Posted by Roberta Grimes • April 04, 2020 • 69 Comments
Afterlife Research, Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus
One of the criminals who were hanged there was saying,
“ Save Yourself and us!” The other was saying,
“Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”
And He said to him, “Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
– Jesus’s Crucifixion, from the Gospel of Luke (LK 23:39-43)
A question often asked at this time of year is whether the Easter story is true. Most people who ask the question consider the Resurrection to be the unbelievable part: they are sure Jesus cannot have died on a Friday and come alive again on Sunday. Actually, though, there is good evidence that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. No, the part of the Easter story that turns out to be unbelievable is the Christian idea that Jesus died for our sins.
Jesus told us long before His death that God never judges anyone. For Him to speak against the prevailing religion was a capital crime, so He had to use some clever tricks to get the truth to His followers without alarming the Temple guards who were often nearby. For example, He used three different events to tell His flock what the dead now universally confirm to us is true about judgment, since the guards changed often but His followers were constant. And to further confound the Temple guards, He buried these essential truths in a blizzard of words! One day He inserted a potentially fatal statement into what the guards must have heard as just preacher-blather. He said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. … For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (JN 5:20-23).
That underlined statement that God doesn’t judge us went unremarked, so then on a different day Jesus elaborated on it by added that He never judges us either. He said, “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (JN 12:45-47). It was just more of what the guards would have heard as the ramblings of an itinerant preacher, with again that nugget of truth that Jesus doesn’t judge us slipping past their notice. Of course, at this point we can hear some ardent Christians saying, “Aha! So He did say He came to save the world!” But since Jesus has already told us that God doesn’t judge anyone, we can be sure He didn’t come to save the world from a divine judgment that never happens. No, it is clear from the Gospels that what Jesus came to save the world from was fear-based religious traditions. For example, He said, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9).
Jesus even told us that each of us will be our own afterlife judge! Different day, different Temple guards, He said something that also failed to alarm them. Deep in His Sermon on the Mount He said, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (MT 6:34-7:3). We now understand that after our deaths no religious figure will judge us, but instead we will face the sternest possible judge. Each of us will judge ourselves.
The notion that Jesus had to die to redeem us from God’s judgment – what Christians call “penal substitutionary atonement” – is not based in anything that Jesus said. Indeed, it directly contradicts the truths that He shares with us in the Gospels! Even worse, it is a disgusting teaching. Try asking yourself which of your own children you would most like to watch being horribly murdered so you can forgive the rest of them for messing up your living room. And still, God insists that you and I must forgive every wrong ever done to us? Jesus tells us to forgive “not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (MT 18:22). So God insists that you and I forgive, while at the same time God demands that we participate in the sacrifice of His Son to Himself or else God will not forgive us?? I had a lot of trouble with this teaching even when I was an ardent Christian, and the emails I receive suggest that the repellent Christian teaching that God cannot forgive us without the murder of God’s Own Son is the single biggest reason why people are leaving Christianity now. The theory that God is unable to forgive us unless God first gets to watch His Son being murdered is an insult to the genuine God, Who in fact is infinite love. And the notion that the greatest Teacher Who ever lived was born primarily to be sacrificed is humiliating to Jesus!
Who is Jesus, anyway? When my primary guide came out to me in February of 2015, the first thing I asked him was whether Jesus really was the Son of God or in some other way unique, or whether He was only a wise prophet. Thomas told me that Jesus is a great deal more than just the Son of God! He said Jesus entered that lifetime from the highest aspect of the Godhead. So since the evidence suggests – and both Thomas and Mikey Morgan confirm – that God is a Collective of Perfected Beings, my beloved Thomas is telling us that God actually walked the earth in the Person of the historical Jesus. The Lord hints at His divinity in the Gospels, although those who heard Him speak and then passed His words down orally for a couple of generations before they were written down may not have fully understood what He was saying. He would say things like, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (JN 14:9-10). The fact that few of His listeners seemed to grasp the fact that God had actually incarnated on earth in the Person of the Lord is not surprising.
I am a skeptic by nature. I began researching death and the afterlife in the nineteen-seventies in an effort to understand my childhood experiences of light, and it took me more than a decade to accept the fact that hundreds of perfectly consistent communications from people that we used to think were dead – received on two continents over nearly a century – did make it pretty much statistically impossible for the afterlife that they all talked about not to be real. And although I was very familiar with the Gospels – and always uneasy about the fact that Christians mostly ignore the Lord’s teachings – it was only when I realized at the end of the nineties that the dead were actually confirming what Jesus had said, and in detail, that I was able at last to abandon Christianity and give my whole heart to the Lord.
So for a long time I have doubted the claim that the burial shroud and sudarium (face-covering) of Jesus still exist to this day. But here, too, I am a skeptic no more! As was true of all that afterlife evidence and the evidence confirming the Lord’s words in the Gospels, the modern evidence that these relics are genuine is abundant and irrefutable. Here is what has persuaded me:
So there you have it. Two thousand years ago God came to earth as a human being and lived among us for thirty-three years, and then He was tortured, crucified, murdered, wrapped in a shroud, and laid in a tomb. Three days later He re-animated His dead body with an extraordinary burst of energy, and He showed Himself to His disciples. But why did He go to all that trouble? Next week we’ll give some thought to this question….
And a man named Joseph, a good and righteous man from Arimathea,
this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth,
and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.
– Jesus’s Crucifixion, from the Gospel of Luke (LK 23:50-53)
69 thoughts on “The Easter Miracle”
This blog raised up so many questions, but I will limit myself to one. But first, I was happy to see that you believe the Shroud of Turin to be authentic. I found it astounding that those who believed it to be created in the 14th century thought there were highly skilled and motivated artisans who could create such an artifact. That boggles the mind.
Now, for the question. Jesus said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”. The question is “what is “it”? Is it Karma, and if it is not, what is it? It seems clear that Both God and Jesus both say They don’t judge us, but that doesn’t mean we get a free pass for all of the tacky and worse things we have done during our present incarnation, and I’m guessing now, for sins left over from previous incarnations. –Cookie
Dear Cookie, “karma” is an eastern religious term and concept. I don’t believe that Jesus ever refers to karma, even by some other term. The word “it” in the quotation refers to whatever you’re thinking of: if you’re stingy with others, so will God be stingy with you; but if you are bountiful and loving to others, you will be benefited in much the same way.
As for judgment, all the reports that we have are quite consistent. We have talked here about the fact that “sin” is just a human concept and no act is wrong provided that we do whatever we do out of love. It turns out that there is no divine judgment (no matter how tacky you are!), but rather the only post-death judgment is by ourselves.
Soon after we return home, we undergo a very extensive life-review that is probably something like a hologram in which we get to feel how we have made everyone else feel in our lives just completed, whether good or bad. Then we are asked to forgive them all, which is apparently easy! Concentration-camp guard at Auschwitz who killed your family? No problem. You are here with your family now, and everyone is fine. No, it is only when we are asked to forgive ourselves for this or that crummy thing that we did in life – perhaps things that we even had forgotten about! – that forgiveness is hard for us. This is why it is so important that we learn to forgive everyone easily while we are here! Unless we have learned to forgive while here, we are going to be facing a very stern judge who won’t forgive us so easily for what we did in this lifetime just ended: we will have to account for our own mistakes to our very disappointed selves.
“Karma” is indeed an Eastern mystical concept and moreover, it is a non-English word that is poorly understood and poorly translated. I propose that the Western mind abandon it, especially since the way it’s portrayed is mainly through popular culture. It will never be satisfying to link the teachings of the Master to a baffled understanding of a cultural construct.
PS-And the best part is, there is no need to. His teaching is so simple: Love everyone, everywhere, forgive everything, always, live simply without fear. It’s easy to understand, although we make it hard to do.
I have two questions:
Indeed, I have already forgiven everyone in my life. It wasn’t all that hard; as I said last week, gratitude for all those difficult moments helped melt the ice of judgements, possible resentment, and everything else negative.
This forgiving yourself is indeed the hardest thing. If I already know the pain I have caused others and have “judged” myself already for it, and when I already have a very good idea of what kind of pain others went through because of me, and have also repented for that, will this kind of awareness help me out when I pass to the other side?
Now to the 2nd question: when someone said to Jesus that he was good, Jesus is reported to have refuted it and said that only God is good. If you say that God is a collective of perfected beings, who created those beings? Who created the universe, and who created the 7 levels of the spiritual world? If find this use of the term “God” confusing and it seems incorrect. Jesus also prayed. To a collective he called Father? I have studied about the spirit world a lot too, and I cannot come to this kind of conclusion.
There is a love and intelligence that goes even beyond a collective and is infinite. I have also read that while we all emanate from God, and we are One, and this this could form the basis for your theological statement, that God is also nevertheless so much more, which God can only hint at. Because it is beyond understanding.
Back to you…. 🙂
Dear Adri, you’re right – this notion that God is a Collective of Perfected Beings does need a lot more elaboration! So it’s time for us to tackle a blog post about the nature of God. I haven’t done that yet because, to be frank, I have until very recently been as uneasy about the notion that God is a Collective as you are! The evidence is there, and Mikey was confirming it, but it was really when I was writing a blog post a year ago this past February and finally said, “Okay, Thomas, I’m going to say this. Stop me if I’m wrong!” that my beloved friend said, “Go ahead.” Two words. And that was more than a year ago now, amazingly. https://robertagrimes.com/the-source/the-genuine-god My dear Thomas is so respectful of me that he never tries to convince me of anything; but neither does he allow me to go far wrong. And in the fourteen months since I asked him to tell me if I’m wrong about this, he has only helped me to become more certain that we are on the right track.
The notion that God is a Collective of Perfected Beings actually solves more problems than it causes. With the original notion of the Judaeo-Christian God, we still have the problem of who created God, and we add the troubling question of Why God created us – a question which God-as-Collective helps to answer. The old J-C Jehovah God was unfathomably distant from and greater than we are, to the point where that God is almost in the nature of Santa Claus: kind of fluffy and strange, rather than close and familiar. How can that God, never having been human, really relate to and love the little worms that we are in relation to Him?
As for Jesus’s view of things, putting together the Lord’s longer quotations for this post has made me remember that He so often talked as if He were speaking for God, and He sometimes even said that He was speaking for God; and then there is the whole matter of the fact that Jesus is demonstrably divine, and we are told that He came from the “highest aspect” of the Godhead. We have been told that He came to earth on a fact-finding mission, so God could “look through His eyes” and figure out how humankind was going wrong at the time, then give us appropriate correctives. When you see His mission that way, all of it makes much better sense than does the notion that He came to be a perfect human sacrifice, or even that He just decided to come and teach some lessons!
Jesus told us that God is Spirit, but to try to soften the scary Old Testament view of God He encouraged His followers to call God “Daddy.” He wasn’t saying that God is literally a father to each of us, but rather He was trying to shift our view of God from fear-based to love-based, which you see as you read the Gospels was one of His primary teaching-tracks. I could go on, dear Adri, but in a few weeks we will tackle this whole topic head-on.
Oh, and to answer your first question, the more you address and forgive yourself for the mistakes that you know you have made here, the better you should be able to handle your life-review! I have had my own wince-worthy moments, and Thomas tells me that I will see those in my own review as having been spurs to further spiritual growth, and I will forgive them on that basis.
Thank you for asking two very good questions!
Hi, I hear the word “karma” all the time, and most I know, and I myself have thought that it was about reaping and sowing. For instance do bad and bad happens to you.. I have also heard it said “what goes around comes around”.
Now I understand it to mean, that a person is guilty by association. For instance, I heard that a person who believes in “karma” will see a poor person sitting along side the road begging, and will deliberately cross to the other side to avoid that person for fear of becoming like that person…..
I understand that Jesus didn’t talk about “karma” but I see it in the parable of the Good Samaritan, and where it is said that favoritism is forbidden.
The question I have is, was Jesus pointing at this word “karma” and its destructiveness.
Hi Rocky! See my comment above for more on this uncommon notion. It’s a nonsense word in English and is best abandoned rather than attempted to be understood.
Dear Rockey, I had thought I understood the parable of the Good Samaritan, but I thought you had found a new wrinkle there so your reference prompted me to go back and read it again (LK 10:25-37). But now I see that you are referring to two separate instances, and in the parable you are talking about the fact that the priests who ignored the wounded man and crossed the street rather than helping him may not have wanted to “soil” themselves with the man’s karma-related bad luck? I guess I see them just as hypocritical jerks, too self-important to be bothered with helping someone they saw as a nobody ;-).
Dear Rockey, I agree with those (like our Mike) who say that we should get away from using the word “Karma” because it is – as he says – poorly understood, and probably poorly translated. However, I’ve got to add that no less an expert than Mikey Morgan sometimes uses the term! For him, it seems to refer to something like balancing the excesses that hang over from one life to another; so for example, if we had deliberately harmed someone in a prior lifetime, we might plan in some way to balance that out in a future lifetime. I find his use of the term curious, but it isn’t something central to his message and I have the sense that it may be something he picked up during his recent Mikey lifetime and uses just as a shorthand word he assumes that we will understand.
I understand, and I knew that there was something just not right about that word “Karma” It is totally misunderstood. I have to say it is hard to not use a word that one grew up hearing and using, it has become a habit. All I can say is I understand where a person is coming from because, I know what they mean when they say it. As far as the favoritism goes, I was referring to discrimination be it whatever a persons status, be it poor or some other condition that makes them unclean in the hypocritical jerks eye, and there are a lot of em too….
I am working on not using that word, but never the less it is a word that is widely used in this country. Just have to go with it I guess…
Roberta, Rockey and friends, I “get” Mikey’s (have I ever said I feel weird referring to a highly evolved spirit as if he were a 4 year old child 😉) implication in the term, as it is about our own free will and choice to set something right for the sake of it. The main issue with the misunderstanding is that people take it to be something that happens TO us, as a punishment or reward, and I don’t think that makes sense in the larger context at all!
Dear Rockey and Mike, I agree with both of you: the word “karma” pervades our culture now so it is hard to avoid using it, and Mikey will communicate only through Carol and seems to be happy to be referred to by his family nickname!
But where the word “karma” is concerned, Thomas wants us to get away from it and use English words that are more precise. He is concerned about shaping the narrative now, apparently since he will be dealing with it for a lot longer than you and I will!
PS I was kidding about Mikey. A highly evolved being can use whatever name he likes! But I will go along with Thomas’s point about coining an appropriate vocabulary. IMHO, our Western culture’s attempt to escape our own dogma seems to be to steal the dogma of Eastern cultural artifacts.
I have a question.
I have been to a lot of services as a believer in Jesus Christ.
When I greet some one, asking how they are doing I often get the response “Better then I deserve”. I personally don’t know what to think
about that. What are your thoughts on this???
Oh dear Rockey, Christianity is profoundly fear- and guilt-based. This is the sort of thing that these poor souls are taught to believe about themselves – that they are entirely unworthy, even if only because of Adam’s sin, and therefore in desperate need of God’s mercy that can only be earned if they claim the sacrifice of Jesus as their own. Plus of course warming the pews and filling the plate. Can you imagine any worse teaching than that, when God is only perfect love and each of us is God’s best-beloved child?
I agree, as having been to a Catholic school in childhood, it is ingrained in you that you are nothing but a worthless creature who should spend your whole life trying to right the wrong you have done simply by being born. However, if this is not enough, the church proclaimed it a mortal sin to use birth control so that you could produce more “worthless” individuals with the same original sin. Doesn’t this sound like the ravings of a mentally disturbed person?
Heh – Yes, it certainly does!
This is true. The real weird part of this is that the church ingrained a sense of unworthiness in their followers, and then claimed it to be a mortal sin to use birth control so that many more people would be born to be made to feel unworthy. I could never figure that out except to think that maybe this would increase the number of their parishoners.
Hi Roberta….so based on your understanding, what are your thoughts on cremating our deceased body or burial?
Dear Paul, thank you – great question! To my mind, cremation is really the only solution that makes sense. Once our silver cord has broken, our bodies are of no use to anyone. To see how much power it took for Jesus to re-animate His body even briefly and still so damaged that He could make only brief use of it should convince anyone who is still not sure that of course death is always a one-way trip. I have told my family that if they don’t cremate my body, I will personally come back and haunt them ;-).
Roberta: I’m so glad you mentioned the various aspects of the shroud that make it clear that it is likely authentic. Dr. Andrew Silverman is the latest investigator of this, and his thought was that he could probably debunk it – not because he’s Jewish but because he is a scientist. Instead, he researched it for quite a time and came out of it a true believer. That’s impressive, as in order for him to make that kind of statement, he would need some kind of hard evidence, and he found more than he bargained for. He says the image shows that it was “something sudden and instant” that was the result of a burst of light. The image is only on the surface and never seeped into the cloth, which was very impressive to him. I’m also glad you mentioned the pollen found on the shroud, as it turned out to be a particular strain of pollen found only in the areas that Jesus frequented (pollen can stay on a cloth surface for eons). The people who argue that this was a clever medieval hoax fail to take into account that in order to pull off the hoax, they would have to somehow have the pollen imported from that particular area. Even if that was possible, the chances are that no one at the time knew much about pollen, and almost certainly weren’t experts on which kinds of pollen would be found in the areas around Jerusalem. Also Seconda Pia, the photographer, was said to have nearly had a heart attack when he found the photographic negative. I’m not a photographer, but he was one of the best (during that time period), and it really shook him up.
Lastly, many now consider it a hoax because of the fairly recent carbon dating test, but they took a sample either on or near the part where the nuns re-wove the cloth due to damage from a fire that occurred in the middle ages, drastically altering the carbon dating results because the sample wasn’t from the part closer to the image.
Dear Lola, and the news is even better! Not only was there pollen from Jerusalem, but they have now traced where the Shroud was for its first 600 years, and it includes pollen from all those areas too. And the carbon dating error shook my confidence a bit, but it was only an error and long-since refuted. The fact that the image is a three-dimensional negative from 2000 years ago was probably what really sealed the deal for me!
Yes, me too. A 3 dimensional negative would have been unheard of then. Also if pollen was found on the cloth from other areas that the shroud was in, we have to accept that the clever medeval hoaxers imported pollen from those areas as well LOL.
Leaving the shroud aside, one thing that always bothered me since childhood concerning the crucifixion is the words Jesus said before he died (or at least went unconscious), and that is when he said “My God, why have you forsaken me.?” This sounds like something someone would say if they expected a totally different outcome, but instead felt a sense of betrayal due to the outcome that occurred. It sounds as if the God he invested so much into and talked about all the time turned his back on him. I don’t know another way to explain his words and, in fact, I find it quite scary. Also, I’m aware that Seth claimed that Jesus went to India. Seth was no idiot, so I have to think this was a downright lie. No one could truly believe that a person who underwent those horrific injuries could suddenly recover and take off to another country as if nothing ever happened. He would be lucky if he could even walk more than a few feet!
Dear Lola, there is a theory that since “a guiltless mind cannot suffer,” Jesus did not suffer during his flogging and crucifixion, but I am not so sure about that. I have tended to think that what happened here was that He was in such pain that He was briefly out of contact with God – He seems otherwise to have been in constant close contact with God, throughout His life. So in despair perhaps He said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” His contact then resumed, and He said, “It is finished” and “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.”
But, you know, it may also be that people around the cross misheard what He said, or that after two generations of oral transmission it was garbled some before it was written down. At this point, who really knows…?
I would love to think he didn’t feel anything, but that can’t be true, as he had to have help carrying the cross due to a broken shoulder. One doctor studying the shroud back in the 1990’s found that the image on the shroud suffered from a damaged shoulder. To his educated eye, one shoulder was drooping and larger than the other – just more verification that the shroud is real.
Thanks for relating the facts about the testing of the Shroud of Turin. This is exactly as I had understood the process of forensic examination, and it is interesting for people here to know about it.
Incidentally, I had the same reaction as Roberta before the carbon dating error was explained. As this error has since been corrected and we have found that only the rewoven bits of the damaged Shroud were added in Medieval times, the provenance of this unique burial cloth (plus its photo negative image) is really wondrous! ❣️🌅
Hi Efrem. I have been interested in the shroud for many years. At first, I thought it was a clever forgery to lure people into the Catholic church, but as time went on, more research went into it, and forgery is starting to look ludicrous. It actually was the pollen evidence that convinced me, as it doesn’t seem possible that those living in Medieval times would even know about pollen and if they did, they would have to have it imported from areas around Jerusalem and Judea where this type of pollen is common – not likely to happen at a time before airplanes were invented, and it would be enormously expensive to have it shipped by boat. If interested, look up Dr. Andrew Silverman’s research on the shroud. He went in as a totally disinterested observer and his research is unbiased and scientific. He claims that the image was the result of a very quick “burst of light” and that this explains why no part of the image penetrates into the cloth itself.
I am sure you are aware that crucifixion was a common means of execution back then, and archeologists have found the remains of other crucified individuals, but none of them had evidence of a “crown of thorns” as the person on the shroud does. If you look at the various pictures of the shroud, you will see evidence of blood coming down from the head. This coincides with people mocking him and sarcastically calling him “King of the Jews” etc.
Hi Roberta! Have you covered how Jesus’s body became a Light Body, which is evidenced by the Shroud of Turin? Can this event only happen to the God-Source being(s)? Also, someone explained that in Seth Teachings, Jesus survived the Crucifixion and went to India, but that wouldn’t explain the Shroud’s image. I have always wondered how Jesus’s 3rd density body morphed into the God-Source Light-Body.
Dear Susan, I don’t think there was a Light Body involved. His body was indisputably dead – silver cord severed and no life at all. There even is evidence from the Shroud of rigor mortis. He probably briefly suspended the natural process of decay, and then He zapped every cell of that body with so much energy that He shocked all those cells into something like life again and occupied its nervous system with His mind sufficiently to be able to move it and use it. That light didn’t create a Light Body – it was a zap of overwhelming consciousness-energy. But it was an unstable situation that was useful for just a matter of hours, and even from the first the people who saw His re-animated body were not sure it was really Him.
As far as whatever Seth said is concerned, Thomas considers those teachings to contain sufficient errors that he won’t allow me to read them. I am aware of tales that Jesus survived and went to India, but Thomas doesn’t want me to focus on that either and I haven’t seen much evidence of His survival, nor of His having appeared somewhere else, so I am skeptical. He certainly didn’t travel anywhere in that damaged body!!
I read where Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus’ relative on his mother’s side and that he took Jesus with him on his travels when he visited India. This was when Jesus was around 12. They were said to have visited England where Joseph, being immensely wealthy, owned all the tin mines in Cornwall. There is still a folk song of that area which goes something like “Joseph was a tin man…” I got this information from the Golden Age Project website run by Edmund Marriage.
Thanks, I sensed that there was something wrong with that. It didn’t make sense to me either. I felt it was more a stumbling block to growth spiritually. I used to look up to these so called spiritual leaders as did many others. What I find irritating about this is I looked up to these people, and thought they had a handle on the teaching of the Scripture. I just don’t like the idea of believing a lie.. and that is what I was doing.. Well, no harm, God gave me enough sense to get out of there anyway. It hasn’t been easy, because of the confusion of what the truth really is or, being told.
I do believe that it is written on our hearts, and we know in our inner most being when something is wrong. Thanks be to God for that..
Dear Rockey, my emails suggest that more and more people are feeling betrayed these days by religious leaders they trusted! Nearly every Christian actually believes that the nonsense dogmas of modern Christianity are based in the teachings of Jesus, when in fact they have nothing to do with Jesus. Nothing! The modern dogmas of Christianity are based in the Old Testament, in the letters of Paul, and in some of the religious notions that were in vogue in the first half-millennium after the death of Jesus. It remains incredible to me that even with the added certainty of the divinity of Jesus that the Shroud gives us, the religion that claims to revere Him still ignores Him!
Seems like they rebel to me, Jesus spoke plainly. They lost their reverence for the King of Kings….
The leaders do rebel, yes indeed! The Gospel words that Jesus spoke are both plain and entirely devoid of any fear-based way for the religious leaders to claim and to exercise control. It is little wonder that they ignore Him!
So the reanimating of Our Lord on the third day was ‘a zap of consciousness-energy.’ It must have been like a sun being born in the tomb !
Did our Jesus reenact the whole life of a human being; living through it as God and man, to resurrect and show us our full life journey from birth to death to resurrection and eternal life beyond ?
Actually, He lived a normal life for a religiously observant Jew of His generation, except that He may well not have married in His teens. This would have been a remarkable departure! Next week we will consider the apparent reasons why He entered an earth-lifetime at all; and why it was that He may have chosen at the last to endure crucifixion, given that His enduring such a death was not the necessary sacrifice that Christianity has made it out to be.
Roberta, your article and the comments from you and your readers are the best, most inspiring, most uplifting Easter message I have ever heard.
Thank you from the bottom of my expanded heart!
Oh dear Kristian, thank you for saying something so lovely! You have expanded my heart as well 😉
To change the subject, does anyone have thoughts concerning any relationship between the current viral epidemic and the spiritual advancement of humans on this earth? Is it just a another massive upheaval like a World War that causes a vast amount of suffering? Some use this event as proof there is no such thing as a loving God which of course has no merit. I tend to believe that humans are in charge of their own destinies and that negatives arising from the carona virus would not exist or be needed if humanity as a whole was on a higher road toward spiritual advancement.
Dear Tom, I have been collecting a lot of positive things that seem to be coming out of the whole Coronavirus debacle. Might be worth a blog post in another month or so. I see so much that is positive or potentially positive happening now that I am coming to wonder whether all these effects of the situation might even have been why it has happened. Certainly this is the easiest way for the guardians of this planet to unwind a lot of entrenched negative things and compel us to consider some positive ones!
I have a unique view of the virus and all sickness. Is it really any different from cancer or other illness?
We want to believe that we are not here to endure challenges, sickness or disruption to our carefully planned lives. But in the end it is the beauty of all of these challenges and disruptions that build us up and strengthen us spiritually.
I find times like these really challenge a traditional Christian’s faith, as they want to know why and they don’t understand why God allows this to happen. Many immediately claim the end of times is near, and Revelations is being revealed.
I think the earth was designed to allow certain things to occur, and the natural world works through it, sometimes with devastating results, sickness and death. But the beauty is that life survives, if not here on earth , then on the other side.
The questions about what God “allows” are odd and ultimately the wrong questions, no matter how one looks at them. If we accept the existence of God and free will, then we logically must recognize that God encourages us to grow or not based on our own response to our own challenges. If we accept God and no free will, then we logically must recognize that our predestination means God won’t step in because, why would that matter? If we accept no existing God but human free will, then of course we are on our own to look out for or step over one another as we see fit. If no God and no free will, just a collection of chemical reactions, then nothing that happens has any cause or consequence. Any way you look at it, asking about God “allowing” or “disallowing“ experiences on earth seems self defeating.
Sure – by allow I mean designed or set up to function in a certain way. If you believe in the whole notion of perfected spiritual beings and reincarnation, then planning your return must signify you have a certain amount of certainty that the world is naturally in a state of self healing .
Dear Timothy, I am seeing so many positive and potentially positive results potentially to come from our Coronavirus adventure – at least in the U.S. – that I’ve been collecting them and I may make them the subject of a future blog post. So much that we are learning, so many old negative habits we are being forced to shed, so then we can come up with much better new habits better suited to our modern world! I think we are going to look back a decade or more from now and say that this was actually a good and wonderfully transformative experience 😉
Someone posted on a social media site with good intentions I’m sure, “God Loves you so much he sent his son, Jesus to die for you so you can receive eternal life John 3:16”. I’ve always had a little trouble with John 3:16 as I, like you don’t believe Jesus died for any of our sins. And I also don’t believe that if one doesn’t believe in Jesus as your savior you will perish. Knowing your love for the gospels, Roberta, and also knowing all the afterlife evidence does not support this, how do you interpret this differently? It’s sometimes very hard not to cherry pick based on our belief systems.
Oh dear Sharon, JN 3:16 is one of a number of Gospel passages which abundant afterlife evidence now assures us are not true as written. For example, here is JN 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” If you replace “believes in Him with “believes His teachings,” then this is true-ish, at least, since the Lord’s teachings are indeed the most rapid way to grow spiritually, and the easiest way to avoid spending time in the Outer Darkness levels (nobody actually “perishes,” of course, but the Counselors at Nicaea in 325 did some editing).
So simply replace “Me” with “My teachings” in all those places. It is probable that the original transcribers of the Lord’s words (after 200 years of passing them down orally) simply referred to the Lord’s teachings by the shorthand reference to “Me,” never dreaming that a later religion would spring up that would turn the Lord into a sacrifice and require that we believe that God can’t forgive us without that sacrifice.
What makes the difference in learning how to read the Gospels is that now, at last, we have abundant independent confirmation that what Jesus told us 2000 years ago is true, even in small details! So we also can very clearly see what in the Gospels is NOT true, and we even can trace the error back to the particular proponents of the new religion who were likeliest to have made that change. It truly is a glorious new world!
I await next week’s blog about why Jesus incarnated and why he chose to endure the crucifixion, with not just a little alacrity!
(I won’t try to preempt the forthcoming blog by asking about it now, but I do have one question.)
May I ask Thomas and your good self if Jesus’ earthy body was exactly like other human bodies? You see my dear, concerning His reanimation in the tomb (which was clearly unique) was it enabled by Him being made (physically) somewhat differently to other people in the first place?
I mean, considering the virgin birth and all, did Jesus only have his mother’s DNA? Or did He have his mother’s DNA plus Divine DNA that enabled His resurrection on the third day?
I know we are dealing with the Divine miraculous here (which is quite beyond me). Yet should Jesus’ body have been made differently it might speak to some of His miracles. For instance, if He was made with less earth element (carbon) this might shed light on Him walking on water…
This is a good thought, Efrem, and if it’s true, it would explain a lot. I always wondered if Jesus’ DNA was “tweaked” so he could become what he was, and this would explain him being a virgin birth (if that’s true). We can do this today, so a virgin birth would not be considered miraculous any more, and Mary, who claims that an angel came to her before her pregnancy, wouldn’t have had the slightest clue what was going on.
Thanks dear Lola,
I know we wish to draw closer to Jesus, which happens within ourselves and not by knowing more external facts about Him.
But wouldn’t it be good to appreciate the sheer extent that He went to in order to help us grow? Sometimes the facts can enable us to see how resolutely and miraculously the Incarnation of Love reaches out to us. And to realize that, must surely deepen our own devotion. ❣️
Dear Efrem, in my view, to think of Jesus as having been entirely human – in a normal human body – makes what He did for us even more worthy of our love and devotion. Don’t you agree?
Dear Efrem, The word translated as “virgin” in the Gospels actually means “young girl” – who presumably but not necessarily would have been a virgin in those days, since brides found to be not virgins were required by Jewish law to be stoned to death. I have pondered this question, actually, and re-read the Gospel accounts, which easily could have been (and almost certainly were) tweaked by one or more of the seven developmental Roman Councils of the first millennium, starting with Nicaea I in 325 and ending with Nicaea II in 787.
My conclusion is my own. I have never asked Thomas to state an opinion about this for publication, since he considers the question unimportant and distracting when it is just the Lord’s teachings that matter. I have the hunch that if I asked him to address it he would say the whole virgin-birth thing was made up by Christians who were focusing on stupid details and not on the Lord’s teachings.
So my take on this is just my own, and I could be wrong. But this is what I think:
1) Jesus had a normal human body.
2) That body had a human father.
3) The Resurrection of His body was made possible by His first “freezing” its condition for a couple of days – no decay had begun – and then zapping every cell of it with an inconceivable amount of consciousness energy and inhabiting it with His awareness.
I understand that the DNA found in the blood on the Shroud was normal, and we are told that this lifetime began as a fact-finding mission: a member of the Godhead was living among us in an effort to better understand how to help us grow spiritually, and then giving us that recipe (which works amazingly well!). My assumption is that without the normal silver cord and energy-bodies, it was probable that Jesus had to remain in the body in order for it to keep going; and it was probably unstable. It didn’t live long.
Thank you dearest Roberta! Glad to know this! It does make Jesus’ love even more wonderful!
(Please excuse the type, my internet connection is down.)
Oh dear Efrem, I agree! Jesus came to us as God on earth in a human body, living a normal life in an effort to better understand and empathize with us. He could have descended in a halo of light, doing magic tricks and with spiritual guns blazing; but instead He took on the human condition so He could understand us from our own perspective and then teach us in terms that we can understand.
The love the Lord has for humankind, and His gentle respect and endless patience, are to me the most endearing things about Him!
As I read the amazing number of responses to your blog, I ruminated on how to replace Karma with something similar but that has love as an essential ingredient. I now see that Karma’s lack of love is a good reason to trash it as a concept.
But suppose in the past I had shamed certain acquaintances for no other reason that they belonged to a different race. If there were Karma I suppose I would be shamed in like manner in my next incarnation. Rather than the “Take that, you racist approach”, I would suppose that when it came to planning my next incarnation, I would have seen the damage I had done with my racism, and desirous to rise above that sort of thing I would decide to be born into a minority family. I can imagine as I signed my contract to do this I would be lovingly encouraged by my soul group, some of whom might decide to also be born into minority families so I could have some friends and relatives.
Dear Cookie, I don’t use the word “karma” since it is a religious term and religious terms by their nature are imprecise. When Mikey Morgan uses it, the word seems to mean something like “spiritual balance” – when we do something negative in one lifetime, the best way to address that is to take on some specific challenge in the next lifetime to balance that out.
A good example of this is related to your example, actually. I was told a couple of decades ago through a very good medium that many of the black Americans born during Jim Crow had actually been slaveholders in their previous lives. Our view of slavery is myopic, as is our view of most things historical; and in fact, before 1800 most of the people on earth were living in some form of slavery or involuntary servitude. But in 19th-century America the issue was considerably sharpened, and most people began to see slavery as the horror that it was; so then as they underwent their life-reviews, they saw their having owned slaves as a great moral wrong. Thereupon they sought the balance of experiencing the post-Civil War slavery that continued in this nation until the 1960s (and arguably well beyond that).
This certainly makes sense, as how better to right a wrong than be born into the group of people who you formerly abused? Then you could literally “walk in their shoes” so to speak. However, if that is the case, then why aren’t there millions of Native Americans among us? Why didn’t the many who slaughtered them return as one in a new incarnation? Instead, the Native American population has dwindled down to practically nothing.
Dear Lola, the Native Americans present a different (but also tragic!) situation. It is likely that some who fought them and suppressed them would have chosen to be reborn on reservations or to be crusaders working to improve the Native’s lot, but few of their oppressors ever lived with them as intimately as did the masters and slaves on Southern plantations. Many of the owners came to love their slaves – this was certainly true in Thomas Jefferson’s family, where most of their house servants were his wife’s beloved relatives.
Slavery then was at least as normal a part of life as abortion is today. Or incarceration. Or warfare. All these things seem normal to us because they have always been part of the human condition, just as back then slavery was a normal part of the human condition. But in another century or two, all three of these evils will be seen as the horrors that they are; and our descendants will wonder how it was that we were so callously blind to that fact!
Wow! Your reply makes so much sense. As I read it I couldn’t help but think of those, thinking up ways of compensating the descendants of slaves for the lingering effects of their ill-treatment. Cash payments are the usual first thought, but if they are large they will probably have the same effect as the lottery has on the winners, which is usually not good.
I would like to send a copy of your reply to every one of these descendants with an explanation that they can see that not only will the punishment fit the crime, it will be self-inflicted out of love. The descendants will be cautioned about schadenfreude, which is an easy response to the situation, but not loving.
Of course, it won’t happen. Just food for thought.
This week’s discussion of so-called karma is interesting. We probably do need new terminology. At this point, I tend to think of it as taking a test in school regarding some subject like peace, humility, patience, or compassion, for example. If you don’t pass, you will need to repeat the class in some form or other until you finally “get it.” The life review will make that pretty obvious. You don’t need to make up for every tiny misdeed like some bank account, always risking more imbalances on the karmic ledger with every step that kills a bug or germ. Getting so granular seems unending and pointless to me. You have now achieved proper “judgement,” at least on that topic, and eventually on enough of them that physical incarnation is no longer needed, which may relate to some of what Jesus meant when he was discussing the Father leaving judging to his son (or daughter.) This gets into the idea of grace, or forgiving and being forgiven, and just clearing the deck of all the debris. I hope that makes sense. 🙂
As far as the shroud of Turin, I have wondered if that burst of energy that created the negative image was like a spiritual version of cremation that atomized the body, and after that maybe Jesus used something more akin to a light body, solid but not corporeal in the usual sense of the word. Is that what Paul encountered on the road to Damascus? Who knows? I look forward to finding out when I go home. Roberta’s mention of the the Sudarium is also a good point, one that most people are not aware of. My uderstanding is that it is an uncanny match to the shroud of Turin. 👌
Dear Scott, in your discussion of karma I think it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the imbalance to be addressed is not external, like a divine law; but rather, it is entirely internal. If we cause deliberate harm to someone else or we in some other way overpower those around us, we have put OURSELVES off-balance spiritually; and to get ourselves back into balance can be done in a variety of ways. For example, Thomas told me that in his Jefferson lifetime he had had too much power and sometimes not used it well, which had put him off-balance (yes, he did put it that way); so he had fairly quickly taken an additional lifetime as a regular guy in Wales, and that had put him back into balance. Having had too much power didn’t mean that he had to come back as a slave with no power, in other words; it just meant that he had to reset himself spiritually.
And I don’t think that any of your speculations about the Lord’s body are necessary or really fit the situation. He just had to prevent decay and then zap the body with a tremendous amount of energy, and then inhabit it with His mind. This likely wouldn’t have worked for long, but all He needed to do was to show himself to His disciples. The body didn’t glow, and the body had all its wounds. That light on the road to Damascus was the same experience that I had as a child; and believe me, that light is brighter than the sun, but it is clearly a light and not a body!
Thanks Roberta. Whatever the mechanics behind it, it just occurred to me now, as Easter is nearly upon us in these difficult and perhaps transformative times, that it is as if Jesus left a time capsule for us in the form of the shroud that we would not be able to sufficiently analyze and comprehend until we had the scientific know-how of the current era – something intriguing to contemplate. Happy and healthy Easter to you and yours, and to everyone reading.
Oh No!! Dear Scott, how have you possibly read our upcoming Easter post?? Do you have spy-bots? Teeny hover-drones to look over people’s shoulders? Do I have no secrets at all???
You are absolutely right, dear Scott. It does look very much as if the Shroud was created 2000 years ago with marks and details that we could not have analyzed – nor even recognized – until the twentieth century. Marks whose origins still puzzle us. Amazing marks that we cannot figure out how to replicate, even today!
Whatever we do, God is always many steps ahead of us. To be alive and aware on earth is to be confounded by perpetual wonder….
Dear Cookie, I have studied the history of slavery and Jim Crow, and have written about how we might even now truly end the lingering effects of slavery, but cash payments are a complete non-starter for so many reasons!
Not the least of those reasons is the fact that cash payments would solve nothing. There are in fact understandable causes for our lingering racial disparities. And since in fact there is just one human race and our skin color is of as little import as our eye color, the sooner we set about actually addressing the reasons for these artificial inequalities, the better!
In response to Lola it would appear the decreasing number of Native Americans is at least indirectly related to the way they were treated. Those motivated to reincarnate as such are limited to the finite number of physical bodies available.
Dear Tom, if people who had interacted with them in life had felt that it was necessary to their own spiritual growth for them to incarnate as Native Americans, they would have done so, just as many former slaveholders apparently came back as members of the group they had oppressed. I think the difference is that the awful oppression of Native Americans was largely administrative and distant, but everyone who was involved with slavery was very much up-close and personal with its victims.
Happy Holy Thursday, everybody!
QUOTE: “Who is Jesus, anyway?” Now as we’re closing in on Easter, I am taking up the central question (for myself anyway) of Roberta’s original posting. Yesterday I came across an essay by Rocco A. Errico, Th.D., Ph.D, that mused on this same question with a paragraph that resonated with me:
“Jesus of Nazareth came to awaken the inner spiritual life force that lives in every human heart and mind. He knew the simple and spiritual truth that we all come from the Ineffable that we call God. The challenge for us today is to implement and express this purely simple but powerful truth.“
I have come across lots of scholars who speculate about His origins (many like to say he was an Essene, a certain scholarly group within Jewish tradition at the time, but this seems unlikely). Ultimately I don’t think the details of His backstory or daily life are necessary to answer (unless you are truly curious about the historical person; then study, but we have what we need). We have His teaching, and we can have the experience of His guidance personally today if we continue to seek. As my son said years ago when he was in middle school, “Jesus was obviously a lot smarter than the rest of us.”
So with Easter upon us, it’s important to remember that what rose again on that ancient Sunday was the power of His way, the confidence of His disciples and a future for Humanity that once again included the realization that God is not a distant, indifferent force in our lives.
Dear Mike, this is lovely. I should add, however, that Thomas is eager for us to know why Jesus came at the time that He came, and what He really was about. He believes this matters a lot. See if you end up agreeing. In writing our Easter post, I have learned so much! I have come to think that this history is more important than I ever had realized.
Dear Roberta, I will look forward to it!
Roberta, are you suggesting that spirits ready to incarnate have some control over generating the conditions on earth that would make it possible? I was under the impression not all get their way but that everything worked out for the best somehow.