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PAPER 187 - THE CRUCIFIXION

CRUCIFIXION

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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 04:46 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

   AFTER the two brigands had been made ready, the soldiers, under the direction of a centurion, started for the scene of the crucifixion. The centurion in charge of these twelve soldiers was the same captain who had led forth the Roman soldiers the previous night to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane. It was the Roman custom to assign four soldiers for each person to be crucified. The two brigands were properly scourged before they were taken out to be crucified, but Jesus was given no further physical punishment; the captain undoubtedly thought he had already been sufficiently scourged, even before his condemnation.

 

(2004.2)187:0.2 The two thieves crucified with Jesus were associates of Barabbas and would later have been put to death with their leader if he had not been released as the Passover pardon of Pilate. Jesus was thus crucified in the place of Barabbas.

 

(2004.3)187:0.3 What Jesus is now about to do, submit to death on the cross, he does of his own free will. In foretelling this experience, he said: “The Father loves and sustains me because I am willing to lay down my life. But I will take it up again. No one takes my life away from me — I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up. I have received such a commandment from my Father.”

 

(2004.4)187:0.4 It was just before nine o’clock this morning when the soldiers led Jesus from the praetorium on the way to Golgotha. They were followed by many who secretly sympathized with Jesus, but most of this group of two hundred or more were either his enemies or curious idlers who merely desired to enjoy the shock of witnessing the crucifixions. Only a few of the Jewish leaders went out to see Jesus die on the cross. Knowing that he had been turned over to the Roman soldiers by Pilate, and that he was condemned to die, they busied themselves with their meeting in the temple, whereat they discussed what should be done with his followers.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 04:49 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors!

 

WELCOME to the OPAD presentation of Paper 187. It has eight pages and six Sections. This Paper covers a period from around 9 AM to 3:30 PM on Friday, April 7, 30 AD. It depicts several poignant moments, where Jesus thinks only of the welfare of others, as with his concern for the persecution of the women who wept for him, the promise to receive into the kingdom the repentant brigand who hung beside him, and of his mother whom he requested be taken away from the death scene. And Simon of Cyrene becomes a believer after carrying the cross for this son of man and Son of God, seeing his divine goodness, even while facing a torturous end.

 

Overview of Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Jesus' words, in the introduction to this Paper:
 

“...The Father loves and sustains me because I am willing to lay down my life. But I will take it up again. No one takes my life away from me — I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up. I have received such a commandment from my Father....” (2004.3)187:0.3
 

Those words appear (out of context, at the Feast of Dedication) in the Gospel of John, chapter 10:
 

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

 

Jesus reiterates this at his sixth appearance, in Nicodemus' courtyard:
 

 “...I have the power to lay down my life and to take it up again; the Father gives such power to his Paradise Sons...." (2053.1)193:0.5

 

 

***

 

From today's text:
 

...It was just before nine o’clock this morning when the soldiers led Jesus from the praetorium on the way to Golgotha.... (2004.4)187:0.4
 

map-36-735px.jpg?1402518491
MAP SOURCE

 

***

 

Synopsis of Paper 187:

 

Jesus arrived at Golgotha in the company of two condemned robbers and a group of Roman soldiers. The soldiers removed Jesus' clothing and dressed him in a loincloth. They bound his arms to the crossbeam before nailing his hands to the wood. They hoisted the crossbeam onto the upright timber and nailed it into place. The soldiers bound Jesus' feet and nailed them to the cross, using one long nail to pierce both feet. It was half past nine in the morning.

 

The Creator Son's death on the cross took five and a half hours. He won two men for the kingdom during his crucifixion; the first, one of the two thieves hanging beside him, the other, the Roman centurion who was captain of the guard. Shortly before three in the afternoon, Jesus spoke his last words: "It is finished! Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

 

John Zebedee, Jude, Ruth, Mary Magdalene, and Rebecca were with the Master when he died.

 

SYNOPSIS SOURCE

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

The_Urantia_Book_Word_Cloud_187_375.jpg

 

WORD CLOUD OF PAPER 187


 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading is Section 1. On the Way to Golgotha. Pilate writes an objectionable sign to hang over Jesus as he is led thru the streets to the killing place. Some weep over him to which he sadly responds, 'weep for yourselves and your babes'. Then he falls in exhaustion and one Simon of Cyrene is drafted to carry the crossbeam.

 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 04:19 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

1. On the Way to Golgotha

 

   Before leaving the courtyard of the praetorium, the soldiers placed the crossbeam on Jesus’ shoulders. It was the custom to compel the condemned man to carry the crossbeam to the site of the crucifixion. Such a condemned man did not carry the whole cross, only this shorter timber. The longer and upright pieces of timber for the three crosses had already been transported to Golgotha and, by the time of the arrival of the soldiers and their prisoners, had been firmly implanted in the ground.

 

(2004.6)187:1.2 According to custom the captain led the procession, carrying small white boards on which had been written with charcoal the names of the criminals and the nature of the crimes for which they had been condemned. For the two thieves the centurion had notices which gave their names, underneath which was written the one word, “Brigand.” It was the custom, after the victim had been nailed to the crossbeam and hoisted to his place on the upright timber, to nail this notice to the top of the cross, just above the head of the criminal, that all witnesses might know for what crime the condemned man was being crucified. The legend which the centurion carried to put on the cross of Jesus had been written by Pilate himself in Latin, Greek, and Aramaic, and it read: “Jesus of Nazareth — the King of the Jews.”

 

(2005.1)187:1.3 Some of the Jewish authorities who were yet present when Pilate wrote this legend made vigorous protest against calling Jesus the “king of the Jews.” But Pilate reminded them that such an accusation was part of the charge which led to his condemnation. When the Jews saw they could not prevail upon Pilate to change his mind, they pleaded that at least it be modified to read, “He said, ‘I am the king of the Jews.’” But Pilate was adamant; he would not alter the writing. To all further supplication he only replied, “What I have written, I have written.”

 

(2005.2)187:1.4 Ordinarily, it was the custom to journey to Golgotha by the longest road in order that a large number of persons might view the condemned criminal, but on this day they went by the most direct route to the Damascus gate, which led out of the city to the north, and following this road, they soon arrived at Golgotha, the official crucifixion site of Jerusalem. Beyond Golgotha were the villas of the wealthy, and on the other side of the road were the tombs of many well-to-do Jews.

 

(2005.3)187:1.5 Crucifixion was not a Jewish mode of punishment. Both the Greeks and the Romans learned this method of execution from the Phoenicians. Even Herod, with all his cruelty, did not resort to crucifixion. The Romans never crucified a Roman citizen; only slaves and subject peoples were subjected to this dishonorable mode of death. During the siege of Jerusalem, just forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus, all of Golgotha was covered by thousands upon thousands of crosses upon which, from day to day, there perished the flower of the Jewish race. A terrible harvest, indeed, of the seed-sowing of this day.

 

(2005.4)187:1.6 As the death procession passed along the narrow streets of Jerusalem, many of the tenderhearted Jewish women who had heard Jesus’ words of good cheer and compassion, and who knew of his life of loving ministry, could not refrain from weeping when they saw him being led forth to such an ignoble death. As he passed by, many of these women bewailed and lamented. And when some of them even dared to follow along by his side, the Master turned his head toward them and said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but rather weep for yourselves and for your children. My work is about done — soon I go to my Father — but the times of terrible trouble for Jerusalem are just beginning. Behold, the days are coming in which you shall say: Blessed are the barren and those whose breasts have never suckled their young. In those days will you pray the rocks of the hills to fall on you in order that you may be delivered from the terrors of your troubles.”

 

(2005.5)187:1.7 These women of Jerusalem were indeed courageous to manifest sympathy for Jesus, for it was strictly against the law to show friendly feelings for one who was being led forth to crucifixion. It was permitted the rabble to jeer, mock, and ridicule the condemned, but it was not allowed that any sympathy should be expressed. Though Jesus appreciated the manifestation of sympathy in this dark hour when his friends were in hiding, he did not want these kindhearted women to incur the displeasure of the authorities by daring to show compassion in his behalf. Even at such a time as this Jesus thought little about himself, only of the terrible days of tragedy ahead for Jerusalem and the whole Jewish nation.

 

(2006.1)187:1.8 As the Master trudged along on the way to the crucifixion, he was very weary; he was nearly exhausted. He had had neither food nor water since the Last Supper at the home of Elijah Mark; neither had he been permitted to enjoy one moment of sleep. In addition, there had been one hearing right after another up to the hour of his condemnation, not to mention the abusive scourgings with their accompanying physical suffering and loss of blood. Superimposed upon all this was his extreme mental anguish, his acute spiritual tension, and a terrible feeling of human loneliness.

 

(2006.2)187:1.9 Shortly after passing through the gate on the way out of the city, as Jesus staggered on bearing the crossbeam, his physical strength momentarily gave way, and he fell beneath the weight of his heavy burden. The soldiers shouted at him and kicked him, but he could not arise. When the captain saw this, knowing what Jesus had already endured, he commanded the soldiers to desist. Then he ordered a passerby, one Simon from Cyrene, to take the crossbeam from Jesus’ shoulders and compelled him to carry it the rest of the way to Golgotha.

 

(2006.3)187:1.10 This man Simon had come all the way from Cyrene, in northern Africa, to attend the Passover. He was stopping with other Cyrenians just outside the city walls and was on his way to the temple services in the city when the Roman captain commanded him to carry Jesus’ crossbeam. Simon lingered all through the hours of the Master’s death on the cross, talking with many of his friends and with his enemies. After the resurrection and before leaving Jerusalem, he became a valiant believer in the gospel of the kingdom, and when he returned home, he led his family into the heavenly kingdom. His two sons, Alexander and Rufus, became very effective teachers of the new gospel in Africa. But Simon never knew that Jesus, whose burden he bore, and the Jewish tutor who once befriended his injured son, were the same person.

 

(2006.4)187:1.11 It was shortly after nine o’clock when this procession of death arrived at Golgotha, and the Roman soldiers set themselves about the task of nailing the two brigands and the Son of Man to their respective crosses.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 04:24 AM


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Good Day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Poor Jesus, he's been verbally abused and physically beaten, crowned with thorns, whipped bloody, and now is forced to carry a heavy beam on which he is about to be nailed. No wonder the women wept as he passed. And even then he was still bringing people into the kingdom, as with Simon, Alexander and Rufus.

 

From today's reading:

 

...This man Simon...became a valiant believer in the gospel of the kingdom, and when he returned home, he led his family into the heavenly kingdom. His two sons, Alexander and Rufus, became very effective teachers of the new gospel in Africa.... (2006.3)187:1.10

 

Jesus helped Simon's son years before. From today's text:
 

...Simon never knew that Jesus, whose burden he bore, and the Jewish tutor who once befriended his injured son, were the same person.... (2006.3)187:1.10

 

What interesting reciprocity! Jesus helps Simon's injured son Rufus when he was in Cyrene, and Simon later returns the favor here in Jerusalem. The details of Rufus' accident are in Paper 130:

 

...The travelers were truly rested and refreshed when they made ready about noon one day to sail for Carthage in northern Africa, stopping for two days at Cyrene. It was here that Jesus and Ganid gave first aid to a lad named Rufus, who had been injured by the breakdown of a loaded oxcart. They carried him home to his mother, and his father, Simon, little dreamed that the man whose cross he subsequently bore by orders of a Roman soldier was the stranger who once befriended his son.... (1438.3)130:6.6

 

All three are mentioned in the Gospel of Mark, plus another detail that comports with today's reading:
 

21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

 

26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King Of The Jews.
 

Simon's name also appears in Matthew and Luke. But John is the only one who recorded the acrimony about that infamous sign Pilate insisted on, in chapter 19:

 

16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

 

 

19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews.

20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

 

From Matthew 27:

 

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

 

37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.


The only reference in the Bible to Jesus' remarks to the weeping women appear in Luke 23:
 

26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

 

38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews.

 

***

 

The Midwayers mention the Damascus gate in today's reading:
 

...on this day they went by the most direct route to the Damascus gate, which led out of the city to the north.... (2005.2)187:1.4
 

A._Salzmann_-_Porte_de_Damas%2C_vur_ext%

Damascus Gate in 1856

 

Damascus Gate is one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem. It is located in the wall on the city's northwest side where the highway leads out to Nablus, and from there, in times past, to the capital of Syria, Damascus; as such, its modern English name is Damascus Gate...

 

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Damascus Gate, 2011

 

IMAGES/TEXT SOURCE

 

 

Harold_Copping_Simon_Of_Cyrene_Carries_J

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

Evidently Jesus is not immune to, or above feeling, physical pain. But he also endured:


 ...extreme mental anguish, his acute spiritual tension, and a terrible feeling of human loneliness.... (2006.1)187:1.8

 

And not one complaint throughout the entire 15 hour, unjust, unfair, ordeal.

 

 

***

 

The Midwayers mention it was the Phoenicians who invented this horrendous method of killing:

 

 ...Crucifixion was not a Jewish mode of punishment. Both the Greeks and the Romans learned this method of execution from the Phoenicians. Even Herod, with all his cruelty, did not resort to crucifixion.... (2005.3)187:1.5

 

From Wikipedia:

 

Crucifixion (or impalement), in one form or another, was used by Persians, Carthaginians, Macedonians, and Romans. Death was often hastened. "The attending Roman guards could only leave the site after the victim had died, and were known to precipitate death by means of deliberate fracturing of the tibia and/or fibula, spear stab wounds into the heart, sharp blows to the front of the chest, or a smoking fire built at the foot of the cross to asphyxiate the victim."

 

The Greeks were generally opposed to performing crucifixions. However, in his Histories, ix.120–122, the Greek writer Herodotus describes the execution of a Persian general at the hands of Athenians in about 479 BC: "They nailed him to a plank and hung him up ... this Artayctes who suffered death by crucifixion." The Commentary on Herodotus by How and Wells remarks: "They crucified him with hands and feet stretched out and nailed to cross-pieces; cf. vii.33. This barbarity, unusual on the part of Greeks, may be explained by the enormity of the outrage or by Athenian deference to local feeling."

 

Some Christian theologians, beginning with Paul of Tarsus writing in Galatians 3:13, have interpreted an allusion to crucifixion in Deuteronomy 21:22-23. This reference is to being hanged from a tree, and may be associated with lynching or traditional hanging. However, Rabbinic law limited capital punishment to just 4 methods of execution: stoning, burning, strangulation, and decapitation, while the passage in Deuteronomy was interpreted as an obligation to hang the corpse on a tree as a form of deterrence.

 

...Alexander the Great is reputed to have crucified 2,000 survivors from his siege of the Phoenician city of Tyre, as well as the doctor who unsuccessfully treated Alexander's friend Hephaestion. Some historians have also conjectured that Alexander crucified Callisthenes, his official historian and biographer, for objecting to Alexander's adoption of the Persian ceremony of royal adoration.

 

In Carthage, crucifixion was an established mode of execution, which could even be imposed on generals for suffering a major defeat.

 

The Jewish king Alexander Jannaeus crucified 800 rebels, said to be Pharisees, in the middle of Jerusalem.


SOURCE/MORE
 

***

 

This genocidal scene, reported by the Midwayers in today's reading, is too terrible to contemplate, but at the same time too grand not to note in passing:

 

...During the siege of Jerusalem, just forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus, all of Golgotha was covered by thousands upon thousands of crosses upon which, from day to day, there perished the flower of the Jewish race. A terrible harvest, indeed, of the seed-sowing of this day.... (2005.3)187:1.5
 

A vast field, ripe with cruel death, spawned by ignorance, watered by greed, and killed by the refusal to the accept the light of truth.

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 2. The Crucifixion, Jesus is bound to the beam and nailed, his clothes are divided, he is offered drugs and refuses. And while he is hanging there, steeped in what must be the most pain a human can feel, he smiles down on his mother.

 

Overview of: Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:20 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

2. The Crucifixion

 

   The soldiers first bound the Master’s arms with cords to the crossbeam, and then they nailed his hands to the wood. When they had hoisted this crossbeam up on the post, and after they had nailed it securely to the upright timber of the cross, they bound and nailed his feet to the wood, using one long nail to penetrate both feet. The upright timber had a large peg, inserted at the proper height, which served as a sort of saddle for supporting the body weight. The cross was not high, the Master’s feet being only about three feet from the ground. He was therefore able to hear all that was said of him in derision and could plainly see the expression on the faces of all those who so thoughtlessly mocked him. And also could those present easily hear all that Jesus said during these hours of lingering torture and slow death.

 

(2007.1)187:2.2 It was the custom to remove all clothes from those who were to be crucified, but since the Jews greatly objected to the public exposure of the naked human form, the Romans always provided a suitable loin cloth for all persons crucified at Jerusalem. Accordingly, after Jesus’ clothes had been removed, he was thus garbed before he was put upon the cross.

 

(2007.2)187:2.3 Crucifixion was resorted to in order to provide a cruel and lingering punishment, the victim sometimes not dying for several days. There was considerable sentiment against crucifixion in Jerusalem, and there existed a society of Jewish women who always sent a representative to crucifixions for the purpose of offering drugged wine to the victim in order to lessen his suffering. But when Jesus tasted this narcotized wine, as thirsty as he was, he refused to drink it. The Master chose to retain his human consciousness until the very end. He desired to meet death, even in this cruel and inhuman form, and conquer it by voluntary submission to the full human experience.

 

(2007.3)187:2.4 Before Jesus was put on his cross, the two brigands had already been placed on their crosses, all the while cursing and spitting upon their executioners. Jesus’ only words, as they nailed him to the crossbeam, were, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He could not have so mercifully and lovingly interceded for his executioners if such thoughts of affectionate devotion had not been the mainspring of all his life of unselfish service. The ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis.

 

(2007.4)187:2.5 After the Master was hoisted on the cross, the captain nailed the title up above his head, and it read in three languages, “Jesus of Nazareth — the King of the Jews.” The Jews were infuriated by this believed insult. But Pilate was chafed by their disrespectful manner; he felt he had been intimidated and humiliated, and he took this method of obtaining petty revenge. He could have written “Jesus, a rebel.” But he well knew how these Jerusalem Jews detested the very name of Nazareth, and he was determined thus to humiliate them. He knew that they would also be cut to the very quick by seeing this executed Galilean called “The King of the Jews.”

 

(2007.5)187:2.6 Many of the Jewish leaders, when they learned how Pilate had sought to deride them by placing this inscription on the cross of Jesus, hastened out to Golgotha, but they dared not attempt to remove it since the Roman soldiers were standing on guard. Not being able to remove the title, these leaders mingled with the crowd and did their utmost to incite derision and ridicule, lest any give serious regard to the inscription.

 

(2007.6)187:2.7 The Apostle John, with Mary the mother of Jesus, Ruth, and Jude, arrived on the scene just after Jesus had been hoisted to his position on the cross, and just as the captain was nailing the title above the Master’s head. John was the only one of the eleven apostles to witness the crucifixion, and even he was not present all of the time since he ran into Jerusalem to bring back his mother and her friends soon after he had brought Jesus’ mother to the scene.

 

(2007.7)187:2.8 As Jesus saw his mother, with John and his brother and sister, he smiled but said nothing. Meanwhile the four soldiers assigned to the Master’s crucifixion, as was the custom, had divided his clothes among them, one taking the sandals, one the turban, one the girdle, and the fourth the cloak. This left the tunic, or seamless vestment reaching down to near the knees, to be cut up into four pieces, but when the soldiers saw what an unusual garment it was, they decided to cast lots for it. Jesus looked down on them while they divided his garments, and the thoughtless crowd jeered at him.

 

(2008.1)187:2.9 It was well that the Roman soldiers took possession of the Master’s clothing. Otherwise, if his followers had gained possession of these garments, they would have been tempted to resort to superstitious relic worship. The Master desired that his followers should have nothing material to associate with his life on earth. He wanted to leave mankind only the memory of a human life dedicated to the high spiritual ideal of being consecrated to doing the Father’s will.

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:55 AM


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Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

How he could muster a smile with nails in his hands and feet (some of the most nerve dense tissue in the body) pushes the limits of human ability under duress. But, no doubt, he did just that. What that smile meant to his mother and siblings we are not told. But the Midwayers do make a memorable statement about Jesus' overall reaction to this shameful and wrenching ordeal, the ultimate insult to human flesh and dignity:

 

...The ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis.... (2007.3)187:2.4
 

His deep understanding and bottomless love for other humans must also be beyond previous limits, else he couldn't pray to God, while the nails were being driven thru his muscles:
 

"...Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do....” (2007.3)187:2.4

 

 

***

 

Typical of the distortions and exaggerations of truth on benighted Urantia, there are far more artistic depictions of Jesus hanging on a cross than there are of any of the more significant events in his divine life. Google has links to almost three million such images.

 

Astonishing as it is, the Master wanted not to be drugged, he wanted not to evade what must have been excruciating pain, not to avoid or lessen any part of this grueling experience. After all, not every human who was or will be executed, has that option, and so he denied it to himself. From today's text:
 

...He desired to meet death, even in this cruel and inhuman form, and conquer it by voluntary submission to the full human experience.... (2007.2)187:2.3
 

The Midwayers don't say if the two brigands were offered or accepted the drugged wine. Presumably they were and they did.

 

***

 

Aside from this hellish scene of an incarnate God permitting himself to be tortured to death by humans, the Midwayers give us insight into the apparel of the day. How many modern believers could picture the Master wearing a turban!?!

 

From today's reading:
 

...one taking the sandals, one the turban, one the girdle, and the fourth the cloak. This left the tunic, or seamless vestment reaching down to near the knees, to be cut up into four pieces, but when the soldiers saw what an unusual garment it was, they decided to cast lots for it.... (2007.7)187:2.8
 

The casting of lots and other details (including the argument about the wording on the sign Pilate wrote) of the crucifixion were partially recorded in the Gospels.

 

From Mark 15:

 

22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King Of The Jews.

27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

 

From Matthew 27:

 

33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36 And sitting down they watched him there;

37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews.

 

From Luke 23:

 

32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,

37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews.

 

From John 19:

 

16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews.

20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

 

 

 

***

 

The Midwayers end this Section saying:
 

...It was well that the Roman soldiers took possession of the Master’s clothing. Otherwise, if his followers had gained possession of these garments, they would have been tempted to resort to superstitious relic worship.... (2008.1)187:2.9
 

That hardly stifled relic worship. Humans have since found others material things to fawn over, presumed pieces of the cross he hung on, a musty burial shroud, the chalice he supposedly drank from at the Last Supper, et al. Humanity is still quick to make sacred anything touched by divinity, while we simultaneously and persistently deny, avoid and eschew the reality and substance of divine values. But, inch by inch, we are progressing from the animal to the divine estate--aren't we?

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion, the Midwayers describe the scene during the last hours of the morning, the 1000 jeering, head-wagging spectators, his family in attendance, the Roman guards derisively toasting him, and finally the Captain offering the Master moisture for his dry lips.

 

Overview of: Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:36 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

 

   At about half past nine o’clock this Friday morning, Jesus was hung upon the cross. Before eleven o’clock, upward of one thousand persons had assembled to witness this spectacle of the crucifixion of the Son of Man. Throughout these dreadful hours the unseen hosts of a universe stood in silence while they gazed upon this extraordinary phenomenon of the Creator as he was dying the death of the creature, even the most ignoble death of a condemned criminal.

 

(2008.3)187:3.2 Standing near the cross at one time or another during the crucifixion were Mary, Ruth, Jude, John, Salome (John’s mother), and a group of earnest women believers including Mary the wife of Clopas and sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene, and Rebecca, onetime of Sepphoris. These and other friends of Jesus held their peace while they witnessed his great patience and fortitude and gazed upon his intense sufferings.

 

(2008.4)187:3.3 Many who passed by wagged their heads and, railing at him, said: “You who would destroy the temple and build it again in three days, save yourself. If you are the Son of God, why do you not come down from your cross?” In like manner some of the rulers of the Jews mocked him, saying, “He saved others, but himself he cannot save.” Others said, “If you are the king of the Jews, come down from the cross, and we will believe in you.” And later on they mocked him the more, saying: “He trusted in God to deliver him. He even claimed to be the Son of God — look at him now — crucified between two thieves.” Even the two thieves also railed at him and cast reproach upon him.

 

(2008.5)187:3.4 Inasmuch as Jesus would make no reply to their taunts, and since it was nearing noontime of this special preparation day, by half past eleven o’clock most of the jesting and jeering crowd had gone its way; less than fifty persons remained on the scene. The soldiers now prepared to eat lunch and drink their cheap, sour wine as they settled down for the long deathwatch. As they partook of their wine, they derisively offered a toast to Jesus, saying, “Hail and good fortune! to the king of the Jews.” And they were astonished at the Master’s tolerant regard of their ridicule and mocking.

 

(2008.6)187:3.5 When Jesus saw them eat and drink, he looked down upon them and said, “I thirst.” When the captain of the guard heard Jesus say, “I thirst,” he took some of the wine from his bottle and, putting the saturated sponge stopper upon the end of a javelin, raised it to Jesus so that he could moisten his parched lips.

 

(2008.7)187:3.6 Jesus had purposed to live without resort to his supernatural power, and he likewise elected to die as an ordinary mortal upon the cross. He had lived as a man, and he would die as a man — doing the Father’s will.

 
 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:42 AM


.

 

Good Day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Nineteenth century artist James Tissot attempted to paint what Jesus saw from atop his perch of torture:
 

James_Tissot_What_Our_Saviour_Saw_from_t

c. 1890, Brooklyn Museum.


 

From today's text:
 

...Standing near the cross at one time or another during the crucifixion were Mary, Ruth, Jude, John, Salome (John’s mother), and a group of earnest women believers including Mary the wife of Clopas and sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene, and Rebecca, onetime of Sepphoris....( 2008.3)187:3.2
 

Of course Mary, Ruth and Jude were all in the Master's nuclear family. John and Salome were part of the Zebedee clan. This is the first mention of Clopas, her name appears once more in this Paper, nowhere else. Evidently she was Jesus' aunt. Rebecca is the daughter of Ezra, and the same young woman who fell in love with Jesus years earlier, and was rejected.

 

The spelling is different but his aunt's name appears in John 19:

 

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

 

And John is the only place where the words "I thirst" appear, also in chapter 19:
 

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

 

Luke cites the jeering crowd, and his Gospel alludes to "offering him vinegar", in chapter 23:

 

35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,

37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.


The head-wagging and taunts were recorded in the other two Gospels.

 

From Mark 15:

 

29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

 

From Matthew 27:

 

39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

 

***

 

If the miracle at Cana--changing water into wine--is an indication of this man's power, then one thought from him could have destroyed Urantia, and perhaps every rebel in Nebadon along with it. But, obviously, he had no such thoughts. The Midwayers end this Section with words that ring down the ages, the message never changes, for Jesus or anyone. Our greatest task and eternal goal, even to perfection:

 

...doing the Father’s will.... (2008.7)187:3.6

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 4. The Thief on the Cross, there occurs one of the strangest conversations ever, between three men nailed to crosses. Then Jesus has John take Mary away, but the other women maintain the deathwatch from afar. And we are informed where and when Mary died.

 

 

Overview of: Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:41 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

4. The Thief on the Cross

 

   One of the brigands railed at Jesus, saying, “If you are the Son of God, why do you not save yourself and us?” But when he had reproached Jesus, the other thief, who had many times heard the Master teach, said: “Do you have no fear even of God? Do you not see that we are suffering justly for our deeds, but that this man suffers unjustly? Better that we should seek forgiveness for our sins and salvation for our souls.” When Jesus heard the thief say this, he turned his face toward him and smiled approvingly. When the malefactor saw the face of Jesus turned toward him, he mustered up his courage, fanned the flickering flame of his faith, and said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And then Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say to you today, you shall sometime be with me in Paradise.”

 

(2009.1)187:4.2 The Master had time amidst the pangs of mortal death to listen to the faith confession of the believing brigand. When this thief reached out for salvation, he found deliverance. Many times before this he had been constrained to believe in Jesus, but only in these last hours of consciousness did he turn with a whole heart toward the Master’s teaching. When he saw the manner in which Jesus faced death upon the cross, this thief could no longer resist the conviction that this Son of Man was indeed the Son of God.

 

(2009.2)187:4.3 During this episode of the conversion and reception of the thief into the kingdom by Jesus, the Apostle John was absent, having gone into the city to bring his mother and her friends to the scene of the crucifixion. Luke subsequently heard this story from the converted Roman captain of the guard.

 

(2009.3)187:4.4 The Apostle John told about the crucifixion as he remembered the event two thirds of a century after its occurrence. The other records were based upon the recital of the Roman centurion on duty who, because of what he saw and heard, subsequently believed in Jesus and entered into the full fellowship of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

 

(2009.4)187:4.5 This young man, the penitent brigand, had been led into a life of violence and wrongdoing by those who extolled such a career of robbery as an effective patriotic protest against political oppression and social injustice. And this sort of teaching, plus the urge for adventure, led many otherwise well-meaning youths to enlist in these daring expeditions of robbery. This young man had looked upon Barabbas as a hero. Now he saw that he had been mistaken. Here on the cross beside him he saw a really great man, a true hero. Here was a hero who fired his zeal and inspired his highest ideas of moral self-respect and quickened all his ideals of courage, manhood, and bravery. In beholding Jesus, there sprang up in his heart an overwhelming sense of love, loyalty, and genuine greatness.

 

(2009.5)187:4.6 And if any other person among the jeering crowd had experienced the birth of faith within his soul and had appealed to the mercy of Jesus, he would have been received with the same loving consideration that was displayed toward the believing brigand.

 

(2009.6)187:4.7 Just after the repentant thief heard the Master’s promise that they should sometime meet in Paradise, John returned from the city, bringing with him his mother and a company of almost a dozen women believers. John took up his position near Mary the mother of Jesus, supporting her. Her son Jude stood on the other side. As Jesus looked down upon this scene, it was noontide, and he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” And speaking to John, he said, “My son, behold your mother!” And then he addressed them both, saying, “I desire that you depart from this place.” And so John and Jude led Mary away from Golgotha. John took the mother of Jesus to the place where he tarried in Jerusalem and then hastened back to the scene of the crucifixion. After the Passover Mary returned to Bethsaida, where she lived at John’s home for the rest of her natural life. Mary did not live quite one year after the death of Jesus.

 

(2010.1)187:4.8 After Mary left, the other women withdrew for a short distance and remained in attendance upon Jesus until he expired on the cross, and they were yet standing by when the body of the Master was taken down for burial.

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:39 AM


.

 

Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

Once again Jesus smiles in the very depth of his outrageous punishment for revealing the Truth on this mad planet. That smile is bestowed on one of his deathmates, who in his last moments finds deliverance and acceptance, even from the sovereign of our universe hanging beside him.

 

From today's reading:
 

...The Master had time amidst the pangs of mortal death to listen to the faith confession of the believing brigand.... (2009.1)187:4.2
 

It's astonishing that such coherent conversation can go on amidst such overwhelming pain, agony and stricture.

 

Prodigious painter Tissot provided this painful portrait of the pardoned penitent pleading with Jesus:

 

James_Tissot_The_Pardoning_of_the_Penite

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

From today's text:
 

...Luke subsequently heard this story from the converted Roman captain of the guard.... (2009.2)187:4.3
 

From Luke, chapter 23:
 

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

 

Wish we knew this man's name. No doubt we will on Mansonia.

 

 

From today's reading:
 

...The Apostle John told about the crucifixion as he remembered the event two thirds of a century after its occurrence.... (2009.3)187:4.4

 

You can see John's vainglorious ego erupting in his Gospel record, chapter 19:

 

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

 

Matthew has this somewhat disjointed and sparse record, in chapter 27:

 

38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

 

44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

 

From Mark 15:
 

27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.


This must be the scripture Mark refers to, from Isaiah 53:


12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


***

 

So, mother Mary departs never to see her son again on Earth. She died so soon after her son, but couldn't have been more than fifty. From today's text:
 

...Mary returned to Bethsaida, where she lived at John’s home for the rest of her natural life. Mary did not live quite one year after the death of Jesus.... (2009.6)187:4.7

 

Bethsaida is a little village at the north end of Galilee.

 

map-23-735px.jpg?1402516882

MAP SOURCE
 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 5. Last Hour on the Cross, a sandstorm gathers as the Master passes his final minutes reciting Old Testament verse. Meanwhile the Jewish authorities seek and receive permission for the Roman guards to "dispatch" all three before Passover, but the Master has already declared: "It is finished!"

 

 

Overview of: Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:17 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

5. Last Hour on the Cross

 

   Although it was early in the season for such a phenomenon, shortly after twelve o’clock the sky darkened by reason of the fine sand in the air. The people of Jerusalem knew that this meant the coming of one of those hot-wind sandstorms from the Arabian desert. Before one o’clock the sky was so dark the sun was hid, and the remainder of the crowd hastened back to the city. When the Master gave up his life shortly after this hour, less than thirty people were present, only the thirteen Roman soldiers and a group of about fifteen believers. These believers were all women except two, Jude, Jesus’ brother, and John Zebedee, who returned to the scene just before the Master expired.

 

(2010.3)187:5.2 Shortly after one o’clock, amidst the increasing darkness of the fierce sandstorm, Jesus began to fail in human consciousness. His last words of mercy, forgiveness, and admonition had been spoken. His last wish — concerning the care of his mother — had been expressed. During this hour of approaching death the human mind of Jesus resorted to the repetition of many passages in the Hebrew scriptures, particularly the Psalms. The last conscious thought of the human Jesus was concerned with the repetition in his mind of a portion of the Book of Psalms now known as the twentieth, twenty-first, and twenty-second Psalms. While his lips would often move, he was too weak to utter the words as these passages, which he so well knew by heart, would pass through his mind. Only a few times did those standing by catch some utterance, such as, “I know the Lord will save his anointed,” “Your hand shall find out all my enemies,” and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus did not for one moment entertain the slightest doubt that he had lived in accordance with the Father’s will; and he never doubted that he was now laying down his life in the flesh in accordance with his Father’s will. He did not feel that the Father had forsaken him; he was merely reciting in his vanishing consciousness many Scriptures, among them this twenty-second Psalm, which begins with “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And this happened to be one of the three passages which were spoken with sufficient clearness to be heard by those standing by.

 

(2010.4)187:5.3 The last request which the mortal Jesus made of his fellows was about half past one o’clock when, a second time, he said, “I thirst,” and the same captain of the guard again moistened his lips with the same sponge wet in the sour wine, in those days commonly called vinegar.

 

(2010.5)187:5.4 The sandstorm grew in intensity and the heavens increasingly darkened. Still the soldiers and the small group of believers stood by. The soldiers crouched near the cross, huddled together to protect themselves from the cutting sand. The mother of John and others watched from a distance where they were somewhat sheltered by an overhanging rock. When the Master finally breathed his last, there were present at the foot of his cross John Zebedee, his brother Jude, his sister Ruth, Mary Magdalene, and Rebecca, onetime of Sepphoris.

 

(2011.1)187:5.5 It was just before three o’clock when Jesus, with a loud voice, cried out, “It is finished! Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” And when he had thus spoken, he bowed his head and gave up the life struggle. When the Roman centurion saw how Jesus died, he smote his breast and said: “This was indeed a righteous man; truly he must have been a Son of God.” And from that hour he began to believe in Jesus.

 

(2011.2)187:5.6 Jesus died royally — as he had lived. He freely admitted his kingship and remained master of the situation throughout the tragic day. He went willingly to his ignominious death, after he had provided for the safety of his chosen apostles. He wisely restrained Peter’s trouble-making violence and provided that John might be near him right up to the end of his mortal existence. He revealed his true nature to the murderous Sanhedrin and reminded Pilate of the source of his sovereign authority as a Son of God. He started out to Golgotha bearing his own crossbeam and finished up his loving bestowal by handing over his spirit of mortal acquirement to the Paradise Father. After such a life — and at such a death — the Master could truly say, “It is finished.”

 

(2011.3)187:5.7 Because this was the preparation day for both the Passover and the Sabbath, the Jews did not want these bodies to be exposed on Golgotha. Therefore they went before Pilate asking that the legs of these three men be broken, that they be dispatched, so that they could be taken down from their crosses and cast into the criminal burial pits before sundown. When Pilate heard this request, he forthwith sent three soldiers to break the legs and dispatch Jesus and the two brigands.

 

(2011.4)187:5.8 When these soldiers arrived at Golgotha, they did accordingly to the two thieves, but they found Jesus already dead, much to their surprise. However, in order to make sure of his death, one of the soldiers pierced his left side with his spear. Though it was common for the victims of crucifixion to linger alive upon the cross for even two or three days, the overwhelming emotional agony and the acute spiritual anguish of Jesus brought an end to his mortal life in the flesh in a little less than five and one-half hours.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 04:53 AM


.

 

Good Day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Even the weather seems to add to the misery in this final scene of killing Jesus. The blowing sand stings the skin and his is bare, exposed, and probably already tender from previous injury.

 

I have to admit to being relieved to be done with this killing business. I didn't look forward to Paper 187 on previous readings, so I read through it quickly. But OPAD has, by necessity, been lingering around this grisly episode for a week. Between presentations I couldn't help thinking over those hours on the cross, and simply weep at the rank injustice and abject unfairness of it all, never mind the extreme depravity.

 

Poor Jesus, his "robust" 35 year old body is finally giving up after more than a dozen hours of on and off torture.  Was he worried, even in this last hour, that his mind might drift, that he might have a stray thought that would manifest a miracle? Or perhaps do some damage? Is that why his mind reaches back and seizes on familiar scripture?

 

From today's text:

 

...The last conscious thought of the human Jesus was concerned with the repetition in his mind of a portion of the Book of Psalms now known as the twentieth, twenty-first, and twenty-second Psalms.... (2010.3)187:5.2
 

Psalm 20

 

5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.

6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

 

Psalm 21

 

7 For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.

8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.

9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

 

Psalm 22

 

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.


 

***

 

Perhaps there is no more confusing scriptural record than this error about Jesus having doubt in his last minutes. How many, in two thousand years, have stumbled over this simple reporting error in the Gospel record?

 

From Matthew 27:
 

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 

From Mark 15:

 

33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 

 

What terrible and misleading irony, of all the scripture he might have recalled during these last hours, that only his words of presumed doubt were heard and recorded.


The other two Gospel records don't cite the doubting error.

 

From Luke 23:

 

44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

 

John's record is somewhat different and short on details. 

 

From chapter 19:

 

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

 

 

Fortunately, Jesus was spared the pain of breaking legs. From today's reading:

 

...Because this was the preparation day for both the Passover and the Sabbath, the Jews did not want these bodies to be exposed on Golgotha. Therefore they went before Pilate asking that the legs of these three men be broken, that they be dispatched, so that they could be taken down from their crosses and cast into the criminal burial pits before sundown. When Pilate heard this request, he forthwith sent three soldiers to break the legs and dispatch Jesus and the two brigands.... (2011.3)187:5.7

 

From John 19:

 

32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

 

How does breaking the legs cause death, by asphyxiation?

 

***

 

...After such a life — and at such a death — the Master could truly say, “It is finished....”(2011.2)187:5.6

 

Pieta.jpg

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

In his final words, with his last breath, he brought a tough Roman soldier into the kingdom.

 

...And when he had thus spoken, he bowed his head and gave up the life struggle. When the Roman centurion saw how Jesus died, he smote his breast and said: “This was indeed a righteous man; truly he must have been a Son of God.” And from that hour he began to believe in Jesus.... (2011.1)187:5.5

 

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading, Section 6. After the Crucifixion, is just three short paragraphs and the end of 187. David Zebedee sends out the message of the Master's passing. John Z escorts the women to the Mark home and then returns to Golgotha, while the rest of the universe of Nebadon laments, stunned and shocked by the horror of seeing a loved one die in such a manner, and by the hand of his own children.

 

 

Overview of: Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:20 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 187 - The Crucifixion

 

6. After the Crucifixion

 

    In the midst of the darkness of the sandstorm, about half past three o’clock, David Zebedee sent out the last of the messengers carrying the news of the Master’s death. The last of his runners he dispatched to the home of Martha and Mary in Bethany, where he supposed the mother of Jesus stopped with the rest of her family.

 

(2011.6)187:6.2 After the death of the Master, John sent the women, in charge of Jude, to the home of Elijah Mark, where they tarried over the Sabbath day. John himself, being well known by this time to the Roman centurion, remained at Golgotha until Joseph and Nicodemus arrived on the scene with an order from Pilate authorizing them to take possession of the body of Jesus.

 

(2011.7)187:6.3 Thus ended a day of tragedy and sorrow for a vast universe whose myriads of intelligences had shuddered at the shocking spectacle of the crucifixion of the human incarnation of their beloved Sovereign; they were stunned by this exhibition of mortal callousness and human perversity.

 
 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:38 AM

.

 

Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

...they were stunned by this exhibition of mortal callousness and human perversity.... (2011.7)187:6.3

 

And so are we. But, being human, I can understand how humans act sometimes, with utter and total selfishness, with little to no regard for the well being and feelings of others. In most cases we simply don't know, and don't care to know, the better way, never learned it and never tried it. It's too scary and the rewards are too remote and uncertain. Besides, tradition rules our lives. If our ancestors say it is so, then it is so, damn the facts and the revelation that goodness has visited Urantia in human form, inviting us to participate in the divine plan of spreading truth and perfecting goodness across time and space.

 

The most beautiful part of this, the ugliest scene ever, is that God and the Master went right on loving the humans who did this awful, cruel thing, and everyone before and since. Divine love must be "inconcussible". It is also beautiful, enlightening, and inspiring to see how our God incarnate reacted to such callous perversity, with absolute divine compassion and transcendent self-forgetfulness.

 

 

***

 

From today's OPAD:

 

...After the death of the Master, John sent the women, in charge of Jude, to the home of Elijah Mark, where they tarried over the Sabbath day.... (2011.6)187:6.2

 

Herbert_Schmalz_Return_from_Calvary_525.

 

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

***

 

The Mark home, Bethany, and Golgotha were cited in today's reading, all are shown on these maps:

 

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map-33-735px.jpg?1402517872

 

map-36-735px.jpg?1402518491

 

MAPS SOURCE

 

***

 

The Midwayers don't mention it, but I can't help thinking how appropriate the timing of this sandstorm is. Anyone who has been in a sandstorm has more than likely felt the overwhelming oppressiveness and inescapability of it, that awful feeling that the light is gone and misery has set in, at least for a while.

 

The synoptic Gospels all cite the storm, and add a bit of mysticism. When Jesus died, there was supposedly a material reaction in the temple, and in the earth, according to Matthew 27:
 

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent...
 

From Mark 15:

 

38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

 

From Luke 23:
 

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.


 

***

 

Thus ends the story of the life and death of Jesus on Urantia, also Michael's seventh and final bestowal, at least the difficult part, the incarnation. Next he will resurrect and appear before many groups of believers, on Urantia and elsewhere in Nebadon.

 

But first the Midwayers will sum up his life and teachings in Paper 188. In 188's introduction they will provide some of the details of the period between his death and resurrection, mostly regarding the removal and entombment of the body, as the Sanhedrinists try to have it thrown into a pit with the other two criminals, but Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus get permission from Pilate to take it.

 

 

Overview of: Paper 187 - The Crucifixion


1. On the Way to Golgotha

2. The Crucifixion

3. Those Who Saw the Crucifixion

4. The Thief on the Cross

5. Last Hour on the Cross

6. After the Crucifixion

 

This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.


 

Listen to Paper 187: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.





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