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PAPER 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB


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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 03:53 AM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

   THE day and a half that Jesus’ mortal body lay in the tomb of Joseph, the period between his death on the cross and his resurrection, is a chapter in the earth career of Michael which is little known to us. We can narrate the burial of the Son of Man and put in this record the events associated with his resurrection, but we cannot supply much information of an authentic nature about what really transpired during this epoch of about thirty-six hours, from three o’clock Friday afternoon to three o’clock Sunday morning. This period in the Master’s career began shortly before he was taken down from the cross by the Roman soldiers. He hung upon the cross about one hour after his death. He would have been taken down sooner but for the delay in dispatching the two brigands.

 

(2012.2)188:0.2 The rulers of the Jews had planned to have Jesus’ body thrown in the open burial pits of Gehenna, south of the city; it was the custom thus to dispose of the victims of crucifixion. If this plan had been followed, the body of the Master would have been exposed to the wild beasts.

 

(2012.3)188:0.3 In the meantime, Joseph of Arimathea, accompanied by Nicodemus, had gone to Pilate and asked that the body of Jesus be turned over to them for proper burial. It was not uncommon for friends of crucified persons to offer bribes to the Roman authorities for the privilege of gaining possession of such bodies. Joseph went before Pilate with a large sum of money, in case it became necessary to pay for permission to remove Jesus’ body to a private burial tomb. But Pilate would not take money for this. When he heard the request, he quickly signed the order which authorized Joseph to proceed to Golgotha and take immediate and full possession of the Master’s body. In the meantime, the sandstorm having considerably abated, a group of Jews representing the Sanhedrin had gone out to Golgotha for the purpose of making sure that Jesus’ body accompanied those of the brigands to the open public burial pits.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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 03 October 2014 - 04:30 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors!

 

WELCOME to the OPAD presentation of Paper 188. This Paper has nine pages and five Sections. It covers a period of about 36 hours between Jesus' death (3 PM, April 7, 30 AD) and his resurrection (3 AM, April 9), as well as the activities of some celestial leaders (the Ancients of Days, Gabriel, the Constellation Father, even Michael himself) during this day and a half. And we are informed of the existence of the "Michael Memorial" on Mansion World number one.

 

The first three Sections have the details of the burial and its aftermath, while the last two discuss the multiple meanings and divine values that were revealed by submitting to this courageous and inspiring death.

 

Overview of Paper 188 - The Time Of The Tomb

 

1. The Burial of Jesus
2. Safeguarding the Tomb
3. During the Sabbath Day

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross
5. Lessons from the Cross

 

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.


 

Two locations are mentioned in the introduction to 188, Golgotha and Gehenna:

 

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

 

 

From Wikipedia:
 

Gehenna, Gehinnom and Yiddish Gehinnam, are terms derived from a place outside ancient Jerusalem known in the Hebrew Bible as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; one of the two principal valleys surrounding the Old City.

 

In the Hebrew Bible, the site was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Ba'als and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6). Thereafter it was deemed to be cursed (Jer. 7:31, 19:2-6).

 

In Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scripture, Gehenna is a destination of the wicked. This is different from the more neutral Sheol/Hades, the abode of the dead, though the King James version of the Bible translates both usually with the Anglo-Saxon word Hell.

 

The exact location of the Valley of Hinnom is disputed. Older commentaries give the location as below the southern wall of ancient Jerusalem, stretching from the foot of Mount Zion eastward past the Tyropoeon to the Kidron Valley.


1024px-Valley_of_Hinom_PA180090.JPG
 

Valley of Hinnom, 2007.

 

 

***

 

Synopsis of Paper 188:
 

It was customary to throw the bodies of those who had been crucified into an open burial pit. To prevent this from happening to Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus gained permission from Pilate to take the Master's body for proper burial.

 

Over the violent objections of the Sanhedrin, Joseph and Nicodemus took possession of Jesus' body on Golgotha. The body was carried to a tomb owned by Joseph, where it was wrapped in bandages saturated in myrrh and aloe, covered with a linen sheet, and placed on a shelf. The men who tended to this sad task were Joseph, Nicodemus, John Zebedee, and the Roman centurion. The centurion then signaled his men to roll the heavy stone into place to cover the entrance to the tomb.

 

Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, Martha the aunt of Jesus, and Rebecca of Sepphoris lingered near the tomb until after dark. They had followed the funeral procession at a distance because it was not permitted for women to associate with men at such a time. These four women saw that Jesus had been given a hasty burial; they agreed to return after the Sabbath to properly prepare his body.

 

Jesus' enemies remembered reports that Jesus would rise from the dead on the third day. The chief priests requested that a Roman guard be stationed in front of the tomb so that Jesus' followers couldn't steal his body and then pretend he had risen.

 

Ten Roman soldiers joined ten Jewish guards to watch over the burial site. They placed a second stone in front of the first and attached Pilate's seal to it to make certain nothing would be disturbed. These men stayed on guard in front of the tomb continuously through the hour of the resurrection.

 

There are significant lessons attached to Jesus' death on the cross. Jesus lived and died for the whole universe. His life on earth shed light on the mortal pathway to salvation, and his death forever made evident the certainty of survival after death. Jesus' death portrays the full devotion that he had for even the lowest members of his creation.

 

The triumph of the death on the cross is summed up in the attitude of Jesus toward his assailants. The Master neither condemned nor condoned sin. Divine love doesn't merely forgive sins, it absorbs and destroys them. The cross became an eternal symbol of the victory of love over hate and truth over evil when Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." His devotion to mortals was contagious throughout the universe. On millions of worlds evolving creatures were inspired by the sight of Jesus laying down his life in unselfish devotion to human beings.

 

The cross is the abiding symbol of sacred service, representing the devotion of one's life to the welfare and salvation of others. When intelligent people look upon Jesus as he offers up his life, their own hardships and grievances hardly seem worth complaining about. The Master's death on the cross stimulates the universal realization of the Father's eternal love and the Son's unending mercy.

 

SYNOPSIS SOURCE

 

 

***

 

All four Gospel records have a bit about removing the body.

 

From John 19:

 

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

 

From Mark 15:

 

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

 

From Luke 23:

 

50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:

51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

 

From Matthew 27:

 

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

 

 

 

The_Urantia_Book_Word_Cloud_187_375.jpg

 

WORD CLOUD OF PAPER 188


 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading is Section 1. The Burial of Jesus. Pilate gives an order to release the body to Joseph, however a fight breaks out and the Romans seize control. They then help carry and prepare the body, while the women look on from hiding, making plans to return and do a proper burial on Sunday morn.

 

Listen to Paper 188: (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 04 October 2014 - 05:19 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB

 

1. The Burial of Jesus

 

  When Joseph and Nicodemus arrived at Golgotha, they found the soldiers taking Jesus down from the cross and the representatives of the Sanhedrin standing by to see that none of Jesus’ followers prevented his body from going to the criminal burial pits. When Joseph presented Pilate’s order for the Master’s body to the centurion, the Jews raised a tumult and clamored for its possession. In their raving they sought violently to take possession of the body, and when they did this, the centurion ordered four of his soldiers to his side, and with drawn swords they stood astride the Master’s body as it lay there on the ground. The centurion ordered the other soldiers to leave the two thieves while they drove back this angry mob of infuriated Jews. When order had been restored, the centurion read the permit from Pilate to the Jews and, stepping aside, said to Joseph: “This body is yours to do with as you see fit. I and my soldiers will stand by to see that no man interferes.”

 

(2013.1)188:1.2 A crucified person could not be buried in a Jewish cemetery; there was a strict law against such a procedure. Joseph and Nicodemus knew this law, and on the way out to Golgotha they had decided to bury Jesus in Joseph’s new family tomb, hewn out of solid rock, located a short distance north of Golgotha and across the road leading to Samaria. No one had ever lain in this tomb, and they thought it appropriate that the Master should rest there. Joseph really believed that Jesus would rise from the dead, but Nicodemus was very doubtful. These former members of the Sanhedrin had kept their faith in Jesus more or less of a secret, although their fellow Sanhedrists had long suspected them, even before they withdrew from the council. From now on they were the most outspoken disciples of Jesus in all Jerusalem.

 

(2013.2)188:1.3 At about half past four o’clock the burial procession of Jesus of Nazareth started from Golgotha for Joseph’s tomb across the way. The body was wrapped in a linen sheet as the four men carried it, followed by the faithful women watchers from Galilee. The mortals who bore the material body of Jesus to the tomb were: Joseph, Nicodemus, John, and the Roman centurion.

 

(2013.3)188:1.4 They carried the body into the tomb, a chamber about ten feet square, where they hurriedly prepared it for burial. The Jews did not really bury their dead; they actually embalmed them. Joseph and Nicodemus had brought with them large quantities of myrrh and aloes, and they now wrapped the body with bandages saturated with these solutions. When the embalming was completed, they tied a napkin about the face, wrapped the body in a linen sheet, and reverently placed it on a shelf in the tomb.

 

(2013.4)188:1.5 After placing the body in the tomb, the centurion signaled for his soldiers to help roll the doorstone up before the entrance to the tomb. The soldiers then departed for Gehenna with the bodies of the thieves while the others returned to Jerusalem, in sorrow, to observe the Passover feast according to the laws of Moses.

 

(2013.5)188:1.6 There was considerable hurry and haste about the burial of Jesus because this was preparation day and the Sabbath was drawing on apace. The men hurried back to the city, but the women lingered near the tomb until it was very dark.

 

(2013.6)188:1.7 While all this was going on, the women were hiding near at hand so that they saw it all and observed where the Master had been laid. They thus secreted themselves because it was not permissible for women to associate with men at such a time. These women did not think Jesus had been properly prepared for burial, and they agreed among themselves to go back to the home of Joseph, rest over the Sabbath, make ready spices and ointments, and return on Sunday morning properly to prepare the Master’s body for the death rest. The women who thus tarried by the tomb on this Friday evening were: Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, Martha another sister of Jesus’ mother, and Rebecca of Sepphoris.

 

(2013.7)188:1.8 Aside from David Zebedee and Joseph of Arimathea, very few of Jesus’ disciples really believed or understood that he was due to arise from the tomb on the third day.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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 04 October 2014 - 05:26 AM


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

 

Joseph and Nicodemus had long been believers in Jesus' teachings. They were also former members of the Sanhedrin, and now were about to become Jerusalem's "most outspoken" advocates for the Master.

 

Joseph (and his daughter Rebecca of the women's corps) was a Judean, Nicodemus was a Greek. They were mentioned in the same paragraph back in Paper 142:

 

...One Friday evening Nicodemus and one Joseph of Arimathea ventured out to see Jesus but turned back through fear even after they were standing before the entrance to the Master’s tent.... (1606.1)142:8.4

 

They are also mentioned in the Gospel of John, chapter 19:
 

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.


 

But only Joseph is mentioned in all four Gospels.
 

From Mark 15:

 

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

 

From Luke 23:

 

50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man, and a just:

51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

 

From Matthew 27:

 

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.


 

***

 

The adoring and determined women cited in today's reading:
 

...the women were hiding near at hand so that they saw it all and observed where the Master had been laid. They thus secreted themselves because it was not permissible for women to associate with men at such a time. These women did not think Jesus had been properly prepared for burial, and they agreed among themselves to go back to the home of Joseph, rest over the Sabbath, make ready spices and ointments, and return on Sunday morning properly to prepare the Master’s body for the death rest. The women who thus tarried by the tomb on this Friday evening were: Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, Martha another sister of Jesus’ mother, and Rebecca of Sepphoris.... (2013.6)188:1.7
 

...were also cited by the Gospel writers:

 

From Matthew 27:

 

55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.

 

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.


From Luke 23:

 

 

55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.



From Mark 15:

 

40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

 

47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.


***

 

Maybe a talented artist will someday paint this scene:
 

...the centurion ordered four of his soldiers to his side, and with drawn swords they stood astride the Master’s body as it lay there on the ground.... (2012.4)188:1.1

 

Evidently Tissot knew about the single Roman pallbearer when he painted this funeral scenario in the 19th century. It must be mentioned in the Bible, else he surmised it. But I haven't found any Bible verse that refers to a Roman carrying the body. You?
 

James_Tissot_Jesus_Carried_to_the_Tomb_4

IMAGE SOURCE

 

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 2. Safeguarding the Tomb, the Sanhedrin worries about the body being stolen and therefore requests that Roman guards be stationed at the tomb, to which Pilate agrees, and to which the Sanhedrin add their own ten men. The men roll another stone in front of the tomb, and the Roman guards affix Pilate's seal.

 

Overview of Paper 188 - The Time Of The Tomb

 

1. The Burial of Jesus
2. Safeguarding the Tomb
3. During the Sabbath Day

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross
5. Lessons from the Cross

 

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 188: (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 05 October 2014 - 05:23 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB

 

2. Safeguarding the Tomb

 

   If Jesus’ followers were unmindful of his promise to rise from the grave on the third day, his enemies were not. The chief priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees recalled that they had received reports of his saying he would rise from the dead.

 

(2014.2)188:2.2 This Friday night, after the Passover supper, about midnight a group of the Jewish leaders gathered at the home of Caiaphas, where they discussed their fears concerning the Master’s assertions that he would rise from the dead on the third day. This meeting ended with the appointment of a committee of Sanhedrists who were to visit Pilate early the next day, bearing the official request of the Sanhedrin that a Roman guard be stationed before Jesus’ tomb to prevent his friends from tampering with it. Said the spokesman of this committee to Pilate: “Sir, we remember that this deceiver, Jesus of Nazareth, said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ We have, therefore, come before you to request that you issue such orders as will make the sepulchre secure against his followers, at least until after the third day. We greatly fear lest his disciples come and steal him away by night and then proclaim to the people that he has risen from the dead. If we should permit this to happen, this mistake would be far worse than to have allowed him to live.”

 

(2014.3)188:2.3 When Pilate heard this request of the Sanhedrists, he said: “I will give you a guard of ten soldiers. Go your way and make the tomb secure.” They went back to the temple, secured ten of their own guards, and then marched out to Joseph’s tomb with these ten Jewish guards and ten Roman soldiers, even on this Sabbath morning, to set them as watchmen before the tomb. These men rolled yet another stone before the tomb and set the seal of Pilate on and around these stones, lest they be disturbed without their knowledge. And these twenty men remained on watch up to the hour of the resurrection, the Jews carrying them their food and drink.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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 05 October 2014 - 05:43 AM


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

 

The Sanhedrinists and Pharisees certainly had good reason to fear Jesus rising from the dead, Lazarus was living proof! But the Jerusalem priests were no longer worried about Lazarus, he had already fled to Philadelphia, to serve with Abner.

 

James_Tissot_The_Watch_Over_the_Tomb_525

IMAGE SOURCE

 

If only the chief priests knew this would not be a physical resurrection, as was Lazarus'. If only they knew who they were trying to destroy in body and message. If only they knew his death would in actuality signal the birth of truth for an age. Now that age has ended and greater truth has been delivered. But this time they (wisely) sent a book.

 

***

 

From today's text:
 

...This Friday night, after the Passover supper, about midnight a group of the Jewish leaders gathered at the home of Caiaphas.... (2014.2)188:2.2
 

map-35-735px.jpg?1402517981

MAP SOURCE
 

 

 

The only Biblical reference to safeguarding the tomb is in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 27:

 

 

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
 

Because the Bible record is so brief and indefinite, much confusion and misinformation surrounds the resurrection, some theorizing that his body was taken. From Wikipedia:
 

According to the Gospel of Matthew, a guard was sent to the tomb: "Pilate said to them, 'You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.' So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone." (Matthew 27:65-66) It is unclear whether Roman soldiers were used, or if the priests were to use their own temple guard. Nevertheless, Christian tradition has generally claimed that Roman guards were used. Apologists consider it implausible that grave robbers would risk robbing a guarded tomb when surely many unguarded ones existed. Furthermore, while traditionally depicted as only two guards, Matthew does not specify how many there were; since "some" guards report the tale to the chief priests, it's plausible to assume there may have been more than two, which would render a raid even chancier. Apologists also doubt that the disciples could possibly have sneaked past a Roman guard at a sealed tomb, and that attacking the guards would be even more implausible. In response, it could be hypothesized that the guard was not on duty at night, and thus the thieves would be able to have struck then. A bribe to the soldiers is also possible, although most of the disciples were of modest means.


Now we know there were twenty guards, ten from each camp. That two rolling stones were at the entrance, and that no human could have slipped by all of them, the seal and the stones.

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 3. During the Sabbath Day, the Passover throngs discuss Jesus' death and possible resurrection, the apostles return to the Mark home, Mary goes to Bethany, and the Midwayers speculate on where Jesus is during this 36 hour period between death and reappearance.

 

Overview of Paper 188 - The Time Of The Tomb

 

1. The Burial of Jesus
2. Safeguarding the Tomb
3. During the Sabbath Day

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross
5. Lessons from the Cross

 

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 188: (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 06 October 2014 - 05:07 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB

 

3. During the Sabbath Day

 

   Throughout this Sabbath day the disciples and the apostles remained in hiding, while all Jerusalem discussed the death of Jesus on the cross. There were almost one and one-half million Jews present in Jerusalem at this time, hailing from all parts of the Roman Empire and from Mesopotamia. This was the beginning of the Passover week, and all these pilgrims would be in the city to learn of the resurrection of Jesus and to carry the report back to their homes.

 

(2014.5)188:3.2 Late Saturday night, John Mark summoned the eleven apostles secretly to come to the home of his father, where, just before midnight, they all assembled in the same upper chamber where they had partaken of the Last Supper with their Master two nights previously.

 

(2014.6)188:3.3 Mary the mother of Jesus, with Ruth and Jude, returned to Bethany to join their family this Saturday evening just before sunset. David Zebedee remained at the home of Nicodemus, where he had arranged for his messengers to assemble early Sunday morning. The women of Galilee, who prepared spices for the further embalming of Jesus’ body, tarried at the home of Joseph of Arimathea.

 

(2014.7)188:3.4 We are not able fully to explain just what happened to Jesus of Nazareth during this period of a day and a half when he was supposed to be resting in Joseph’s new tomb. Apparently he died the same natural death on the cross as would any other mortal in the same circumstances. We heard him say, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” We do not fully understand the meaning of such a statement inasmuch as his Thought Adjuster had long since been personalized and so maintained an existence apart from Jesus’ mortal being. The Master’s Personalized Adjuster could in no sense be affected by his physical death on the cross. That which Jesus put in the Father’s hands for the time being must have been the spirit counterpart of the Adjuster’s early work in spiritizing the mortal mind so as to provide for the transfer of the transcript of the human experience to the mansion worlds. There must have been some spiritual reality in the experience of Jesus which was analogous to the spirit nature, or soul, of the faith-growing mortals of the spheres. But this is merely our opinion — we do not really know what Jesus commended to his Father.

 

(2015.1)188:3.5 We know that the physical form of the Master rested there in Joseph’s tomb until about three o’clock Sunday morning, but we are wholly uncertain regarding the status of the personality of Jesus during that period of thirty-six hours. We have sometimes dared to explain these things to ourselves somewhat as follows:

 

1. The Creator consciousness of Michael must have been at large and wholly free from its associated mortal mind of the physical incarnation.

 

2. The former Thought Adjuster of Jesus we know to have been present on earth during this period and in personal command of the assembled celestial hosts.

 

3. The acquired spirit identity of the man of Nazareth which was built up during his lifetime in the flesh, first, by the direct efforts of his Thought Adjuster, and later, by his own perfect adjustment between the physical necessities and the spiritual requirements of the ideal mortal existence, as it was effected by his never-ceasing choice of the Father’s will, must have been consigned to the custody of the Paradise Father. Whether or not this spirit reality returned to become a part of the resurrected personality, we do not know, but we believe it did. But there are those in the universe who hold that this soul-identity of Jesus now reposes in the “bosom of the Father,” to be subsequently released for leadership of the Nebadon Corps of the Finality in their undisclosed destiny in connection with the uncreated universes of the unorganized realms of outer space.

 

4. We think the human or mortal consciousness of Jesus slept during these thirty-six hours. We have reason to believe that the human Jesus knew nothing of what transpired in the universe during this period. To the mortal consciousness there appeared no lapse of time; the resurrection of life followed the sleep of death as of the same instant.

 

(2015.6)188:3.10 And this is about all we can place on record regarding the status of Jesus during this period of the tomb. There are a number of correlated facts to which we can allude, although we are hardly competent to undertake their interpretation.

 

(2015.7)188:3.11 In the vast court of the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of Satania, there may now be observed a magnificent material-morontia structure known as the “Michael Memorial,” now bearing the seal of Gabriel. This memorial was created shortly after Michael departed from this world, and it bears this inscription: “In commemoration of the mortal transit of Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia.”

 

(2016.1)188:3.12 There are records extant which show that during this period the supreme council of Salvington, numbering one hundred, held an executive meeting on Urantia under the presidency of Gabriel. There are also records showing that the Ancients of Days of Uversa communicated with Michael regarding the status of the universe of Nebadon during this time.

 

(2016.2)188:3.13 We know that at least one message passed between Michael and Immanuel on Salvington while the Master’s body lay in the tomb.

 

(2016.3)188:3.14 There is good reason for believing that some personality sat in the seat of Caligastia in the system council of the Planetary Princes on Jerusem which convened while the body of Jesus rested in the tomb.

 

(2016.4)188:3.15 The records of Edentia indicate that the Constellation Father of Norlatiadek was on Urantia, and that he received instructions from Michael during this time of the tomb.

 

(2016.5)188:3.16 And there is much other evidence which suggests that not all of the personality of Jesus was asleep and unconscious during this time of apparent physical death.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[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 06 October 2014 - 05:57 AM


.

 

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

 

Can't hurt to have 1.5 million emissaries! From today's text:

 

...all these pilgrims would be in the city to learn of the resurrection of Jesus and to carry the report back to their homes.... (2014.5)188:3.2

 

Such a smart and capable boy, evidently young John Mark took charge:

 

...Late Saturday night, John Mark summoned the eleven apostles.... (2014.5)188:3.2
 

Recall he was the one who wouldn't let go of Jesus' basket, in Paper 177:

 

...As Jesus was about to take the lunch basket from John’s hand, the young man ventured to say: “But, Master, you may set the basket down while you turn aside to pray and go on without it. Besides, if I should go along to carry the lunch, you would be more free to worship, and I will surely be silent. I will ask no questions and will stay by the basket when you go apart by yourself to pray....” (1920.5)177:1.1

 

 

***

 

Evidently the Midwayers are almost as clueless as we are about this 36 hour period during which Jesus disappeared. It is curious that Michael was functioning:

 

...at least one message passed between Michael and Immanuel on Salvington while the Master’s body lay in the tomb.... (2016.2)188:3.13


 

So, the Midwayers seem to be saying, in so many words, that a soul was produced during Jesus' life, but they aren't sure. From today's text:
 

...there are those in the universe who hold that this soul-identity of Jesus now reposes in the “bosom of the Father,” to be subsequently released for leadership of the Nebadon Corps of the Finality in their undisclosed destiny in connection with the uncreated universes of the unorganized realms of outer space.... (2015.4)188:3.8

 

After such harsh and painful treatment, I too might want to retreat for a while into the "bosom" of God, whose will I had been enacting.

 

The "Nebadon Corps of the Finality" is composed of Spirit Fused entities, not Adjuster fused ones like us. It was introduced in Paper 40:

 

...Spirit-fused mortals are the permanent citizens of the local universes; they may aspire to Paradise destiny, but they cannot be sure of it. In Nebadon their universe home is the eighth group of worlds encircling Salvington, a destiny-heaven of nature and location much like the one envisioned by the planetary traditions of Urantia.... (451.5)40:9.9

 

***

 

The Michael Memorial cited in today's reading, is mentioned in two other places in the book. From Paper 46:
 

...These circular reservations of the Sons occupy an enormous area, and until nineteen hundred years ago there existed a great open space at its center. This central region is now occupied by the Michael memorial, completed some five hundred years ago. Four hundred and ninety-five years ago, when this temple was dedicated, Michael was present in person, and all Jerusem heard the touching story of the Master Son’s bestowal on Urantia, the least of Satania. The Michael memorial is now the center of all activities embraced in the modified management of the system occasioned by Michael’s bestowal, including most of the more recently transplanted Salvington activities. The memorial staff consists of over one million personalities.... (525.1)46:5.19
 

 

From Paper 189:
 

 ...the presence of the Michael memorial in the center of the vast court of the resurrection halls of mansonia number one leads us to conjecture that the Master’s resurrection on Urantia was in some way fostered on this, the first of the system mansion worlds.... (2021.8)189:1.9

 

***

 

Are the Midwayers suggesting it was some form of Jesus/Michael that took Caligastia's place? Evidently so:

 

 ...There is good reason for believing that some personality sat in the seat of Caligastia in the system council of the Planetary Princes on Jerusem which convened while the body of Jesus rested in the tomb.... (2016.3)188:3.14

 

 

Very curious the workings of the Gods during this rare episode of the death and resurrection of the seventh bestowal of a Creator Son:
 

...there is much other evidence which suggests that not all of the personality of Jesus was asleep and unconscious during this time of apparent physical death.... (2016.5)188:3.16


 

There are 611,120 other Creator Sons in the Grand Universe. I suspect we will, at some point, come to know every one of their stories. But of course our own Michael and his memorial will be ours alone. And who knows, after we leave Nebadon, pass thru Orvonton and Havona, then graduate from Paradise, we might visit Michael and his memorial again on the way to our first service assignment in the  outer space levels?



***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross, the Midwayers discuss original sin, the atonement doctrine, and other erroneous ideas that have attached themselves to this extraordinary event, a Creator Son, sovereign of a universe, being assassinated by his creatures. They also discuss what is good and right about this horrific death of a visiting God.

 

Overview of: Paper 188 - The Time Of The Tomb

 

1. The Burial of Jesus
2. Safeguarding the Tomb
3. During the Sabbath Day

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross
5. Lessons from the Cross

 

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 188: (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 07 October 2014 - 03:22 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB

 

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross

 

   Although Jesus did not die this death on the cross to atone for the racial guilt of mortal man nor to provide some sort of effective approach to an otherwise offended and unforgiving God; even though the Son of Man did not offer himself as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God and to open the way for sinful man to obtain salvation; notwithstanding that these ideas of atonement and propitiation are erroneous, nonetheless, there are significances attached to this death of Jesus on the cross which should not be overlooked. It is a fact that Urantia has become known among other neighboring inhabited planets as the “World of the Cross.”

 

(2016.7)188:4.2 Jesus desired to live a full mortal life in the flesh on Urantia. Death is, ordinarily, a part of life. Death is the last act in the mortal drama. In your well-meant efforts to escape the superstitious errors of the false interpretation of the meaning of the death on the cross, you should be careful not to make the great mistake of failing to perceive the true significance and the genuine import of the Master’s death.

 

(2016.8)188:4.3 Mortal man was never the property of the archdeceivers. Jesus did not die to ransom man from the clutch of the apostate rulers and fallen princes of the spheres. The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evil-doing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master’s death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.*

 

(2016.9)188:4.4 Before Jesus lived on earth, you might possibly have been justified in believing in such a God, but not since the Master lived and died among your fellow mortals. Moses taught the dignity and justice of a Creator God; but Jesus portrayed the love and mercy of a heavenly Father.

 

(2016.10)188:4.5 The animal nature — the tendency toward evil-doing — may be hereditary, but sin is not transmitted from parent to child. Sin is the act of conscious and deliberate rebellion against the Father’s will and the Sons’ laws by an individual will creature.*

 

(2017.1)188:4.6 Jesus lived and died for a whole universe, not just for the races of this one world. While the mortals of the realms had salvation even before Jesus lived and died on Urantia, it is nevertheless a fact that his bestowal on this world greatly illuminated the way of salvation; his death did much to make forever plain the certainty of mortal survival after death in the flesh.

 

(2017.2)188:4.7 Though it is hardly proper to speak of Jesus as a sacrificer, a ransomer, or a redeemer, it is wholly correct to refer to him as a savior. He forever made the way of salvation (survival) more clear and certain; he did better and more surely show the way of salvation for all the mortals of all the worlds of the universe of Nebadon.

 

(2017.3)188:4.8 When once you grasp the idea of God as a true and loving Father, the only concept which Jesus ever taught, you must forthwith, in all consistency, utterly abandon all those primitive notions about God as an offended monarch, a stern and all-powerful ruler whose chief delight is to detect his subjects in wrongdoing and to see that they are adequately punished, unless some being almost equal to himself should volunteer to suffer for them, to die as a substitute and in their stead. The whole idea of ransom and atonement is incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.

 

(2017.4)188:4.9 All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. Jesus taught that service to one’s fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God. The believer’s chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and, therefore, serve one’s fellows even as Jesus loved and served mortal men.

 

(2017.5)188:4.10 Neither do genuine believers trouble themselves so much about the future punishment of sin. The real believer is only concerned about present separation from God. True, wise fathers may chasten their sons, but they do all this in love and for corrective purposes. They do not punish in anger, neither do they chastise in retribution.

 

(2017.6)188:4.11 Even if God were the stern and legal monarch of a universe in which justice ruled supreme, he certainly would not be satisfied with the childish scheme of substituting an innocent sufferer for a guilty offender.

 

(2017.7)188:4.12 The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.

 

(2017.8)188:4.13 This entire idea of the ransom of the atonement places salvation upon a plane of unreality; such a concept is purely philosophic. Human salvation is real; it is based on two realities which may be grasped by the creature’s faith and thereby become incorporated into individual human experience: the fact of the fatherhood of God and its correlated truth, the brotherhood of man. It is true, after all, that you are to be “forgiven your debts, even as you forgive your debtors.”

 

 

***

 

 

[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 07 October 2014 - 03:57 AM


.

 

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

 

What a grotesque designation, a deadly torture method that became the symbol for a religion and a planet: "The World of the Cross".

 

And then, Urantia took it a step farther, creating a great lie to surround the death on the cross--that he died for our sins. May this revelation correct that false notion, and may humanity begin to understand the real significance of that cruel cross.

 

 ...The Father in heaven never conceived of such crass injustice as damning a mortal soul because of the evil-doing of his ancestors. Neither was the Master’s death on the cross a sacrifice which consisted in an effort to pay God a debt which the race of mankind had come to owe him.... (2016.8)188:4.3

 

***

 

More than once do we find this beautiful message:

 

 ...Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God.... (2017.4)188:4.9

 

From Paper 140:
 

...James grasped the thrilling truth that Jesus wanted his children on earth to live as though they were already citizens of the completed heavenly kingdom.... (1582.6)140:8.25

 

The Midwayers don't soften their words about this outrageous travesty called the atonement doctrine, but anyone who knows Christianity knows many people hang their faith on this illogical and misleading idea that Jesus' was the price that had to be paid to make God happy.

 

The Midwayers close this definitive and corrective Section with a quote from the Lord's Prayer, one that also appears in Matthew 6:

 

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.



***

 

The secular/scholarly view of the Atonement Doctrine, from Wikipedia:
 

In Christian theology, atonement describes how human beings can be reconciled to God. In western Christian theology the atonement refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus, which made possible the reconciliation between God and his creation.

 

...Some theologians say that 'various biblical understandings of the atonement need not conflict'. Reformed theologian J. I. Packer, for example, although he maintains that 'penal substitution is the mainstream, historic view of the church and the essential meaning of the Atonement... Yet with penal substitution at the center', he also maintains that 'Christus Victor and other Scriptural views of atonement can work together to present a fully orbed picture of Christ's work'. J. Kenneth Grider, speaking from a governmental theory perspective, says that the governmental theory can incorporate within itself 'numerous understandings promoted in the other major Atonement theories', including ransom theory, elements of the 'Abelardian "moral influence" theory', vicarious aspects of the atonement, etc.

 

Others say that some models of the atonement naturally exclude each other. James F. McGrath, for example, talking about the atonement, says that 'Paul ... prefers to use the language of participation. One died for all, so that all died (2 Corinthians 5:14). This is not only different from substitution, it is the opposite of it.' Similarly, Mark M. Mattison, in his article The Meaning of the Atonement says, 'Substitution implies an "either/or"; participation implies a "both/and." ' J. Kenneth Grider, quoted above showing the compatibility of various atonement models with the governmental theory, nevertheless also says that both penal substitution and satisfaction atonement theories are incompatible with the governmental theory.

 

This is one paragraph, among many, from the Catholic point of view:

 

...Whence it came to pass, that the Heavenly Father, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1, 3), when that blessed fullness of the time was come (Galatians 4:4) sent unto men Jesus Christ, His own Son who had been, both before the Law and during the time of the Law, to many of the holy fathers announced and promised, that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law and that the Gentiles who followed not after justice might attain to justice and that all men might receive the adoption of sons. Him God had proposed as a propitiator, through faith in His blood (Romans 3:25), for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world (I John ii, 2).

 

SOURCE/MORE
 

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading, Section 5. Lessons from the Cross, enumerates the good points and illuminates many reasons for submitting to this extraordinary murder, revealing the love of the Gods for their creatures, so much love that the Master would "lay down his life for his friends", even if it means the maximum physical and emotional pain a human can suffer.

 

Overview of: Paper 188 - The Time Of The Tomb

 

1. The Burial of Jesus
2. Safeguarding the Tomb
3. During the Sabbath Day

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross
5. Lessons from the Cross

 

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 188: (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.

 

In Memoriam: Erin Lee Mullen

 

***
 



#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 04:46 AM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 188 - THE TIME OF THE TOMB

 

5. Lessons from the Cross

 

   The cross of Jesus portrays the full measure of the supreme devotion of the true shepherd for even the unworthy members of his flock. It forever places all relations between God and man upon the family basis. God is the Father; man is his son. Love, the love of a father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations of Creator and creature — not the justice of a king which seeks satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject.

 

(2018.1)188:5.2 The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal and loving salvation. Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his life and death do win men over to goodness and righteous survival. Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. Jesus’ death on the cross exemplifies a love which is sufficiently strong and divine to forgive sin and swallow up all evil-doing. Jesus disclosed to this world a higher quality of righteousness than justice — mere technical right and wrong. Divine love does not merely forgive wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them. The forgiveness of love utterly transcends the forgiveness of mercy. Mercy sets the guilt of evil-doing to one side; but love destroys forever the sin and all weakness resulting therefrom. Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil. The forgiveness of Jesus is not condonation; it is salvation from condemnation. Salvation does not slight wrongs; it makes them right. True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it. The love of Jesus is never satisfied with mere forgiveness. The Master’s love implies rehabilitation, eternal survival. It is altogether proper to speak of salvation as redemption if you mean this eternal rehabilitation.

 

(2018.2)188:5.3 Jesus, by the power of his personal love for men, could break the hold of sin and evil. He thereby set men free to choose better ways of living. Jesus portrayed a deliverance from the past which in itself promised a triumph for the future. Forgiveness thus provided salvation. The beauty of divine love, once fully admitted to the human heart, forever destroys the charm of sin and the power of evil.

 

(2018.3)188:5.4 The sufferings of Jesus were not confined to the crucifixion. In reality, Jesus of Nazareth spent upward of twenty-five years on the cross of a real and intense mortal existence. The real value of the cross consists in the fact that it was the supreme and final expression of his love, the completed revelation of his mercy.

 

(2018.4)188:5.5 On millions of inhabited worlds, tens of trillions of evolving creatures who may have been tempted to give up the moral struggle and abandon the good fight of faith, have taken one more look at Jesus on the cross and then have forged on ahead, inspired by the sight of God’s laying down his incarnate life in devotion to the unselfish service of man.

 

(2018.5)188:5.6 The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus’ attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, “Lay not this sin to their charge.”

 

(2018.6)188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends — and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.

 

(2019.1)188:5.8 On other worlds, as well as on Urantia, this sublime spectacle of the death of the human Jesus on the cross of Golgotha has stirred the emotions of mortals, while it has aroused the highest devotion of the angels.

 

(2019.2)188:5.9 The cross is that high symbol of sacred service, the devotion of one’s life to the welfare and salvation of one’s fellows. The cross is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath of an offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love. The cross does stand as the token of the highest form of unselfish service, the supreme devotion of the full bestowal of a righteous life in the service of wholehearted ministry, even in death, the death of the cross. And the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.

 

(2019.3)188:5.10 When thinking men and women look upon Jesus as he offers up his life on the cross, they will hardly again permit themselves to complain at even the severest hardships of life, much less at petty harassments and their many purely fictitious grievances. His life was so glorious and his death so triumphant that we are all enticed to a willingness to share both. There is true drawing power in the whole bestowal of Michael, from the days of his youth to this overwhelming spectacle of his death on the cross.

 

(2019.4)188:5.11 Make sure, then, that when you view the cross as a revelation of God, you do not look with the eyes of the primitive man nor with the viewpoint of the later barbarian, both of whom regarded God as a relentless Sovereign of stern justice and rigid law-enforcement. Rather, make sure that you see in the cross the final manifestation of the love and devotion of Jesus to his life mission of bestowal upon the mortal races of his vast universe. See in the death of the Son of Man the climax of the unfolding of the Father’s divine love for his sons of the mortal spheres. The cross thus portrays the devotion of willing affection and the bestowal of voluntary salvation upon those who are willing to receive such gifts and devotion. There was nothing in the cross which the Father required — only that which Jesus so willingly gave, and which he refused to avoid.

 

(2019.5)188:5.12 If man cannot otherwise appreciate Jesus and understand the meaning of his bestowal on earth, he can at least comprehend the fellowship of his mortal sufferings. No man can ever fear that the Creator does not know the nature or extent of his temporal afflictions.

 

(2019.6)188:5.13 We know that the death on the cross was not to effect man’s reconciliation to God but to stimulate man’s realization of the Father’s eternal love and his Son’s unending mercy, and to broadcast these universal truths to a whole universe.

 

 

***

 

 

[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 08 October 2014 - 05:16 AM


.

 

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

 

More than once the authors attempt to take away the long nurtured idea that our Father is a punishing God, a vengeful monarch. From today's reading:
 

...Love, the love of a father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations of Creator and creature — not the justice of a king which seeks satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject.... (2017.9)188:5.1
 

From Paper 2:
 

 ...Infinite wisdom is the eternal arbiter which determines the proportions of justice and mercy which shall be meted out in any given circumstance. The greatest punishment (in reality an inevitable consequence) for wrongdoing and deliberate rebellion against the government of God is loss of existence as an individual subject of that government. The final result of wholehearted sin is annihilation. In the last analysis, such sin-identified individuals have destroyed themselves by becoming wholly unreal through their embrace of iniquity. The factual disappearance of such a creature is, however, always delayed until the ordained order of justice current in that universe has been fully complied with.... (36.7)2:3.2
 

 

And, more than once, the authors refer to the contagion of love. From today's reading:

 

...Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative.... (2018.1)188:5.2


From a Melchizedek, Paper 100:


 ...Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious.... (1098.3)100:4.6

 

***

 

This idea of the destruction of evil, cited in today's reading:
 

...True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it.... (2018.1)188:5.2


...is reflected in Paper 2:

 

...The love of God saves the sinner; the law of God destroys the sin.... (41.6)2:6.8

 

 

Evil's attraction is cited in today's text:
 

...The beauty of divine love, once fully admitted to the human heart, forever destroys the charm of sin and the power of evil.... (2018:2) 188:5.3

 

...and in Paper 132:
 

...With the attainment of finality of choice for goodness and of completed capacity for truth appreciation, there comes into existence a perfection of beauty and holiness whose righteousness eternally inhibits the possibility of the emergence of even the concept of potential evil. Such a God-knowing soul casts no shadow of doubting evil when functioning on such a high spirit level of divine goodness.... (1460:1) 132:3.8

 

***

 

This is a rather stark and unexpected statement from the Midwayers, isn't it?

 

...The sufferings of Jesus were not confined to the crucifixion. In reality, Jesus of Nazareth spent upward of twenty-five years on the cross of a real and intense mortal existence.... (2018.3)188:5.4
 

Does that mean we too spend our lives in such intensity? But, the statement does imply about ten of his 35 years were not so intense, his childhood presumably.

 

 

***

 

At least we have many, many siblings on the same, so often perilous, mortal journey:
 

 ...tens of trillions of evolving creatures who may have been tempted to give up the moral struggle and abandon the good fight of faith, have taken one more look at Jesus on the cross and then have forged on ahead.... (2018.4)188:5.5
 

 

***

 

Looks like the writer of Luke's Gospel is the only one who recorded Jesus' forgiving request to God, cited in today's reading:
 

"...Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do....” (2018.5)188:5.6

 

From Luke 23:
 

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

 

But there is this similar statement in Mark 4:
 

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
 

He's been mentioned before, and later on we will read more about the first martyr, Stephen the Greek. This, in today's reading, is in reference to him:

 

...The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, “Lay not this sin to their charge....” (2018.5)188:5.6


From Paper 194:
 

...Stephen, the leader of the Greek colony of Jesus’ believers in Jerusalem, thus became the first martyr to the new faith and the specific cause for the formal organization of the early Christian church.... (2068.2)194:4.12



***

 

Evidently, not only mortals learned from the Master's selfless laying down of life:

 

...it has aroused the highest devotion of the angels.... (2019.1)188:5.8

 

Midwayers too:
 

 ...the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.... (2019.2)188:5.9

 

***

 

Apparently, an incarnated God can and does feel, just like us. And they are completely willing and able, as Jesus so beautifully and completely demonstrated during his life here on sick, backward Urantia.

 

 ...No man can ever fear that the Creator does not know the nature or extent of his temporal afflictions....(2019.5)188:5.12

 

 

That is the end of this awful spectacle. Now we can move past it, on to the greatest refutation of blind ignorance, greedy materialism, and mean-spiritedness ever: The Resurrection. That's the title of Paper 189. The introduction to it is tomorrow's OPAD reading. It has some of the details about what was going on outside Urantia, and there is a long paragraph from the Adjuster who indwelt Jesus telling everyone to relax, there was nothing that can be done, even at the celestial level, except wait and watch.

 

Overview of: Paper 188 - The Time Of The Tomb

 

1. The Burial of Jesus
2. Safeguarding the Tomb
3. During the Sabbath Day

4. Meaning of the Death on the Cross
5. Lessons from the Cross

 

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 188: (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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