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GOOD FRIDAY: A Day of Unconditional Forgiveness

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” ~Luke 23:34 (KJV)

Easter Lily and The Cross, A Symbol of Death and Rebirth

For me, Jesus’ greatest lesson was forgiveness, which he ultimately demonstrated on the cross. Sadly, while experiencing such horrendous pain, Jesus still was able to let go of the intense suffering, if only for an instant, and forgive his enemies. Which still remains a mystery, even for a devout truthseeker.

Today, we still don’t know exactly how forgiveness works but it does, which is why it remains a great mystery. The thing is, I’ve learned that first we have to be willing to forgive, do it, and then our inner situation inexplicably changes. We actually begin to see things differently!

Ultimately, I would learn that forgiveness is like crossing an unseen bridge: Once we forgive, which can include our own mistakes, we immediately cross that abyss within our own mind. Once on the other side, we understand the problem, experience inner peace, and finally real happiness.

Of course, another thing that Jesus teaches us about forgiveness, which really was his central message, as the return to peace and love is its reward, is to let go of the negative thoughts (which keeps us bound to the pain) and let love continue the healing process. Of course, this is the hard part that can take a lifetime of practice; but what else is there to do?

This, I believe, is what Jesus meant by his following advice to a woman whom he had just saved from being stoned to death, as was then the horrendous custom:

“When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: Go, and sin no more.” ~John: 8:10-11(KJV)

In short, we must take care to learn from our mistakes, so as not to make the same mistake again!

Blessed Peace be upon us, Happy Easter, Amen!

© 2017 by Delores L Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post. All rights reserved.

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Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” And Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but by me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” ~John 14:5-7

He is Risen religious-easter-wallpaper

Though Jesus had many disciples, most spiritual scholars believe that Peter, James and John were his best students. Destined to write the visionary Book of Revelations, seems the Apostle John was Jesus’ most advanced disciple.

Such likely explains why John never denied Jesus and why a dying Jesus left his mother to John. Though we know little about John’s early life, Christian tradition maintains that John was probably born in Galilee about ten to fifteen years after the birth of Jesus.

St. John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James, also one of the Twelve Disciples. Fisherman by trade, one day John, his elder brother, James and their father, Zebedee were casting their nets when Jesus, while walking by the Sea of Galilee, called them:

“And they immediately left the ship and their father and followed him”. Previously called that day were fellow fishermen Simon Peter and his brother Andrew; whom Jesus had told to, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”[1].

Of course, these were not ordinary, earthbound fishermen who generally would not have recognized Jesus, nor abandon their family and livelihood to follow anyone. Likely devout students of John the Baptist, an advanced teacher of God whose primary task was to first come and prepare those ready to receive Jesus the Christ:  Peter, James and John were now able to “follow” Jesus and accept his central message of universal love and forgiveness.

Though some likely perceived him as such, particularly when upholding the truth, John the Baptist was hardly the raving “wild-man” typically portrayed in Hollywood films during its Golden Era. Usually scantily clad in a lion’s skin while ranting at lost sinners to repent lest they burn in hell, such behavior, of course, is the direct opposite of the peace and kindness inherent in God’s Teachers.

John the Baptist Revealed

Traditionally recognized as Jesus’ most advanced disciples, at his behest, Peter, James and John witness Jesus’ historic Transfiguration on the Mount where Moses and Elias (aka, Elijah) appear to them talking with Jesus. Afterwards, they also understood from Jesus that John the Baptist and Elias were the same, which strongly suggests that they had properly learned the basis of reincarnation.[3]

Though John the Baptist reportedly denied being the Prophet Elias when questioned by the Pharisees (“separated ones”[4]) as to who he was, religious sages still hold that Jesus (as Elisha) was a disciple of John the Baptist (as Elias). Clearly of a higher mind, he was John the Baptist! That was his role in this life.

So he simply stated: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Esaias (Isaiah).”[5]

In recognizing the limited, egocentric mindset of the Pharisees, perhaps John the Baptist felt it best not to discuss his previous life with those who would not only deny such a revelation, but also kill the messenger! And his work was not yet done.

Yet, having been his teacher in a previous incarnation, or so it appears, this is likely why John baptized Jesus, why he preceded Jesus and why Jesus once said he was:

“…More than a prophet…there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…if ye will receive it, this is Elias” as foretold.[6]

Maybe this is why some at the cross thought they heard Jesus calling for Elias in the ninth hour, followed by a mournful cry that still resonates today:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”[7]

Yet, Jesus frees himself of such despair. Instead of holding inferior feelings of anger and revenge, Jesus speaks forgiveness and truth to Power:

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”[8]

Perhaps Elias was there after all, there in spirit to remind Jesus who he was and there to help him transcend the body during this very difficult time. Besides, no one really dies alone. What better heavenly guide to aid Jesus than the familiar presence of his beloved former teacher.

Meanwhile, until that final hour, Jesus would go on to teach, preach and fulfill his divine mission here on earth.

Betrayal and Trial

As Scripture states, with a greeting and a kiss Judas betrays Jesus to local authorities while he is in the Garden of Gethsemane speaking with Peter, James and John. Whom Jesus had sought for comfort and support knowing that the time of his suffering for humanity was near. Yet, being human, instead of staying in prayer with Jesus, they fell asleep three times.

Annoyed, Jesus initially said, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” He reminds them to stay focused and prayerful lest they fall into distraction, as “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Meanwhile, no surprise to Jesus, he is arrested and taken before the high priest Caiaphas “where the scribes and the elders were assembled”. Who then grills Jesus, to no avail, as to whether he is the Son of God. Naturally, Jesus kept his cool.

Thus, in the radical rock opera of the 70s a resurrected Caiaphas aptly chants, “One thing I’ll say for him, Jesus is cool.[9]

Though Jesus spoke only the Truth, when he did speak, Caiaphas and the assembly’s upside-down thinking declare Jesus spoke blasphemy.[10]

The next morning, “All the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus” and called for his death. And fulfillment of the law begins.

Jesus soon stands before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea.

Unable to pass death sentences, the envious priests falsely accuse Jesus of sedition. Knowing “that for envy they had delivered” Jesus to him for trial, the conflicted governor ultimately orders his crucifixion, though only after pressure from a crowd of naïve citizens who had been manipulated by their priests and civic leaders.

Though the malleable governor washed his hands of the murder of “this just person,” as if to cleanse his conscience, still he had Jesus beaten, subjected to hateful ridicule and a violent death.

Thus, Governor Pontius Pilate fades into history as the man who crucified Jesus Christ.

Judas Repents

Meanwhile, likely hit with the reality of his benevolent teacher’s imminent death, Judas repents and attempts to return the infamous “thirty pieces of silver” to the chief priests and elders in the temple saying: “…I betrayed the innocent blood.”

Who then callously replies, “What is that to us?” They reject his pitiful recompense, claiming it is now blood money.

Dejected, Judas throws the money on the temple floor, likely a cruel reminder of his irrevocable error, or so he believes. Sadly, he departs and ultimately hangs himself.

Judas Repents But is Rejected

Judas Repents But is Rejected

Conversely, without a hint of contrition, the arrogant temple dwellers and their cohorts would foolishly mock Jesus at the cross, saying among other things:

“If he be [the Son of God] let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.”[11]

The Crucifixion (“Good Friday”)

As the final hour drew near, there also was the Beloved Disciple, John, who had stuck by Jesus the most, particularly at the foot of the cross with his beloved mother, Mary. Thus, John neither denied nor betrayed Jesus, ever.

While Scripture notes, “all the disciples forsook him and fled” upon Jesus’ arrest, such is understandable given that their own lives and the future of Christianity were also in grave danger. Of course, Simon Peter’s attempt to defend Jesus with his sword is historic, who then cautions Peter to:

“Put up thy sword…for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” [12]

Before surrendering his spirit to God, Jesus entrusts his mother to John his beloved disciple and John to his mother saying, “Woman, behold thy son!” And to John, “Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”

Knowing “it is finished,” Jesus, “bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [13] .”

Henceforth, for Christians, this moment becomes Good Friday; the day Jesus redeemed our grievous errors.

The Resurrection (“Easter Sunday”)

On the third day, now known as Easter Sunday, Jesus arises from the grave and reveals his greatest message, which simply states that life is eternal, be glad!

As death, after all, is but a transition from this life-experience to the next.

Easter Lily and The Cross, A Symbol of Death and Rebirth

Easter Lily and The Cross, Symbol of Death and Rebirth

After discovering that the stone covering their teacher’s burial chamber is gone, Mary Magdalene, another close disciple of Jesus, runs to Peter and John believing they have taken away the body of their beloved Lord Jesus and she knew not where. Together they run toward the site, but John out runs Peter.

Thus, John is the first to enter the sacred chamber and finds it empty. Yet, rather than believe that someone had actually stolen their master’s body, John intuitively knows that Jesus had risen. Though, the other disciples had yet to learn that (from Jesus), according to Scripture, he must also arise from the dead.

Inconsolable, Mary Magdalene remains by the site weeping; she then looks into the chamber and sees two angels. Shortly thereafter, Jesus stands before her and, of course, she is elated. He lovingly bids her to touch him not for he is “not yet ascended” to our Father.

This, says the metaphysician, is indicative of the natural transition from the body to spirit that usually takes three days, and is likely the root of prayer vigils and wakes for the departed in many traditions. Jesus then bids Mary to go and tell the others of his ascension.[14]

Finally, Jesus meets with his advanced students: the eleven remaining disciples, whom he had ordained to preach the gospel, heal sickness and cast out error.[15]

Even after hearing from Mary Magdalene that she had seen and spoken to Jesus, still they were frightened thinking they had seen a ghost.

Jesus then invites them to look at his hands and feet, to touch him saying, “For a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”

Still frightened, Jesus asked them for meat: “And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish and [honey]. And he took it and did eat before them.”

The Law of Creation (Karma)

He lovingly opens their minds and explains why the Christ had “to suffer and rise from the dead the third day” as written, which is based on the Law of Creation (Karma) and is rarely understood by a closed mind.

According to the Ancients, wisdom cannot be taught; but the way to wisdom can be taught.

This is why Jesus came among us and accepted the consequences of our errors, simply to show us the way back to the Source of all wisdom, which is called God in Christianity. Of course, we must first apply Jesus’ teachings before we can understand the value of Divine wisdom.

Then, Jesus authorizes his disciples to preach in his name, among all nations, the value of contrition and remission of erroneous thoughts and actions for inner peace and happiness, to which they were witnesses.[16]

Jesus’ parting promise endures in the hearts of the faithful: “…Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”[17]

Judas Iscariot, Also to be Redeemed

Sadly, a deeply troubled Judas Iscariot, the twelfth disciple and alleged political zealot who likely lost faith in Jesus’ nonviolent policies, had committed suicide after realizing he betrayed his spiritual teacher, an innocent person. Thus, Judas was not present at Jesus’ final departure and therefore did not receive the promise.

Judas Hangs Himself

Many still wonder why Jesus the Christ, who had extraordinary powers, would allow a Judas to belong to his inner circle. Of course, Jesus, who likely abhorred censure, knowingly came to redeem Judas also.

Yet, the answer to this perplexing question is amazingly simple, which rests entirely in humanity’s absolute freewill that even God will not overturn.

Much like the Prophet Muhammad who could not overturn the ills of society manifested in centuries of slavery, neither could Jesus usurp the heart of one traitor.

Here we must understand that God’s Redeemer cannot just wave a magic wand and undo the mess we made; that would not solve the problem. Only our willingness to change can save us. Thus, if we never discern why we go astray and change, we likely create the same conditions over and over and hurt more people in the process.

Creation Follows Law

We must realize that creation follows law!  It must in order to maintain balance and harmony in the Universe. Somewhat like the laws that uphold our society.

Yet, God’s Love surpasses law. However we must first remember to accept Divine Love and let it flow like a river in our lives. Thus, God’s Teachers can only show us the way; it is up to us to follow it.

So, when Jesus said, “I am [not] come to destroy the law, or the prophets…but to fulfill”[18], he would have us realize that with freewill comes the responsibility to rightly choose that which is in harmony with God’s Plan for our happiness.

Otherwise, we are on our own and, in time, will likely suffer dearly and needlessly as did Judas Iscariot … but not forever!

It is not clear when Judas took his own life, which is a grave error that solves nothing. As the best way to seek peace is through the expedient of forgiveness as taught by Jesus. Perhaps it was on that fateful Friday when the heavens opened up revealing the Christ to all and it was too much for him:

“Now when the centurion and [others] watching Jesus saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying: ‘Truly this was the Son of God.”’[19]

Forgiveness: Jesus’ Least Understood Gift

Of course, forgiveness is Jesus’ gift to humanity directly from God, the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Yet it is the least understood gift of all; that is, until we practice it!

Hence, when Simon Peter once asked Jesus if seven times is sufficient to cease forgiving one who keeps offending, he replied no: “But, until seventy times seven.”[20]

Naturally, this does not mean that we have to stick around and let some poor ignoramus keep hurting us. That too is in error. Actually, what Jesus wants us to realize, always, is the value of God’s Unconditional Love for us, which is the basis of our creation.

When we fail to forgive others (or ourselves) relentlessly, we actually block our awareness of God’s love, which is the only source of life and our real happiness.

Thus, the soul of Judas Iscariot, when ready, is redeemed at last.

The Ascension and The Holy Spirit

After Jesus’ Ascension, the Holy Spirit descends upon the faithful disciples as promised:

Jesus Christ Risen

Jesus Ascends with a Divine Promise

“And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye [awhile] until ye be endued with power from on high.”

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” [21].

Founders Peter, James and John naturally become pillars in the early Christian church.

St. Paul Receives a Fellowship

In recognition of St. Paul’s ministry, a leading convert and chosen Apostle to the Gentiles, as was Peter to the Jews, who would become the New Testament’s most prolific writer: Peter, James and John extend “the right hand of fellowship” to him [22].

Though St. Paul rightly notes that he needed no man’s approval as his mission came by revelation, he no doubt loved and admired the apostle’s relentless dedication very much.

In Acts, Paul writes of Peter and John’s fierce devotion to preaching and healing the sick in the name of Jesus despite persecution by the high priests, that results in imprisonment and trial. As the story goes, an angel releases them from prison and an esteemed lawyer appears at their trial and argues successfully in their favor; though beaten and directed not to “speak in the name of Jesus,” still Peter and John continued to “teach and preach” the gospel of Jesus “daily in the temple and in every house.”[23]

St. John and The Book of Revelations

While the reports of the Apostles continue to inspire and comfort Christians everywhere, still, today, most Christians remain perplexed after reading the Book of Revelations by the Apostle John.

Though often intrigued by it, particularly our gifted dramatists, most of us find St. John’s Revelations from the Christ downright scary or too gloomy to think about; thus preferring to read the Four Gospels and the more comforting thoughts of Jesus the Christ instead.

Yet, for those of us who traverse the road less travelled, the Book of Revelations eventually becomes an affirmation of the advanced teachings of Jesus and the Ancients, rather than something to avoid out of fear.

For therein, amid the scary images, lies the complete story of the fall and redemption of humanity and the way home. Or back to our Higher Mind.

[1] St. Matt 4:18-22

[3] St Matthew 17:1-13

[4] See, the Bible Dictionary KJV, p. 65, Pharisee.

[5] St. John 1:19-34; see also Isaiah 40:3; Esaias is Greek for Isaiah (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

[6] St. Matthew 11:7-15

[7] St. Matthew 27:46 to 50.

[8] St. Luke 23:34

[9] See, “Jesus Christ Superstar” from the genius of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, c 1973.

[10] St. Matthew 26:36-75

[11] St. Matthew 27:1-43. See also John 18: 28-40 re malefactor or sedition charge.

[12] St. Matthew 26:52-56; see also St. John 18:10-18

[13] St. John 19: 26-30

[14] St. John 20:1-18

[15] St. Mark 3:14

[16] St. Luke 24:33-53.

[17] St. Matthew 28:18-20

[18] St. Matthew 5:17-20

[19] St. Matthew 27: 50-54

[20] St. Matthew 18:21-22

[21] St Luke 24:49 and St. John 14:26.

[22] Galatians 2: 1-10, KJV and NIV.

[23] Acts 4-5:42.

(Originally published 03/29/2013, Updated 03/25/2016, Endnotes updated 03/28/2016)

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2016. All rights reserved.

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Hear ye! Hear ye! There is a new paradigm quietly emerging for teaching and practicing the ancient expedient of forgiveness, a sure way to inner peace, happiness and self-empowerment no matter how taxing the outer situation. This occurred to me one day after watching a Life Class led by Oprah and Dr. Phil on the OWN Channel, with emphasis on recognizing the toxic people in our life based on Dr. Phil’s book titled, Life Code: The New Rules For Winning in the Real World. The above subtitle quote is from President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

According to Dr. Phil, the world is rapidly changing, which now urgently requires a new reality. Or, a new way of seeing in order to prevail in our evolving society. He asks, have you ever had an uneasy feeling about someone but gave them the benefit of the doubt? Of course, many in the audience raised their hands (me too). He then illustrates that it is this antiquated, social response that is now an open invitation for disaster in today’s fast-paced world! I thought Wow! And perked up immediately. As I was emotionally exhausted owing to a certain toxic individual in my life. By then, after much soul searching and fact finding, I had discerned that it was not me but the other person that was way out of balance. Thus, I was in dire need of the right support. And this class fit the bill! Thanks Oprah and Dr. Phil.

Richard Parker

Sadly, we can’t always boot toxic people out of our lives, at least not immediately. So I have learned to quietly ask: What is the lesson I need to learn here Dear God and please let me hurry up and learn it? Of course, it usually does not happen that quickly, yet my learning process has accelerated which is progress nonetheless. Having been on the Spiritual Path several decades now, I’ve also learned to brace myself for my own fault (or faults) that will surly emerge. And so it has, though in a most unlikely form.

A while ago, I entered into a business agreement with Richard Parker (a pseudonym) for the upkeep of my car. Borrowed from the acclaimed film titled “Life of Pi,” Richard Parker is also a metaphor but more about that later. Having known Richard Parker for a while and thus having chatted with him on more than one occasion over the years, I thought him to be a rather nice person, one you could trust. Boy was I mistaken. Hence, you never know a person until money enters the picture. And believe me this was strictly business, thus no room for confusion.

Initially, we hit it off well. Knowing that I was a devout student-teacher of A Course in Miracles, he started asking me about ACIM and even suggested I started a class with some of his friends, which, as a spiritual teacher, I heard the call for help and took it very seriously. The first class went well; he brought his wife, a close friend and two others also came. Afterwards, only Richard continued coming and we met for a while, but he eventually dropped off. I had the feeling that he was getting too close to reality and did not want to face it. Though he had shared a very traumatic experience in his early life, I sensed that he was in denial of his feelings about it. And since he was not that religiously inclined (probably angry at God) and I am not a licensed therapist, I did not press the matter.

Troubles with Richard Parker

Eventually, I discover that Richard Parker was prone to misrepresenting the facts, likely in an effort to cut costs and pad his wallet. One day I had to yell at Richard like a crazy lady to get him to redo something immediately. Obviously shaken, this seemed to throw off his usual game of lies and he began to babble incoherently. Afterwards, I became physically ill. Initially, it appeared to be the flu that lasted several days or a week. Who knows? Then a severe case of food poising hit me (perhaps an overindulgence of potato chips was the culprit…never again, LOL). Having opened my heart to help him spiritually, somehow I felt I was made vulnerable to illness by these negative interactions with Richard, as I rarely become ill.

The food poising symptoms were the most traumatic. Feeling really, really bad, I prayed deeply. This truly helped and I soon realized that my body was naturally purging the toxins. Being a lover of Nature, I got that and felt stronger. Then I remember being a young girl sitting on my porch while intently watching a cat eat grass and later regurgitating. Ever curious, I run and ask my mom, who grew up on a farm, and she explained that the animal was sick and the grass was its medicine.

Later, I would learn that my grandfather relied on herbs and other natural remedies for their medicines. With this in mind, I naturally embraced holistic healing as I advanced on the Spiritual path. Yet, this belief is not for everyone; thus, I am not advocating natural healing here, just sharing my experiences with intimate friends. Of course, in a pinch, know that God and His angles are still in the miracle business.

The next day, after intermittently throwing up pails of bile and releasing diarrhea all night, I actually felt lighter (wonder why) and weighed myself. I had lost over seven pounds, in one day no less! Though I felt better, I was still sick with the diarrhea. So I had to miss Mother’s Day. Finally, after inwardly being urged to eat something starchy, I checked out the internet for the right diet and boiled some pasta which brought things back to normal about 24 hours later. Hallelujah!

What Happened to Happy?

Knowing this was not yet over between Richard Parker and me, I fall into depression though in denial for a few days. Eventually it hits me that my inner happiness is not there. I thought, wait, as I am usually happy and notice it at least once during the day. And then thought to myself: Hey, what happened to happy? In the school of metaphysics we call that self-inquiry. So, I started regrouping immediately while realizing that I did not come all this way to let a Richard Parker rob me of my Inner Joy. No way, never again!

In an effort to return to happy, I turn on Oprah’s Life Class that I had recorded and the healing begins. Afterwards, I download Dr. Phil’s book, Life Code. I was so excited about this book I called my sister and passed it on. Naturally, the above JFK quote, which is in Dr. Phil’s book, caught my eye and I now have a new philosophy, which is very powerful in my opinion.

The Perfect Equation, Thanks Be to JFK

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names,” spoken like a true Harvard Law School graduate. I see President Kennedy’s splendid advice as the perfect equation because, though equals, one side cannot effectively work without the other. Yet, together, both sides form the perfect whole. And it is this, the Modern World must learn, which is probably why Dr. Phil chose to highlight JFK’s quote in his book. Thus, the perfect equation has now become the perfect remedy for coping with the “bad people” who might show up in our lives, generally seeking to exploit and steal from us rather than serve others.

Scripture teaches us to forgive our enemies, which works as we are also releasing ourselves, being one in The Spirit. Yet, for many of us, men in particular, something always seems missing from this instruction. Now we know why: As, forgiveness, being a quality of the heart, flows from the Feminine aspect of God, while memory, being a quality of the mind, is of the Masculine aspect of God. Yet, for the best possible results in all things, the Feminine and Masculine aspects of God (mind and heart) must work together. And so it is!

Though forgiveness is the ultimate expedient for destroying our enemies, not forgetting their names has to be the practical means by which we remember their true nature. Thus, a necessary caution against possible harm, as such persons likely will not change anytime soon. Yet, we need not live in fear, ever. With a made up mind and heart, we are more dangerous than danger.

Richard Parker, a Metaphor

My take on Richard Parker in “Life of Pi” and our story is simple. Besides being a metaphor of discernment between friend and foe, Richard Parker ultimately represents the primal beast we once were. Thus, we all have a little bit of Richard Parker still within us, some more destructive than others. Yet, while Richard Parker often appears to be outside of us, he really is within us; thus, a product of our own mind created by our ego.

Another term for Richard Parker is, of course, the ego. As it is our ego that wrongly judges, which ultimately engenders fear, anger, and dark feelings of revenge. As we mature spiritually, Richard Parker begins to diminish and ultimately fades away. But not without a conscious effort to rid our self of our own negative thoughts and feelings.

This process is made easier when we realize that the savage within us not only makes us sick, but ultimately robs us of our personal power. Leaving us weak and trembling before an imaginary enemy. Thus the old adage, “Thoughts are things.” Then do we become wise enough to let go of our destructive thoughts and choose peace instead, which automatically empowers us.

Hence, “I can see peace instead of this,” (ACIM, Lesson 34). And so it is! And always has been. And always will be. Amen!

Updated June 2, 2013

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2013. All rights reserved.

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Though Jesus had many disciples, most spiritual scholars believe that Peter, James and John were his best students. Destined to write the visionary Book of Revelations, seems the Apostle John was Jesus’ most advanced disciple. Which likely explains why John never denied Jesus and why a dying Jesus left his mother to John. Though we know little about John’s early life, Christian tradition maintains that John was probably born in Galilee about ten to fifteen years after the birth of Jesus.

St. John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James, also one of the Twelve Disciples. Fisherman by trade, one day John, his elder brother, James and their father, Zebedee were casting their nets when Jesus, while walking by the Sea of Galilee, called them: “And they immediately left the ship and their father and followed him”. Previously called that day were fellow fishermen Simon Peter and his brother Andrew; whom Jesus had told to, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”[1].

Of course, these were not ordinary, earthbound fishermen who generally would not have recognized Jesus, nor abandon their family and livelihood to follow anyone. Likely devout students of John the Baptist, an advanced teacher of God whose primary task was to first come and prepare those ready to receive Jesus the Christ,  Peter, James and John were now able to “follow” Jesus and accept his central message of universal love and forgiveness.

Though some likely perceived him as such, particularly when upholding the truth, John the Baptist was hardly the raving “wild-man” typically portrayed in Hollywood films during its Golden Era. Usually scantily clad in a lion’s skin while ranting at lost sinners to repent lest they burn in hell, such behavior, of course, is the direct opposite of the peace and kindness inherent in God’s Teachers.

John the Baptist Revealed

Traditionally recognized as Jesus’ most advanced disciples, at his behest, Peter, James and John witness Jesus’ historic Transfiguration on the Mount where Moses and Elias (aka, Elijah) appear to them talking with Jesus. Afterwards, they also understood from Jesus that John the Baptist and Elias were the same, which strongly suggests that they had properly learned the basis of reincarnation.[3]

Though John the Baptist reportedly denied being the Prophet Elias when questioned by the Pharisees (“separated ones”[4]) as to who he was, religious sages still hold that Jesus (as Elisha) was a disciple of John the Baptist (as Elias). Clearly of a higher mind, he was John the Baptist! That was his role in this life. So he simply stated, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Esaias (Isaiah).”[5]

In recognizing the limited, egocentric mindset of the Pharisees, perhaps John felt it best not to discuss his previous life with those who would not only deny such a revelation, but also kill the messenger! And his work was not yet done. Nonetheless, having been his teacher in a previous incarnation, or so it appears, this is likely why John baptized Jesus, why he preceded Jesus and why Jesus once said he was: “…More than a prophet…there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…if ye will receive it, this is Elias” as foretold.[6]

Maybe this is why some at the cross thought they heard Jesus calling for Elias in the ninth hour, followed by a mournful cry that still resonates today: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”[7] 

Yet, Jesus frees himself of such despair. Instead of holding inferior feelings of anger and revenge, Jesus speaks forgiveness and truth to Power: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”[8]

Perhaps Elias was there after all, there in spirit to remind Jesus who he was and there to help him transcend the body during this very difficult time. Besides, no one really dies alone. What better heavenly guide to aid Jesus than the familiar presence of his beloved former teacher.

Meanwhile, until that final hour, Jesus would go on to teach, preach and fulfill his divine mission here on earth.

Betrayal and Trial

As Scripture states, with a greeting and a kiss Judas betrays Jesus to local authorities while he is in the Garden of Gethsemane speaking with Peter, James and John. Whom Jesus had sought for comfort and support knowing that the time of his suffering for humanity was near. Yet, being human, instead of staying in prayer with Jesus, they fell asleep three times. Annoyed, Jesus initially said, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” He reminds them to stay focused and prayerful lest they fall into distraction, as “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Meanwhile, no surprise to Jesus, he is arrested and taken before the high priest Caiaphas “where the scribes and the elders were assembled”. Who then grills Jesus, to no avail, as to whether he is the Son of God. Naturally, Jesus kept his cool. Thus, in the radical rock opera of the 70s a resurrected Caiaphas aptly chants, “One thing I’ll say for him, Jesus is cool.[9]” Though Jesus spoke only Truth, when he did speak, Caiaphas and the assembly’s upside-down thinking declare Jesus spoke blasphemy.[10]

The next morning, “All the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus” and called for his death. And fulfillment of the law begins. Jesus soon stands before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea.

Unable to pass death sentences, the envious priests falsely accuse Jesus of sedition. Knowing “that for envy they had delivered” Jesus to him for trial, the conflicted governor ultimately orders his crucifixion, though only after pressure from a crowd of naïve citizens who had been manipulated by their priests and civic leaders.

Though the malleable governor washed his hands of the murder of “this just person,” as if to cleanse his conscience, still he had Jesus beaten, subjected to hateful ridicule and a violent death.

Thus, Governor Pontius Pilate fades into history as the man who crucified Jesus Christ.

Judas Repents

Meanwhile, likely hit with the reality of his benevolent teacher’s imminent death, Judas repents and attempts to return the infamous “thirty pieces of silver” to the chief priests and elders in the temple saying: “…I betrayed the innocent blood.” Who then callously replies, “What is that to us?” They reject his pitiful recompense, claiming it is now blood money.

Dejected, Judas throws the money on the temple floor, likely a cruel reminder of his irrevocable error, or so he believes. Sadly, he departs and ultimately hangs himself.

Conversely, without a hint of contrition, the arrogant temple dwellers and their cohorts would foolishly mock Jesus at the cross, saying among other things, “If he be [the Son of God] let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.”[11]

The Crucifixion

As the final hour drew near, there also was the Beloved Disciple, John, who had stuck by Jesus the most, particularly at the foot of the cross with his beloved mother, Mary. Thus, John neither denied nor betrayed Jesus, ever.

While Scripture notes, “all the disciples forsook him and fled” upon Jesus’ arrest, such is understandable given that their own lives and the future of Christianity were also in grave danger. Of course, Simon Peter’s attempt to defend Jesus with his sword is historic, who then cautions Peter to: “Put up thy sword…for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” [12]

Before surrendering his spirit to God, Jesus entrusts his mother to John his beloved disciple and John to his mother saying, “Woman, behold thy son!” And to John, “Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” Knowing “it is finished,” Jesus, “bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”[13]

The Resurrection and Ascension

On the third day, now Easter Sunday, Jesus arises from the grave and reveals his greatest message, which simply states that life is eternal, be glad! As death, after all, is but a transition from this life-experience to the next.

After discovering that the stone covering their teacher’s burial chamber is gone, Mary Magdalene, another close disciple of Jesus, runs to Peter and John believing they have taken away the body of their beloved Lord Jesus and she knew not where. Together they run toward the site, but John out runs Peter.

Thus, John is the first to enter the sacred chamber and finds it empty. Yet, rather than believe that someone had actually stolen their master’s body, John intuitively knows that Jesus had risen. Though, the other disciples had yet to learn that (from Jesus), according to Scripture, he must also arise from the dead.

Inconsolable, Mary Magdalene remains by the site weeping; she then looks into the chamber and sees two angels. Shortly thereafter, Jesus stands before her and, of course, she is elated. He lovingly bids her to touch him not for he is “not yet ascended” to our Father. This, says the metaphysician, is indicative of the natural transition from the body to spirit that usually takes three days, and is likely the root of prayer vigils and wakes for the departed in many traditions. Jesus then bids Mary to go and tell the others of his ascension.[14]

Finally, Jesus meets with his advanced students: the eleven remaining disciples whom he had ordained to preach the gospel, heal sickness and cast out error.[15] Even after hearing from Mary Magdalene that she had seen and spoken to Jesus, still they were frightened thinking they had seen a ghost. Jesus then invites them to look at his hands and feet, to touch him saying, “For a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”

Still frightened, Jesus asked them for meat: “And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish and [honey]. And he took it and did eat before them.” He lovingly opens their minds and explains why the Christ had “to suffer and rise from the dead the third day” as written, which is based on the Law of Creation (Karma) and is rarely understood by a closed mind.

According to the Ancients, wisdom cannot be taught; but the way to wisdom can be taught. This is why Jesus came among us and accepted the consequences of our errors, simply to show us the way back to the Source of all wisdom, which is God. But, we must apply Jesus’ teachings in order to live in harmony with Divine wisdom.

Then, Jesus authorizes his disciples to preach in his name, among all nations, the value of contrition and remission of erroneous thoughts and actions for inner peace and happiness, to which they were witnesses.[16]

His parting promise endures in the hearts of the faithful: “…Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”[17]

Judas Iscariot (Also to be Redeemed)

Sadly, a deeply troubled Judas Iscariot, the twelfth disciple and alleged political zealot who likely lost faith in Jesus’ nonviolent policies, had committed suicide after realizing he betrayed his spiritual teacher, an innocent person.

Many still wonder why Jesus the Christ, who had extraordinary powers, would allow a Judas to belong to his inner circle. Of course, Jesus, who likely abhorred censure, came to redeem Judas also.

Yet, the answer to this perplexing question is amazingly simple, which rests entirely in humanity’s absolute freewill that even God will not overturn. Much like the Prophet Muhammad who could not overturn the ills of society manifested in centuries of slavery, neither could Jesus usurp the heart of one traitor.

Here we must understand that God’s Redeemer cannot just wave a magic wand and undo the mess we made; that would not solve the problem. Only our willingness to change can save us. Thus, if we never discern why we go astray and change, we likely create the same conditions over and over and hurt more people in the process.

Creation Follows Law

We must realize that creation follows law!  It must in order to maintain balance and harmony in the Universe. Somewhat like the laws that uphold our society. Yet, God’s Love surpasses law, but we must first remember to accept Divine Love and let it flow like a river in our lives.

Thus, God’s Teachers can only show us the way; it is up to us to follow it. So, when Jesus mainly said, “I am [not] come to destroy the law, or the prophets…but to fulfill”[18], he would have us realize that with freewill comes the responsibility to rightly choose that which is in harmony with God’s Plan for our happiness. Otherwise, we are on our own; and, in time, will likely suffer dearly and needlessly, as did Judas.

It is not clear when Judas took his own life, which is a grave error that solves nothing as the best way to seek peace is through forgiveness. Perhaps it was on that fateful Friday when the heavens opened up revealing the Christ to all and it was too much for him:

“Now when the centurion, and [others] watching Jesus saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God.”’[19]

Of course, forgiveness is Jesus’ gift to humanity directly from God, the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Hence, when Simon Peter once asked Jesus if seven times is sufficient to cease forgiving one who keeps offending, he replied no, “But, until seventy times seven.”[20]

Naturally, this does not mean that we have to stick around and let some poor ignoramus keep hurting us. That too is in error.

Actually, what Jesus wants us to realize, always, is the value of God’s Unconditional Love for us, which is the basis of our creation. When we fail to forgive others (or ourselves) relentlessly, we actually block our awareness of God’s love, which is the only source of real happiness. Thus, the soul of Judas Iscariot, when ready, is redeemed at last.

After the Ascension

After Jesus’ Ascension and the Holy Spirit descends upon them as promise [21], founders Peter, James and John naturally become pillars in the early Christian church. Thus, in recognition of St. Paul’s ministry, a leading convert and chosen Apostle to the Gentiles (as was Peter to the Jews) who would become the New Testament’s most prolific writer, Peter, James and John extend “the right hand of fellowship” to him[22].

Though St. Paul rightly notes that he needed no man’s approval as his mission came by revelation, he no doubt loved and admired the apostle’s relentless dedication very much.

In Acts, Paul writes of Peter and John’s fierce devotion to preaching and healing the sick in the name of Jesus despite persecution by the high priests, that results in imprisonment and trial. As the story goes, an angel releases them from prison and an esteemed lawyer appears at their trial and argues successfully in their favor; though beaten and directed not to “speak in the name of Jesus,” still Peter and John continued to “teach and preach” the gospel of Jesus “daily in the temple and in every house.”[23]

While the reports of the Apostles continue to inspire and comfort Christians everywhere, still, today, most Christians remain perplexed after reading the Book of Revelations by the Apostle John. Though often intrigued by it, particularly our gifted dramatists, most of us find St. John’s Revelations from the Christ downright scary or too gloomy to think about; thus preferring to read the Four Gospels and the more comforting thoughts of Jesus the Christ instead.

Yet, for those of us who traverse the road less travelled, the Book of Revelations eventually becomes an affirmation of the advanced teachings of Jesus and the Ancients, rather than something to avoid out of fear. For therein, amid the scary images, lies the complete story of the fall and redemption of humanity and the way home.


[1] St. Matt 4:18-22

[3] St Matthew 17:1-13

[4] See, the Bible Dictionary KJV, p. 65, Pharisee.

[5] St. John 1:19-34; see also Isaiah 40:3; Esaias is Greek for Isaiah (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

[6] St. Matthew 11:7-15

[7] St. Matthew 27:46 to 50.

[8] St. Luke 23:34

[9] See, “Jesus Christ Superstar” from the genius of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, c 1973.

[10] St. Matthew 26:36-75

[11] St. Matthew 27:1-43. See also John 18: 28-40 re malefactor or sedition charge.

[12] St. Matthew 26:52-56; see also St. John 18:10-18

[13] St. John 19: 26-30

[14] St. John 20:1-18

[15] St. Mark 3:14

[16] St. Luke 24:33-53.

[17] St. Matthew 28:18-20

[18] St. Matthew 5:17-20

[19] St. Matthew 27: 50-54

[20] St. Matthew 18:21-22

[21] “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye [awhile] until ye be endued with power from on high” (St Luke 24:49).  “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” ( St John 14:26).

[22] Galatians 2: 1-10, KJV and NIV.

[23] Acts 4-5:42.

(Updated version with pictures, published March 25, 2016)

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2016. All rights reserved.

 

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