Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
– Charles Wesley (1707-1788) from “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” (1739)
I can remember what it was like to be afraid to die. I was terrified of death when I was a child. Even after my experience of light, which is forever vivid in my mind, all through my childhood I always was fearing my potential imminent demise. And so I sympathize with Jesus now, thinking of Him so often telling the crowds that were following Him and hanging on His every word that their lives were going to be eternal. He kept trying to find a way to convince them that they truly never were going to die.
But Jesus faced a tough situation. The custom in that time and place was to lay out the dead in caves to decay until only their bones and nothing more would be left. And then the bones would be collected into bone-boxes, called ossuaries, which would be marked with the decedent’s name. Which was why the people of Jesus’s day, very much like my fearful little childhood self, always were especially afraid to die. Don’t try to convince us that we don’t die, Jesus. We love you, sir, but we have seen death first hand.
People and animals that are very rare overachievers are sometimes called “sports.” Secretariat was a sport. No other horse could run as fast as Secretariat could run, and none of his descendants has ever come close to matching Secretariat’s rate of speed. It is pretty clear now that Jesus, too, is a sport, and to an extreme degree. Jesus has a vast, all-encompassing, and uncontrollable love for His fellow man. My Thomas, who has known Jesus for what we calculate has been about six thousand years since he and what was then his little brother lived their last earth-lifetime together, tells me that Jesus has always been this way. It is a trait that Thomas considers to be uncomfortably freakish perhaps, but endearing.
It was Jesus’s obsessive love for His fellow man that drove just a normal perfected Being to insist on reincarnating from out of the Godhead. As soon as the Being who one day would be Jesus discovered that He had landed at the seventh level, the Godhead level, as a natural extreme overachiever in love, He was demanding that His own earthly brothers from that ancient lifetime, plus everyone else that He ever had known, also had to arrive there, too. And right away. Nothing less would satisfy Him. Jesus was determined from out of His pure and obsessive love for people to help everyone else to achieve what He had achieved! As soon as He Himself was perfected, He wanted to reincarnate on earth right now in order to figure out how it was that He had perfected Himself spiritually. And then He wanted to teach that same process to everyone. Apparently it took Jesus some four thousand earth-years to convince the celestial bureaucracies to allow Him to do what never before had been done by anyone, which was to reincarnate from out of the Godhead Itself. But He was persistent. He would not be denied. His overwhelming love for people was implacable.
And now His Jesus lifetime was nearly completed. He had done what He had come to earth to do. He had learned what He had set out to learn, He had taught what He had come to earth to teach, and like everyone who comes here and completes a life-plan, Jesus was ready to re-enter the greater reality, but at the Godhead level. For most of us, it is our higher consciousness that chooses to take our next planned exit point; but of course, Jesus always had been aware of who He was and what He had come to earth to do. Unlike us, He had no pre-birth amnesia, so He knew that His sojourn on earth was not the whole of His life. But His pesky, sport-level, obsessive love for people was at that point really tripping Him up. His earthly followers would not believe Him when He told them that their lives were eternal. And He could not bear to leave them until they were convinced that their lives were never going to end. You can actually see some bits of these conversations playing out in the Biblical Gospels that survive.
And so, as Jesus told me when Thomas took me to meet with Him a year ago, that was when He began to think about how He might demonstrate to them this fundamental truth of every human life. A public death that then is demonstrably reversed – “Ta-DAH!” – might conceivably do the trick. Jesus had been experimenting with reviving small dead animals. And he had been able to do that, although they never had remained alive for long. He did think, though, that once He got His dead body going again, and He was back inside it, that He would be able to keep it going. When He said this to me, I know I visibly winced. Ick! He wanted to get back inside His dead body? And as it turned out, you can see from the Gospel accounts that His revived body was already decaying and fragile by the time He was back inside it. And of course, it likely would not have had blood circulating again – it would not actually have been alive – so He very soon discarded it, and He took to using an astral body for the few weeks that He remained on earth before His Ascension. This is another detail that is apparent in the Gospel accounts, if you look for it.
And that is the truly extraordinary thing about the whole Easter story. It is not just a story. It actually happened. And the fact that it actually happened is something that is now a fact beyond all dispute. For most of my life, I have assumed that the Shroud of Turin was a likely fake. And while I loved the Gospels, I have always thought that we had to take the historical Jesus mostly on faith. That was all okay by me, natural skeptic that I am, because I knew that after two thousand years it was going to be the best that we could get. I had spent the decades of the eighties and nineties deep in researching death and the afterlife, and finding so much excellent evidence that by the turn of this century, the fearful child that I long ago had been finally knew for certain that we survive our deaths. It was at about that time, too, that I discovered that Jesus had talked in the Gospels about some of those afterlife details. Which made me wonder whether the vast trove of afterlife literature that we had accumulated by then might be a way for us to do some cross-checking and help us find and come to know the historical Jesus.
There are now more than eight billion people on earth. And it strains my imagination to believe that I am the only one of them who is simultaneously a Gospels scholar and an afterlife expert. However, for now that does seem to be the case. But this knowledge combination is highly useful! Who else would get what Jesus meant when He talked about “living water,” for example? Or the “many mansions” in His Father’s house, and the fact that He would be coming to the death scenes of each of His Apostles to lead them home? (And unfortunately, not even one of those Apostles was going to die a natural death.) There was one extraordinary day at the end of the nineties when I read just the Gospels and realized that the historical Jesus and the afterlife evidence could in fact validate one another.
For someone who cannot help being a skeptic, faith is thin gruel. In retrospect, I can see now that I had faith back then, sure, but I barely actually believed in Jesus. I first met Him on that rainy Saturday at the end of the nineties when my afterlife knowledge and my decision to sit down one day and read just the Gospels apart from the rest of the Bible made me realize that Jesus knew some things two thousand years ago that the afterlife evidence could validate. And then came the news that a more intensive scientific study of the Shroud of Turin was suggesting that it was likely genuine. Then in 2015, Thomas insisted that I channel Liberating Jesus, so I had Jesus in my mind for two weeks. And that was an intimate, unforgettable experience. The difference between Master Jesus inside my mind and moving my hands, and then Master Jesus gone again is something that I never will forget. And then, with no prior warning at all, came April 6, 2022.
I have blogged here extensively about that night, and about the amazing summer nights spent with Jesus and Thomas that followed it. What I never before had known was that my own spirit guide has been Jesus’s close personal friend for the past six thousand earth-years, since long before Jesus ever was Jesus. Thomas tells me now that I also am a part of Jesus’s inner circle when I am not in a material body, although that is something that I cannot even imagine. But nevertheless, Jesus spoke to me on that April night almost exactly one year ago today as if we were old friends. He seemed perplexed and a bit frustrated that I acted as if I was meeting the most gigantic rock star for the very first time. He told me that night the tale of His personal history, so now at last it can be publicly known. (It is posted on teachingsbyJesus.com under “Reincarnation.”) Because the thing about loving people the way Jesus loves people is that He wants to be thought of as only normal. He finds being worshiped and idolized as He is today extremely off-putting. And He wanted me to finally publish The Fun of Loving Jesus, which Thomas and I had written three years earlier; He asked me to launch seekreality.com, which was then already in development. He also asked me to create teachingsbyjesus.com, which I thought was a wonderful idea. And for me to go from actually meeting Jesus and discovering that Oh my goodness! He’s really real! to having all these marching orders from Him, all at once on a single night, was an earth-shaking experience from which I still have not entirely recovered.
For those who might be wondering, I do think that this is how it begins. Gently, and moving first in the hearts of the young. One of the Christian bloggers that I more or less follow tells us that Biblically there were two thousand earth-years from Adam to Abraham, and two thousand earth-years from Abraham to Christ, so there should be two thousand earth-years from Christ to Christ’s Second Coming. And therefore, here we are. It was very important to Jesus that we first prepare seekreality.com as a place where people can go to learn that their lives are eternal. Teaching that truth still matters very much to Him. And then teaching His own truths, shorn of Paul’s letters and the Emperor Constantine’s fear-based dogmas, which is what teachingsbyjesus.com is all about. Yes, I do believe that what is beginning now is Jesus’s long-anticipated Second Coming. All these college revivals. The Chosen. Jesus Revolution. He Gets Us. How did you think that Jesus would be coming back? Riding in on a white horse and brandishing a flaming sword is simply not His style. But He easily has the power to move on millions of individual minds and hearts at once, and to inspire people to spend money and to do things for Him. So He is beginning to do that now. All in His way, and all in His time. It may take a century or three, and it may happen so gradually that it will be obvious to the world only in long retrospect. But yes, I do believe that Jesus is now beginning His long-awaited return to the world.
So there back then was Jesus, about to attempt to carry out His demonstration. He delivered Himself up to be crucified, and He had planned it all out carefully. A normal crucifixion was a slow and agonizing death by asphyxiation that could take a day or two, since the victim would keep pushing up with his legs in order to breathe; but Jesus was crucified on a Friday, so He and the two that were crucified with Him were going to have to die before the Sabbath began that evening. Whether there was poison in the mixed water and vinegar that was given to Him in the sponge that was lifted to his mouth will never be known, but it would not have been needed. Jesus could simply have willed His own death. He needed to be able to revive a usable body that would be able to walk, so He died within three hours, before the soldiers would need to come by and break His legs in order to make it harder for Him to breathe and thereby hasten His demise. His body was laid out in Joseph of Arimathea’s new tomb, ostensibly to begin to decay away. And as the third morning after Jesus’s death dawned, He re-entered that body and re-animated it with a burst of energy so powerful that scientists tell us that even today, they would have no way to duplicate it. If Jesus had not managed to successfully carry out His dramatic rising-from-the-dead demonstration, you and I would likely not now know His name, a whole two thousand earth-years later. But as it is, Jesus is still the first or second most famous name on every list of modern famous names.
Jesus is indeed fully God and fully Man. And He is still very much alive! But the fear-based religion that the Roman Emperor Constantine invented three centuries after that first Easter morning is dying an apparently necessary death so Jesus can at last return. And as it fades away, we are coming to know at last the genuine Jesus! That He began His life so long ago as one of us, a fully human life, while at the same time out of His extraordinarily zealous love for people He has grown spiritually to beyond even the Godhead’s power is as unfathomable to us as it is beautiful to contemplate. And Jesus is returning to us now, free at last of all religions, and wanting only to be loved by us as completely as each of us is loved by Him.
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
– Charles Wesley (1707-1788) from “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” (1739)