Here's what gives me the gumption to do this: I believe that Truth is self-evident. I believe that Truth can withstand any amount and degree of scrutiny. I believe that we need not protect Truth from scrutiny ... I believe that whatever falls away, must. I believe that humans have convoluted Truth via our inherent limitations of thought, vision, and experience. And mostly, because we have attempted to peer at Truth, and to comprehend Truth, via our egos. Our self-protecting, self-projecting agendas, both individual and collective, have warped who Jesus is, and what He came to do.
And mostly ... I dare to believe that it's the Spirit Himself who is leading me, drawing me, wooing me, into all Truth. Because I asked -- no, I begged -- Him to do so.
Join me as I ponder the possibilities ... as I "try on" an alternative understanding, just to see if it fits, if it resonates with the Spirit within. YOU must take what you ponder to the Spirit, for this can only be affirmed experientially ... it cannot be transmitted or absorbed by osmosis. You can be quickened by the thoughts of another ... but we must all move beyond second-hand religion, into first-hand personal relationship with Truth ... for Truth is the Word of God, the essence of God, and our primal and foundational Home.
Let us plunge...!
It seems to me that everyone wrestles with Jesus ... in various ways. For Jews, He's the reason why they've been hated and killed. For Christians He's the penultimate expression of God. For others, He's the ultimate kill-joy ... the epitome of how *not* to enjoy life, and the proof of why one shouldn't become a Christian.
It seems to me, that if we saw Him as He is ... none of us would reject, or even resist, Him. It seems to me that all of us, whether Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, agnostic or Christian, have misunderstood Him... that we've all seen Him through our own distorted lens.
What if He could be invited to set the record straight...? What would He show us?
What if, rather than being a harbinger of judgment, of fear, of wrath ... Jesus would want us to see Him as our Elder Brother, who truly brings *good* news for ALL mankind..?
Jesus gave us His mission statement, in His first public address ... let's look at it (found in the gospel of Luke, chapter 4):
18 "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."
The NASB has it in caps, to indicate that it's a quote from the Old Testament ... in this case, Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 61, verse one. If we go to Isaiah, we may notice that Jesus chose to stop where He did ... He did not say the next verse, which is:
And the day of vengeance of our God
Why didn't He include that statement? I have my own hunch ... perhaps you can ask Him for yourself. I personally believe that He didn't quote it because He only did what HE saw the Father doing ... and so He didn't see the Father bringing vengeance. I believe that this is an example of the human writer inserting his own egoic perspective into the text ... it's inspired, yes ... but God used fallible humans in the writing of the text, perhaps so that we would thus *know* to not take it at face value, but to inquire within ... perhaps so that we wouldn't worship the Bible, and rely on it, but would use it as a *useful* tool for connecting with the Spirit, who alone can lead us into all truth.
Going back to the mission-statement ... look at what Jesus said He came to do ...
To preach good news (gospel) to the poor ... to those who are excluded and maligned by the ones who fancy themselves as "chosen".
To release the captives -- and what enslaves us more than the very lies we believe in our own minds...? He later told us to have our minds renewed -- to exchange our own egoic perspective with God's perspective ... to move from lies to Truth. We shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set us free.
To bring recovery of sight to the blind ... we're not all physically blind, but we're certainly all spiritually blind. REcovery implies that we once saw ... and are in need of returning to correct sight -- and what blinds us more than our own egoic perspective? Jesus said that those who claim they can see, are those who are truly blind. It's only when we admit that we are blind, that we can begin to see...!
To set free those who are oppressed -- what oppresses us more than this egoic world we have created..? We create monstrous institutions that then demand our exhaustive service... We create bureaucracies of rules -- rules upon rules, that choke the very life out of us...!
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord ... this is speaking of the Year of Jubilee. In the natural, this was demonstrated (foreshadowed) by every 50th year in Jewish history, wherein everything returned to it's original owner ... slaves were set free, lands returned to whomever had originally owned them. In the spiritual realm, this was demonstrated by Jesus, who came to initiate the new covenant (the new heavens and new earth), wherein all would return to GOD (though we had only left Him in our own egoic minds) ... so that all would know God, and none would have to be taught of Him ... wherein the Spirit would lead everyone into all truth.
The problem is that we believe the ego more than we believe the Spirit ... until we come to our senses, recognize our self-created pig-sty for what it is, realize we are a Child of the Father, and return Home. The "far country" is only in our minds ... the separation between us and our Father is only in our minds. We were only ever enemies of God in our own minds.
But, Jesus did more ...
Our egoic mindset, the egoic world we have created, operates in the law of sowing and reaping ... cause and effect ... action results in reaction ... karma. What you sow, you shall reap. If you do this, that will be the consequence. It's the way in which we have imprisoned ourselves ... this is our captivity.
What we see, what gets our attention is the reaping ... the effect, the result. Then, we trace it back and say, "Aha! Here's the source for that!" We see this playing out in Jesus' time ... when they found a blind man, the disciples asked, "what caused this blindness ... the man's sin, or his parents' sin?" There was no question in their minds that a *sin* had caused this blindness. But Jesus answers outside their theological box ... "it's not about anyone's sin, but about displaying the glory of God." Jesus could do miracles because He saw beyond appearances -- He saw with God's perspective (and greater things shall we do, when we also see via God's perspective). Miracles happen we we are aligned with the Mind of God, when we operate out of the Mind of Christ (which we are told we *have*).
So ... the evidence of the effect, "proves" to us that there must be a cause..!
It's a fundamental principle of physics that if a thing exists, it will have an effect on something else. And the opposite corollary is also true: if there is no effect, then there is no cause ... without an effect, the cause cannot exist.
Everything we see and know in this world is the effect of our belief in sin. Sin, we believe is the "first cause" ... and from sin comes the effect of pain, suffering and death. Paul said, "the wages of sin is death." Sin is the cause -- death is the result (the effect). We believe this. We see and experience death ... and we trace it back to the "proof" of sin. Death is the ultimate proof that sin is real -- or so we believe.
But ... what if it could be proven that there is no sin, no separation...? In order to do so, we would have to be shown that there is no effect. A thing cannot exist unless it has an effect. To show that there is no sin, no separation, it would have to be demonstrated that death is not real.
Someone would have to show that death is not real ...
Jesus was that Someone.
His mission was to set us free ... and to do so, He came to show that there is no death. By all appearances, He died. The witnesses were innumerable. But so were the witnesses to His resurrection ... He demonstrated that there is no death ... that life is eternal, for all Life is the Life of God -- there is no "alternative" Source of Life.
This gives me incredible pause: The way in which He took away the sins of the world was to show that they had NO EFFECT. Through overcoming death, He took away all the sins. Jesus lived in this world of suffering, sin and death ... and demonstrated that it had NO effect on Him. He shattered our illusions.
The early followers believed this .... their focus was on the resurrection, and not the crucifixion. There were no artistic renderings of the crucifixion until ~1,000 years after His death ... the art emerged during the Dark Ages. The focus was primarily upon the resurrection ... the overcoming of death, the shattering of our illusions, for a millennium.
However, also during those early years, the following of Christ became a State-sponsored religion ... the allegiance switched from the leading of the Spirit, to the sanctioning of the Ego. Power, prestige, control, and even enforcement via the sword, became the means of promoting the beliefs ... committees (councils) got together and decided, by means of power-play enforced voting, what was State-sanctioned truth, and what was heresy. The goal was to get everyone to believe and behave in the manner in which best served the State ... the religion was in cahoots with the State. This is the origin of the religion we call Christianity. Christianity is the ego's reaction to Jesus.
Jesus didn't come to form a new religion, but to call us out of all religions (for they are all manmade) ... to call us out of our egoic minds, into the Mind of Christ. To align our thinking with God's, to awaken from our slumbering deception, and live as who we really are. To *know* that we were never separated from our Source/God, except in our own skewy thinking ... to know that there was never sin, except in our own fear-based, guilt-based minds ... to know that we do not die ... we merely lay aside our earth-suits when they no longer serve us.
This is the Atonement ... the At-One-Ment ... when we know that we are one with God, and with each other. When we awaken from the nightmare of our own making, and live Life, as Jesus did ... He is the Way, the Truth and the Life ... and we "come to" the Father when we follow Him in the way He taught, in the way He lived.
He is indeed the Savior of the World ... only in the all-inclusive way He intended, rather than in the exclusive way that Christianity depicts ...
Again ... I'm sharing what I'm coming to see ... don't take my word for ANYthing! If anything I share resonates, take it to the Spirit for confirmation. If anything I share strikes you as offensive, consider the possibility that your ego is trying to maintain status quo, so that it cannot be detected, so that it can continue to rule you with fear and guilt. Again, take *that* to the Spirit, and let Him lead you into the Truth He has for YOU, at this time, right where you are.
We CAN trust the Spirit to lead each of us into all Truth. We CAN.