knows the time they're changing
No one will see through:

You're all gone to me, (gone to me)
I've been pulled out to watch from my eternal sleep
Intuition and a warning to believe (I will believe)
Something was wrong and though I felt I had to stay
Moving on seemed to be somber bliss
Without one goodbye
I watch my Mother shed tears
(and taste the blood she cries
and taste the blood she cries)

No:This gun has stopped time in its tracks
Has altered the course of my fate
Destiny is shattered and timeless
Closed eyes feel the cold winds embrace

I'll watch you call, calling for me,
you can't bring back time...
Close your eyes or look away,
fate exposed and won't let me stay
Hope will fall tonight with broken wings,
descending entity in me

My voice has been taken from me.
The more I listen, the more I have to say

Like a ballad, the poet sings a tragic tale of life cut short. Betrayal comes through a friend ~ we almost hear Caesar's famous words to his beloved nephew, "Et tu, Brutus?"

The poet sees all, the treachery of his friend, the shredded grief of his mother spilling tears of blood, the shattering of his destiny, the desparate cries of his friends trying to call him back to life. But nothing can change the finality of his death.

Now that he is in this spirit realm he senses peace, silence, numbness, the promise of somber bliss. He watches as broken hopes and broken dreams coalesce in his body, stilled by the cold embrace of death. What keeps him here, gazing down on this awful scene, is the wrongness of it. He's been pulled out of what would be his eternal sleep to stay in this strange halfway place.

Now as he listens he realizes, poignantly, that he has something important to say, a warning to believe...but death has taken his voice from him.

How do you feel about the poet's claim that fate can be altered? Who is in control in this story? Not even the poet, but the betrayer, who lays down his smoking gun, having now silenced the voice he no longer wanted to hear.

Where was God? Why would He allow the destiny of anyone to be destroyed? How could any good come from such ruin? How could this tableau be anything different than what we are given to see, the young hero lying in the widening pool of his own blood, his mother kneeling beside him, wracked with sobs, the betrayer shadowed in the background, wails rising from his stunned and devastated friends?

Change the picture only a little and there is Jesus, dead in His mother's arms, John and the others ravaged by grief, dark Judas slipping quietly away.

In the physical earthly realm passersby saw a man shredded by flogging, naked, hanging on a cross between two known felons. His crime was posted over his head, “King of the Jews.” Not much to report, just another sordid crucifixion brought to you by the Roman empire.

But in the spiritual heavenly realm a vast transaction was taking place, immeasurable in size. In fact, what was happening on the spiritual plane finally affected the earthly realm to such a degree that all the light was sucked out of the area, and darkness completely blanketed the crucified Lord. That was heavily indicative of what it cost God to redeem His people from sin and death.

“Redemption” was originally a technical term, used in the ancient near east, in the world of commerce. It was used specifically in connection with the buying and selling of slaves. A person being sold as a slave could be purchased to own, or could be “redeemed” for the express purpose of being set free. The price of redemption was called a “ransom.”

In Jesus’ day slavery was pretty commonplace. You could offer yourself as a slave, which people routinely did in order to pay off debts or provide for their families, and that’s what Adam and Eve originally did, they freely entered into sin’s employ. Your parents could sell you as a child into slavery, and in a sense that happened with the whole human race, since Adam and Eve consigned all their descendants to sin’s slavery. Finally, you could be born a slave of slave parents, and that is exactly what happened with you and me, and all people. We were born slaves to sin.

When you belong to sin, all sin will give you, in the end, is increasing wickedness, corruption and death and there is no way out except to be redeemed by someone who doesn’t belong to the same master. We could never have redeemed ourselves, because everything you and I might have tried to lay claim to by way of payment already belonged to our master, sin.

In order to purchase a slave, something of value had to be exchanged, whether the coin of the realm or some other product that could be used as cash. Peter said that Jesus paid with something that was even more valuable than silver or gold, which, after all, as precious as it is, is still perishable.

Without Jesus you and I would have been condemned to a life of sin ending in death. Jesus did more than dig into His treasure to pay a ransom for us, to rescue us from our cruel master of sin. In order for Jesus to pay what would be recognized by God as the coin of the realm, He had to become a man, He had to have a life that He could live perfectly, without one sin, without one way that sin or death could have a hold on Him.

Jesus substituted Himself for us, He took the penalty for us. In a way the ransom He had to pay, the only ransom that would be accepted, was to give His life in our place, to take all the sin into Himself and to allow the wrath of God to consume our sin in Him. Jesus redeemed us from our empty lives with His own blood, the blood of a perfect sacrificial lamb.

Jesus actually redeemed people to set them free, to give people the choice again to live in righteousness, and to have eternal life. The Apostle Paul said, “You were bought with a price...Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”. There is no way we could ever repay the Lord, and what He has given to us is of such incredible value, incalculable value, there is nothing less that we could give back in gratitude except to devote our whole selves to Him.

God has a purpose in the darkest, most awful moments in your life. What is that purpose? Take a risk. Ask Him expecting an answer.

[It's possible the poet was writing about more than an ordinary person]

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation


  1. When do we get to hear some of this up front Sunday morning? C-Dub (Clarke Woodfin would be enraptured!)
    Comment made before actual perusal of lyrics...

  2. tchah!! Probably not exactly Sunday BEP material here! But truth nonetheless...


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