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Don Yarber Don Yarber
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The Unearthly Trial of Jason Colby

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This story will appear in the Christmas Edition of Voice Magazine, a Christian Publication based in England.  Much of this story can be found in the Holy Bible, King James Version.  If that amounts to plagiarism, sue me.

The Unearthly Trial of Jason Colby
                                                © August 24, 2011 Don Yarber

       Jason Colby was 78 years of age when the angel of death came for him.  It was three days after his 78th birthday, to be exact.  August 39th in the year of Our Lord 2052.
       In the year 2021, scientists discovered that the earth was slowing on its journey around the sun, and at the same time, the rotational spin on its axis was slowing.  The first indication was the seasons were changing.        
       In the Midwestern portion of the United States of America, winters were much longer and more severe.  Summers were longer, too, and by the time fall approached, the earth had suffered droughts, long periods of extremely hot temperatures, and endless days and nights.
       As a result of the slowing, days and nights were much longer; weeks were consequently longer, months were extreme periods of time and years were eternities.  Congress passed the Revised Calendar Act in 2030 that made each month 40 days instead of the former.  Thirty days hath September, April June and November no longer applied.  There was a profound debate over the act, since most of Congress had no idea how many days were in a month, just as they had no idea of how many millions were in a trillion when they tried to balance the budget.
       Jason Colby had been a doctor of medicine.  As such, his life was filled with the oddities of death.  One patient might die at age 30 and the next live to be 100.  Jason was a competent physician, doled out drugs to his followers on an equal basis, whether they needed them or not.  If the first drug caused the patient problems, Jason prescribed another drug to cure the ill in that area, and the snowball effect continued until most of his patients were consuming two to three pounds of drugs daily.  Jason only prescribed drugs from the companies that supplied him with ample financial recompense, so by most standards he was quite wealthy.      
       During his 54 years as a physician, Jason had only been sued once for medical malpractice.  He had prescribed a drug to a young woman who was expecting a baby.  The fetus had an allergic reaction to the drug, so Jason prescribed another drug to counteract the allergy.  The second drug caused an allergic reaction in the mother of the unborn child.  Jason promptly prescribed a third drug for the mother’s allergy and that particular drug caused a second allergy in the fetus.  The leapfrog effect of prescription drugs continued until the young mother fell asleep at the wheel of her DAT (Digital Air Transport) as a result of taking a drug that caused drowsiness, and she and the fetus were killed when she drove head on into an oncoming DAFT (Digital Air Freight Train).
       Jason’s attorney in the case was Abraham Goldberg, a famous defense attorney friend of Jason’s father, Jacob Colby.  Abe Goldberg successfully argued that the mother-to-be should have read the caution labels on one of the drugs that warned against driving while taking that particular prescription.  That was his defense for Jason and the case was dismissed.  The fact that Jason had contributed heavily to the Judge’s campaign never entered the picture.
       It never occurred to Jason Colby that he might someday die.  He just did not think about death.  He thought about living.  He was a member of the country club, the AMA, on the board of several companies and banks, and attended church regularly.  Jason’s parents were Jewish, but Jason had married a Gentile, and since his views on religion were very moderate, accepted his wife’s church as his own.  Being a law-abiding citizen who believed that religion served the purpose of keeping people happy, he readily and willingly engaged in the proper thing to do, join the church.
       So it was a bit of a shock when Jason awoke on the morning of August 39, 2052 and discovered that he was dead.  When he opened his eyes, instead of the pale blue ceiling of his bedroom, he found himself looking at a brilliant blue light framed by white.  He swung his legs out of his bed and stood up, but instead of the bed, he had actually tried to rise from a soft billowy cloud.  Instead of the floor beneath his feet, there was nothing.  He started to fall.  Jason was too confused to scream; instead, he sucked his breath in tightly and held it.  As he fell, he closed his eyes and tried desperately to figure out what was happening to him.  Maybe the sleeping drug he had taken the night before was causing hallucinations.  He’d have to take another drug to counteract the hallucinations, he told himself.
       When the fall ended, he found that he was on a shelf of land, suspended between the sky above and the earth below.  He stood with his toes hanging over the edge of the shelf and looked down.  He could see below, billowing flames, people with no clothes shoveling fuel into the flames.  Their skins were a bright orange, and when he peered closer he thought he could see little blue flames emitting from their skins.
       In front of him stood a man.  The man was dressed in a long flowing white gown.  Jason thought he recognized the man but he wasn’t sure.
       “Who are you?  And where the hell am I?” he asked.
       “Let me answer the second question first,” the man said.  “You came close to guessing it.  You are not in hell, but you are very close.”
       “What?”  Jason exclaimed.  “What are you talking about, and who in hell are you?”
       “I told you, you are not in hell, just close.  So I am not in hell either.  My name is Peter.  You can call me Saint Peter.”
       “Saint Peter?” Jason asked.  “As in the disciple who was beheaded?”
       “Give the man a cigar,” St. Peter said.  
       “But then….”
       “Yes.  You are dead.”
       “Dead?  Why?  When?” Jason blurted out.
       “You died in your sleep early this morning,” St. Peter said.
       “And where am I?”
       “You are at the Judgment Gate.” St. Peter said.  “This is the final spot where you will stay until we determine whether you go to hell or to heaven.”
       “Why, I am a good man,” Jason proclaimed.  “There shouldn’t be any question as to where I will spend eternity.  By the way, how long is eternity now that Congress passed the RCA?”
       “RCA?” St. Peter asked.
       “Revised Calendar Act,” Jason said.
       “Oh, that,” St. Peter said.  “God vetoed that act.  We still go by the old calendar.  Eternity is forever.”
       “I see,” Jason said, although he wasn’t sure that he did.
       “After I have reviewed your file, I’ll make a recommendation as to your destiny,” St. Peter said.
       “You?  I thought I would get a jury trial; after all, I’m a physician.  I should be entitled to a jury trial, not a final decision by one man.”
       “I’ll have to check on that,” St. Peter said.  Suddenly there was a bright flash of light.  Jason blinked and when he opened his eyes, St. Peter was gone.  He closed his eyes and using the first knuckle on each hand, rubbed them gently.  When he opened them, St. Peter was back, standing in front of him.
       “It has been decided that you are entitled to counsel,” St. Peter said.  “Do you have an attorney?”
       “I had one on earth,” Jason said.  “I’m not sure he is up here.”
       “What is his name?  I can check the rolls,” St. Peter said.
       “His name is Abraham Goldberg.”
       St. Peter snapped his fingers and a huge ledger appeared over his shoulder.  He turned and faced it and moved his fingers up and down on a ledger page, then right to left as he turned the pages.  He finally pointed and turned back to Jason.
       “Your in luck,” he said.  “Goldberg is here.  He was admitted about a year ago.”
       He waved both arms in a circular motion and a man appeared standing next to Jason.  Jason looked at the man and immediately recognized him as the attorney who had won the medical malpractice suit for him years before.
       “Abraham Goldberg, at your service,” the man said.
       “I’m Jason Colby, do you remember me?” Jason said, extending his hand.
       “Oh yes,” Goldberg said.  “I remember your case very well.”  He shook Jason’s hand.
       “Well then,” St. Peter said.  “I guess we can get this underway.  Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Jason Colby?”
       “I do,” Jason said.  He thought that St. Peter would have the power to determine if he was lying or not, but maybe that power was reserved to God alone, or to the Holy Trinity.
       “For the record, state your name,” St. Peter said.
       “Jason Colby.”
       “And you are represented by counsel, please state your counsel’s name.”
       “You just found him on your rolls,” Jason said, “You know his name!”
       “For the record,” St. Peter said.
       “Abraham Goldberg, your honor,” Goldberg said.  “I’ll be representing Mr. Colby in this matter before the court.”
       “May I hear your opening statement, Mr. Goldberg?” St. Peter asked.
       “Certainly, you honor.”  Goldberg said.  “By the court’s own record, The Holy Bible, it is hereby submitted that Jason Colby, being born of a Jewish father, is, by birth, a Jew.  Therefore, he is entitled to enter into heaven, seeing as how the Jews are God’s chosen people, and I cite…….”
       Thereafter Goldberg began to quote several scriptures in the Old Testament where God made a covenant with Abraham and his offspring, declaring that they were God’s “chosen” people.
       “Hold on,” A voice said.  “You are forgetting something.  The Old Testament is just what it says, “Old”.  There was a new covenant made.”
       Jason and his attorney turned to see who was speaking.  He saw a short man with a purple robe.
       “Who are you?” Jason demanded.
       “My name is Paul,” the man said.  “Formerly Saul.  I will be the prosecuting attorney in this matter.”

      “I object!” yelled Goldberg.  “The prosecutor will be biased on behalf of the judge.”
       “Overruled,” St. Peter said, and slammed a golden mallet on the podium.
       “But your honor,” Goldberg started.
       “Mr. Goldberg, one more outbreak like that and I will find you in contempt of court.  You are forgetting who the judge is in this matter.”
       “But you aren’t the judge,” Goldberg said.  “By the court’s own record Jesus of Nazareth is the judge.  I quote John:5:22:  “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”
       St. Peter smiled mysteriously and replied:  “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead?”
       A golden beam appeared in the heavens, shining down on the scene where Jason Colby stood waiting for his judgment.  A tiny spot appeared in the beam, and the spot grew into a face.  The face seemed to slide down the golden beam as though it were a speck on a televisor that was growing because someone was manipulating controls to bring it from background to foreground.  Then the face stopped, behind and above St. Peter’s head.
       “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” The voice from the televisor said softly.
       “Your honor, I object,” yelled Goldberg.
       “On what grounds?” St. Peter demanded.
       “Every defendant has a right to face his accuser,” Goldberg said, adlibbing.  “This apparition before us is not a man, it is just an apparition.”
       The televisor went black with a loud bang, causing the three men to jump in alarm.
       Then Jesus stood before them.
       “I’m not an apparition” they all heard at once.  “I proved that to Thomas, must I prove that to you?”
       “But you are the Son of God,” Goldberg stated.  “Everyone knows that.  How can you be unbiased towards my client?”
       “Thou sayest.”  Jesus said.  
       “No where in the Bible does Jesus call himself the Son of God,” Paul said.  “As a matter of fact, he always referred to himself as “The Son of Man.”  That makes him perfectly qualified to be an unbiased judge in this matter.”
       “Proceed, Mr. Goldberg,” St. Peter said sternly.
       “Your honor, and your Highness,” Goldberg bowed to Jesus.   When his client did not bow, Goldberg elbowed him and motioned for him to bow, for it is written, every knee shall bow before him.  “I submit that in the book of Revelations, your servant, John, writes that every man shall be judged by his works.  My client has been a good man on earth.  He has healed the sick, given comfort to thousands, and went to Church every Sunday, devoutly.  By that reckoning, he should be allowed in Heaven.”
       “What say you, Paul?” Peter asked.
       “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” Paul said.
       “How about John 3:16,” Goldberg admonished.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
       “He’s got a point there,” St. Peter said.  “What is your rebuttal, Paul?”
       “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
       “Objection, your honor,” Goldberg stammered, his lips sending a spray of spittle towards a small cloud.  “Just what in hell does that mean?”
       “Might I remind counsel that we are not in hell,” St. Peter said.  “Although it appears that your client, Mr. Colby, is at this point getting his toes warm.”
       “Your honor,” Goldberg said, composing himself.  “My client has kept the Ten Commandments, he has never broken not one single commandment intentionally and with malice aforethought.”
       “Is that true, Mr. Colby,” St. Peter asked.
       Colby nodded in the affirmative.  “Yes, your honor.”
       A bolt of lightning streaked across the sky accompanied by rolling thunder.  
       “Someone disagrees with that statement,” St. Peter said.  “Would you like to answer that question again, Mr. Colby?”      
       “Yes, your honor,” Colby said.  “But before I do, may I consult with my attorney?”
       “You may,” St. Peter replied.
       Therefore the recently deceased conferred with his lawyer.
       “What is the definition of intentionally?” Colby asked.
       “Deliberately, done with intent.” Goldberg replied.  “As in “malice aforethought.””
       “I stick with my answer then,” Colby said.  “All I was trying to do when I prescribed all of those pills to that mother-to-be was to keep her as my patient.  Her insurance carrier was considered one of the best, paying on time, and their allowance for medical prescriptions was very high.  At the time, I needed the money.”
       “I heard that,” St. Paul said in a loud voice, causing the clouds to shift in the heavens.
       “Order!  Order in the court,” St. Peter said.  When things were quiet and the clouds stopped moving, he said, “Continue.”
       “My client sticks by his previous testimony, your honor.” Goldberg said.
       “Cross examination?”  St. Peter asked, looking at St. Paul.
       “You admit then, under oath,” St. Paul began, “that the reason you prescribed so many drugs to the mother-to-be was because you were receiving a kickback from the pharmaceutical company?”
       “Well, I guess you could call it that,” Colby said.  “It was standard practice for Doctors in my circle.”
       “And that you quote, “needed the money” unquote?” St. Paul asked.
       “I always needed money,” Colby said.
       “Are you familiar with the scripture, ‘Luke: 18:25: For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ Mr. Colby?” St. Paul asked.
       “Yes I am,” Colby said, “But I wasn’t rich, not like Bill Gates or Donald Trump.”
       “Objection,” St. Paul said, stomping his small feet.  “That outburst is hearsay and irrelevant.  Donald Trump wasn’t so rich.”
       “Sustained,” St. Peter said.  “Just answer the question, Mr. Colby.”
       “Yes.” Colby said.
       “I would like to quote once more from the scriptures, if I may, your honor?” St. Paul said.
       “You may.”
       “Luke: 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”
       “And your point is what, prosecutor?” demanded Goldberg.
       “My point is simple, your honor,” St. Paul said.  “This man may have been a good man on earth.  He may have joined medical associations, fraternities, and churches.  He may have even received Jesus as his own personal Savior, I don’t know.  But even if he did, he may have been tempted, as we believe he was, by the love of money and of his own regard, and fell away from his faith.  It is written that only those that are free of sin may enter the kingdom of heaven.”
       “Is that your closing argument, prosecutor?” St. Peter asked.
       “Yes, your honor,” St. Paul replied.
       “Defense counsel, may I have your closing argument?”
       “Yes, your honor,” Goldberg said.  “My client should be allowed in heaven.  By your own records, God is a Merciful God.  Deut: 4:31: For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”
       “My client is a Jew.  Jews are God’s chosen people.  God made a covenant with the Jews and promised them a Holy Land.  I believe that Heaven is a Holy Land and therefore my client should be allowed to enter into Heaven.”
       “Rebuttal, prosecutor?” St. Peter said.
       “It states in the Holy Bible,” St. Paul said, “Hebrews: 8:6:But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises, and in Hebrews:8:7: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second, and in Hebrews:8:8: For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”
       St. Paul paused in his oratory, took a deep breath and then continued.
       “Mr. Colby’s defense attorney once argued that a young mother-to-be should have read the warning label on prescription medicine she was taking that caused her to fall asleep, thus ending her life and that of her unborn child.  I suggest to you, your honor, that Mr. Colby should have read the warning labels presented in the Holy Bible.”
       There was silence in the makeshift courtroom for several seconds.  St. Peter broke the silence with a statement:  
       “Since He is the only person present qualified to serve as jury, I now ask the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and Holiest of Holy, what is your verdict?”
       Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
       Suddenly Jason Colby was aware of a strange sensation.  It was a tingling sensation that he got every morning when he awoke.  He slept with his left hand under his pillow and on his left side.  The weight of his head cut off the circulation to his fingers and they tingled.  
       “Good morning, sleepyhead,” he heard his wife say.
       He awoke.
       Somewhere in the darkest recess of his mind he remembered a scripture.
       “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
       From that day forward, Jason Colby served the Lord.

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