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Now He Rises

Posted by Roberta Grimes • April 13, 2019 • 20 Comments
Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus

The most amazing discovery of my life is the fact that Jesus is a genuine Being Who came to us as God on earth. Having faith without evidence to back it up is useless! Who cares what you or I might believe? But we can prove now based on the testimony of people that we used to think were dead that Jesus the Christ actually walked the earth two millennia ago knowing things about God, reality, death, the afterlife, and the meaning and purpose of human life that He could not have known if He had not been an emissary from the Godhead. Some years ago this truth hit me hard, with a joy so deep I cannot even express it! The Lord isn’t just a religious figure, but rather He is an elevated Being Who came to earth with an essential purpose. So then I was determined to know that purpose, and if possible to help the Lord fulfill it; and my first shock was the realization that the religion that bears the Lord’s name has very little to do with Him. Far from coming to earth just to die for our sins, Jesus spent three years sharing with us a set of teachings that we now can demonstrate came through Him directly from God, unprecedented in their elegance and simplicity, and entirely sufficient all by themselves to bring the kingdom of God on earth.

For most of the first millennium after the Lord’s death, His manner of passing was so little remarked that amid the plentiful uses of symbols like the anchor, the fish, the vine, and the dove, the use of the cross as a Christian symbol is nowhere to be found. But today that Christian cross is everywhere! The cross that depicts the Lord’s manner of death has become the symbol of Christianity because between the fourth and eighth centuries a series of Roman councils invented a new religion based in fear which replaced the gentle movement based in love that Jesus had so well begun. If I am wrong about this, I am going to a hell that the dead insist does not exist; but if what the evidence tells us is true, then it is time at last to move beyond that old false and fear-based Christianity.

I have given you a graphic photograph of the Lord dying, nailed to a cross, so you can better appreciate the ghastliness of all those sanitized Christian crosses! Suspended above the altar in my husband’s brand-new church is the archetypical Catholic cross that bears a life-sized, full-color Jesus. The few dribbles of blood are decorous, true, and the face of the Lord is beatific, but no one is allowed to enter that magnificent modern church without being made to feel sinful and unworthy because Jesus had to die a ghastly death in order for God to forgive us. In the New England Protestant church of my childhood the sanctuary cross was of bare wood, but it was nonetheless large and prominent. Never for a moment are Christians allowed to forget the manner of the Lord’s death, nor can we escape the Christian notion that it was entirely our fault! As the great mid-century stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce once said, “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.”

What follows are the actual words of a twenty-first-century Christian preacher. This dear man believes with all his heart that he is devoting his life to Jesus, but is there anything in what he says that seems to be related to the Lord’s Gospel words? He says, “Many people can’t see how a loving God would let people spend eternity in hell. The problem is that we are all born in sin because of the Garden of Eden! God tells us there is only one way to cleanse ourselves of sin, and that is the plan that our loving God gave us. He sent His only Son to die for the sins of all humanity. Jesus was born of a virgin so He was without sin, and then He lived His life without sin, so when He died on the cross he could pay with His blood for the sins of all mankind. That is why it is only faith in Jesus Christ that can wipe away our sins so we can spend eternity with a holy God. Those who never accept Christ will die still in sin, so they cannot be reconciled with God. This is God’s loving plan to save us.”

Please re-read those words. Is there anything about the Gospel teachings of Jesus on love, forgiveness, and bringing the kingdom of God on earth that seems to you to comport at all with what this earnest preacher says?

Even for those who don’t realize that it has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus, Christian theology is plain off-putting. And many prominent thinkers have pointed out the fact that it makes no sense! Eighteenth-century French philosopher the Marquis de Sade said, “To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.” And no less an intellectual light than Albert Einstein wisely noted that, “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.” It is no surprise that in the United States, which has the world’s largest Christian population, the most prominent religious persuasion has of late become “no religion at all.”

We owe a tremendous debt to those who preserved the Lord’s words for two thousand years! Thanks to the Apostle Paul, the Roman Emperors, and all the nameless worthies who played their part in advancing a religion not based in Jesus that still venerated the name of Jesus, you and I have the amazing chance to read an approximation of what Jesus said. We never will know what might have been forgotten in the couple of generations before the Gospels were written down, nor what those Roman councils might have removed; but, wonderfully, enough remains for us to reconstruct what the Lord came to do so we can advance His true work today. It was inevitable that a religion based in random fear-based human notions eventually would lose its appeal, but what is wonderful is the fact that despite a broad-based disenchantment with Christianity, in survey after survey Jesus Himself still shines!  His favorable rating in the United States remains as high as ninety percent.

Jesus did not come to die for our sins. He tells us in plain Gospel words that neither He nor God judges anyone, and those that we used to think were dead tell us that the death of Jesus on the cross has never made an afterlife difference for a single human being. Furthermore, that whole false theology of substitutionary atonement is insulting to God and humiliating to Jesus! When we read His Gospel words, we find Him clearly telling us why He came. Other objectives He might have had have been lost, but for now these five are a coherent plan:

* He Came to Abolish Religions. We tend to think of religions, spirituality, and God as a kind of package, but religious beliefs are archaic nonsense that distances us from the genuine God.

* He Came to Teach Us to Relate to God directly. We can demonstrate that God is real! So at last you and I can speak to God on our own, and God will lovingly listen.

* He Came to Teach Us to be Seekers. Far from wanting us to stick with old religious beliefs, Jesus urged us to remain forever open to new divine revelations!

* He Came to Teach us How to Grow Spiritually. The teachings of Jesus on forgiveness and love are the easiest and most effective method for achieving rapid spiritual growth ever found.

* He Came to Save the World. Humankind now risks prompt extinction on a desolated planet, but the teachings of Jesus have the power instead to bring the kingdom of God on earth.

Yes, the Easter miracle really did happen. We are told by upper-level beings that for Jesus to suffer a public death and then rise from the dead had not been part of His plan. But He had found it so difficult to convince His followers that despite the fact that our bodies decay our spiritual lives really are eternal that He decided to demonstrate for them and for us the fact that death is an illusion. It doesn’t matter, of course, when He decided to do it, but we are assured that is why He did it. The fact that Jesus’s ghastly death and His re-animation of His dead body were all done to demonstrate that life goes on altogether transforms the Easter Week events from humiliating proof of our unworthiness into a glorious demonstration of God’s perfect love.    

So at last Jesus rises! It is happening now! Amazingly, Jesus the Anointed One, the Christ, the Son of the Living God now rises from the false religion that has blessedly preserved His teachings, and He speaks to us freshly in 2019 as clearly as He spoke to us long ago. And just as the Lord’s first listeners were called to leave their fishing nets and follow Him, so you and I are being called now to put aside all our lesser struggles and begin to share the Lord’s Way with the world. Of course, since His Way is not a religion, it won’t matter whether we are Christians, Jews, atheists, or any religion at all: we can forget about religions and join hands worldwide as we share God’s perfect love. This is such a joyous time to be alive!

Rather than the fear- and guilt-based gloss that Holy Week has always carried, eased just a bit on Easter morning by the comfort of lilies and chocolate eggs, you and I have no reason any more to feel anything but gratitude that Jesus chose to die as He did to demonstrate that eternal life is our birthright, no matter what our religion might be. What Jesus is demonstrating for us all is that God loves us perfectly, no matter what! And living in the certainty of God’s perfect love, all of us can join hands at last and learn to love everyone else on earth.

I will be traveling during this coming week, so I have invited a beloved Guest to share with us His thoughts on Easter morning. I hope you will welcome Him with all your heart!

Jesus Dying on the Cross photo credit: babasteve <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/64749744@N00/33900721811″>GOOD FRIDAY</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Crucifix as Art photo credit: afagen <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035749109@N01/45880826781″>Crivelli’s Crucifixion</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Junked Crosses photo credit: patrina_io <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/52467002@N00/2866543588″>desktop per biateddi</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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20 thoughts on “Now He Rises

  1. Realizing the genuine nature of the Master, and also that we are still 2000 years later participating in His mission, is an astonishing “aha moment” — even as the traditions of our religion (or choice or inheritance of no religion) tell us with an unquestioned force that the mission was over and now we just need to believe. These are some hard habits for a planet to break, especially the one in which we cast ourselves in the role of sinners who must be saved from our own doom.

    The problems we face are indeed problems of our own making, but the Master showed us how to free ourselves OF ourselves, not how to continue to wait in shame. “All this and more you will do,” He said, and He meant it.

    We must recognize the difference between stories that are cultural artifacts of cultures long gone and stories that are still relevant today, and let those older cultures go. The ways in which a story was told in the first century cannot possibly resonate with the 21st century, but the story ITSELF can. We are called by Jesus to transform our minds, and with then, our world.

    Those cultures from the 1st, 4th, and 19th centuries were what they were, and their limited vision hampered a brilliant vision of love, forgiveness, and empowerment. It’s time for the us to leave the relics and listen to the Man. If just a few of us can do that, the world will transform before our eyes.

    1. This is lovely, Mike – thank you, and thanks to Arrow for her thoughts! We are told that much of growing spiritually is at its base the throwing-off of negative thoughts and ideas like the jettisoning of ballast, since our natural state is perfect love so the more we shed negativity – including the negativity of religion-based fears – the more easily we will naturally rise, as a bubble rises in water toward the light. And you are right in pointing out that for just a few of us to grow spiritually that way will be enough to begin the whole world’s transformation!

      1. The point seems to be that we don’t necessarily need to reject the old ways of telling the story of His mission as to remember what they are: products of a culture that is not ours. We are looking at a new way of telling it, understanding it in a way that will empower us to transform not just ourselves but also the earth. Our guides have already begun helping us find this new power. That is a topic for future discussion.

  2. The fact that a modern day preacher thinks that Jesus was without sin because he wasn’t born as the result of a sexual act is scary to say the least, especially n the twenty first century. I’m sure he believes that God created us all, so if that is the case, God himself is responsible for the “sinful act” that led to our existence. This is beyond puritanical thinking and is totally insane

    1. I’m glad you pointed that out, dear Lola! I find it difficult to believe as well that a prominent Christian clergyman living and preaching today would count the natural procreative act as actually sinful! But so it is for these fire-and-brimstone guys who see us all as going to hell because of Adam’s sin. This is why the “virgin birth” matters – not because God is the Lord’s father, – so He has great genes! – but because God could impregnate Mary sexlessly. It just makes you shake your head in sad amazement, doesn’t it?

  3. Jesus also came to show us that it isn’t God’s will that we suffer and die from disease and limitation. He did this by healing the multitudes and his early followers also had this healing ability for the first few hundred years after his ascension. If it were God’s will, he wouldn’t have interfered. He showed us the unreality of disease and death by directly contradicting the material evidence of the senses and restoring people to wholeness.

    1. Dear Anita, I agree that there are some more esoteric notions that also were likely part of the Lord’s mission, but at a more advanced level of thinking. Once we have raised our consciousness vibrations, we will naturally be able to heal ourselves and others, remove negative influences over others (casting out demons), and eventually even perhaps actually affect matter (moving mountains)! It seems that I am being directly not to go there just yet, but there is a whole world of investigating the powers of our liberated minds that lies still before us. Truly a wonderful time to be here, as the consciousness of this planet awakens!

    1. I have often found it ironic that as I grew more distant from Christianity, I was becoming more and more interested in trying to find out what Jesus truly said, did, and meant. In light of what I have learned from you and others over the last few years, it makes more sense. On the larger scale of human history, do you think Jesus knew the the world wasn’t quite ready to grasp his teachings while he was here on earth, but the seed needed to be planted so that it will hopefully germinate now, in the time of mankind’s greatest need?

      1. You know, Scott, this is a very good question, and it is related to a question that I had myself until recently: was Jesus upset when the religion-builders hijacked his teachings in the fourth century and replaced His gentle movement called the Way that was based in love with this awful, fear-based barbarism centered around the notion that He was a divine human sacrifice? I even was outraged in His behalf! Of course He must have been upset!!

        But then a few months ago I wrote that Jesus must have been upset that His work was hijacked, and I heard a clear male voice saying, “What makes you think that anything was hijacked?” I was given to understand that all of it had been part of the great design! Isn’t that amazing? So apparently this whole long detour away from the Lord’s true teachings was intended!

        I was shocked at first, but after that came a profound sense of relief. All of it is in God’s hands, and so for certain all will be well!!

  4. I am Reading Louie Harris’ book about Alec Harris, the superb Welsh materialization medium, who died in 1974.
    I saw it on Victor Zammit’s Friday afterlife report.

    Very interesting about the full materialisations. I quite believe it, even if it will be hard for many. I have only ever read about spiritualism.

    But, comparing it with the bible accounts of what happened when Jesus appeared before his closest disciples after his death is most interesting. He told Maria not to touch him, as he had not yet “ascended to his father”. Yet, later he told the doubting Thomas to touch the wound in his side, and he ate some bread and fish and appeared and disappeared suddenly in a room. Also, at first some of the disciples did not recognise him. Very tantalising!
    The main thing is that he was not a lamb-like sacrifice for our sins. He came to tell us all the other wonderful things about who and what we really are.

    Gerda

    1. Dear Gerda, thank you for mentioning the Zammits’ Friday Afterlife Report! Everyone, if you don’t already receive it, just go to VictorZammit.com and sign up. It’s the best news you’ll read all week, and it’s free!

      I agree that there is an enticing possibility that Jesus didn’t re-animate His body, but instead He appeared to people as an apparition of some sort. When I first became fascinated by physical mediums and their materializations, I thought that was a possibility as well! But eventually I decided that even though the jury will probably always be out until we get to ask the question of the Lord Himself, it is more likely than not that He did in fact re-animate His corpse. Not that that would have been an easy feat! But here is some of my reasoning:

      1) The tomb was empty when the stone was rolled back. So, where did the body go?

      2) I am fascinated by the Shroud of Turin, which may indeed be the Lord’s burial shroud. I am aware of the arguments against it – medieval DNA, etc. – but all of them look to me to have been refuted; and there still seems to be no way to explain that scorch in the shape of a crucified man! Personally, I think it could have been the result of a surge of extraordinary non-material energy. No way to know now, really, but something did produce it!

      3) Every report of an apparition that I have ever seen was brief, and the apparition was not solid. Of course, a materialization produced by a physical medium would be solid, but it would be made of ectoplasm; and all ectoplasmic materializations of which I have ever heard required darkness or near-darkness and the entity remained attached to the body of the medium who had produced the ectoplasm.

      Of course, re-animating a body that had been decomposing for three days would have been difficult. The cells throughout the body would have been mush! But what I have come to think is that the process of decomposition was supernaturally arrested upon the death of the body, and with a powerful burst of supernatural energy the body was re-animated three days later. After all, an electric shock can re-start a heart that has stopped beating, and the body will again function. If the Lord had arrested the body’s decomposition at once, would this really be so different?

      No one knows what happened, of course, but it certainly is fun to speculate!

      1. Roberta, I am really intrigued by the Shroud. I first heard about it from a friend way back when I was in high school and it sounded odd to me at the time, and then years later, I heard that it had been debunked. Now I understand that the original carbon dating tests themselves here conducted in a less than scientific manner and that in fact, there is ongoing study of the Shroud and increasing evidence that, although it was repaired several times, including during the Middle Ages, most of the cloth appears to be from the ancient Mideast, probably in or near Judea. I make an annual exercise, on Good Friday, of reviewing the latest scholarship on the Shroud (there is a website officially dedicated to the scholarship and evidence, and it strives to be as objective as possible). Each year I am more intrigued AND more amazed at the evidence for it being at the very least an archaeological treasure that’s a testament the torture of crucifixion from the very era of this horrific means of execution. Is that crucified man the Master Himself? There is lots of one-to-one correspondence with the Gospel descriptions. But, as you say, no one really knows for now.

        1. I agree with all that you say, dear Mike! Whether it really is the Lord’s shroud is my likely very first question, once I eventually make it home!

  5. Wishing you a blessed Easter weekend, Roberta. As always, sincere thanks for sharing with us all your profound wisdom and insight.

    1. Oh dear beautiful Deanna, it is so good of you to comment here! I hope you and all your family will have a wonderful Easter holiday as well!!

  6. Dearest Roberta,
    This week’s blog was beautiful. Many people are going to ‘get it’, when they are informed of the five things here, that Jesus came to do. Once they realize that Jesus’ Way is the most simple, elegant equation that enables us to grow spiritually, they will be enthusiastic about it. It offers a fresh look at Jesus that brings results.
    I’m surrounded by people who love Jesus but feel distant from religion. Who knows how many people are ready for The Way nowadays?
    And yet it must be a secular movement, because if it is attached to a church, even an open minded one, people will start falling back into the old habitual, religious mentality. And this mentality seems to busy itself with an array of religious ephemera, rather than doing what Jesus actually said to do. It happens in every religion that people are sidetracked by traditions and rituals that take up much time and attention, but do not make a person a being of perfect love.
    And it doesn’t surprise me (now that you mention it) that it was part of the Divine plan to let Jesus’ message be made into a religion – and then to recover the real purpose and meaning of it in these modern times. Jesus always could turn water into wine !

    Happy Easter Roberta, may you be ever blessed. Thank you for all your suggestions on growth, they are already working for me.
    Efrem ❣️🙏🏼

    1. Oh dear Efrem, your first paragraph here is exactly what I dream of! And you are right in saying that the Way can never again be allowed to detour into becoming a religion. It is an entirely secular movement – just as Jesus designed it to be – so if people want a religion, they can follow any religion they like; and they also can follow the Way, without any kind of interference between them. Jesus actually expected this would happen commonly! He said, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of God is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old” (MT 13:52). (A “scribe” was, of course, a clergyman.)

      I find it more surprising than you do, dear Efrem, that apparently all of this was planned! All I can think is that this result – the religion ignoring His message and espousing fear, and consequently growing enormously, then dying, and Jesus now with a 90% approval rating so he has a huge audience eager to hear Him at this precarious time – perhaps this was planned as the most effective way to get people really to listen to Him? But I don’t know. I look at how much suffering the Catholic Church has unleashed on the world over the past 2000 years. But not with the eyes of God does man see, right?

      Happy Easter to you too, dear Efrem, and to all our wonderful friends!

  7. Roberta, This has me so very curious. When the Templars got back from the Holy Land after many years, they built magnificant churches. There were no crosses in these churches. Why do you think that is? Many people feel they found out something in the Holy Land and blackmailed the Pope with this information. The Pope let them do whatever they wanted to do until that fateful Friday the 13th. What did they learn in the Holy Land?

    1. Dear Sallyann, I am not a scholar of the Templars so I can’t speak to the notion that they learned something secret in the Holy Land and they then bribed the Pope; but the cross was not even at that time (early second millennium) as universal a symbol of Christianity as it is now. And if I recall correctly, the Templars were wealthy and they had built up considerable good will, so the rules might have been laxer where they were concerned. An interesting secondary question might be why they even wanted to build churches without crosses in them! What little I know of their theology does suggest that they were less fixated on substitutionary atonement than was the Catholic Church as it was developing. I wonder now whether their deviation from Catholic orthodoxy in this way might have been part of the reason why the Vatican destroyed them?

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