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The Meaning of Jesus' Death (Read 9564 times)
Berserk2
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The Meaning of Jesus' Death
May 22nd, 2013 at 8:32pm
 
The New Testament understands Jesus' atoning death as the sacrifice that ends the legitimacy of all sacrifices.  His death signals the end of sacrifices in 2 senses: (1) The NT views the OT sacrifices as prophetic types pointing ahead to Jesus' fulfillment of the sacrifice cult.  (2) Jesus predicts that destruction of Temple, whose sacrifices expressed the heart of Jewish atonement theology.  Within 40 years of Jesus' death (70 AD), sacrifices were terminated by the Roman destruction of the Temple.


But why would God's plan employ a now culturally obsolete practice like sacrifices in the first place?  Divine revelation does not destroy culture.  If it tried to do that, it would never find acceptance. Speaking metaphorically, divine revelation "lisps" through cultural categories to express its truth, but as cultures vanish or evolve, the revelation needs continual restatement to prevent the kernal of truth from being confused with the cultural husk.


Thus, God declares through Jeremiah (chap. 7)  that He never established the Israelite system of sacrifice in the first place.   Elsewhere in the OT, God makes His true attitude to sacrifices clear when the Jewsh sacrifices no longer reflect true repentance and a desire for transformation.  Thus, God asks sarcastically, "Why would you imagine I want sacrifices?  Do you think I get hungry or thirsty?  Why don't you just eat your sacrifices yourself?"   The implciation is that God reveals "His" truth and prescription for living within the cultural structures provided by the sacrifice system.  God reveals His word not instead of cultural categories, but within them.  So God constantly reminds Israel that He really wants obedience, not sacrifice.


In another post (2), I'll address the question," What can anyone's death, even the Messiah's death, possibly have to do with my shortcomings?"  Two wrongs don't make a right.  So how can Jesus' death be anything more than an injustice to Him that compounds the Judaeo-Christian God's culpability?
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #1 - May 23rd, 2013 at 2:51pm
 
I don't understand why Jesus' death was necessary to save the world.

God didn't actually "give" his only begotten Son, in a sense he only lent him to the world since 3 days later Jesus returned to the Father.

Or am I misreading this?  Is the real message the fact that Jesus survived and overcame death, and by so doing the rest of us can look forward to survival also?

But we must believe in Jesus for salvation.  And that then raises the obvious question of all people who existed before Jesus' birth or people who never heard of Jesus.  What is their fate?

And what does believing in Jesus really mean?  Is it enough to believe Jesus was the Son of God and that he died for our sins and later rose up to rejoin God?

Or is belief something more deep?  Believing in a historical fact doesn't seem to me to be enough...

R
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #2 - May 23rd, 2013 at 9:42pm
 
You're asking all the right questions, but they are tough questions and I'll have to answer them one at a time.  I'll try to do so with a minimum of Bible prooftexting, but of course you can always challenge me for more quotes if you wish.  Stay tuned.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #3 - May 27th, 2013 at 3:27pm
 
Rondele,

Sorry for the delay. I've been involved with very sick and dying people, including the need to walk their dogs!


The New Testament teaches that Jesus died for everyone, not just for Christians.  The first question is this: is it essential to believe in Jesus to inherit eternal life through Him?  Or does one merely need to develop the quality of consciousness His teachings are designed to produce and live the grace-based life He teaches?
Consider this concession made by Paul in a public address on his first visit to Athens.  "in the past God overlooked such ignorance.  but now He commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30)."  Prior to Paul's arrival, most Athenians know nothing about the Hebrew Bible and had never even heard of Jesus.  Paul is saying that God does not hold them accountable for  what they don't know.  This principle, of course, applies equally to modern pagans and people of other faiths who either have never heard of Jesus or, if they have, have no more than a superficial impression of what Jesus is like and what He stands for. 

Now consider what Paul says about the potentian of non-Christian faith traditions to be the vehicle for salvation:

"God will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.  There will be glory and honor and peace with God for all who do good--for the Jew first and also for the pagan [Gentile].  For God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:7, 10-11)."

These observations lead to many other questions, which I hope to address when I have time.  Right now, I have to pretend I'm a lawyer and write a letter to keep  a troubled seeker out of jail!

Don

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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #4 - May 30th, 2013 at 1:41pm
 
<<In another post (2), I'll address the question," What can anyone's death, even the Messiah's death, possibly have to do with my shortcomings?"  Two wrongs don't make a right.  So how can Jesus' death be anything more than an injustice to Him that compounds the Judaeo-Christian God's culpability?>>

Don-

This is the one that really confuses me.  God sacrifices his Son, and by so doing gives us eternal life.  Except that He really didn't sacrifice Jesus, knowing all along Jesus would return to heaven.

So therefore sacrifice is tied to redemption.  Sort of like when Abraham was going to sacrifice his own son?  That was the prevailing culture at the time, and maybe made sense re. the crucifixion.  But how does it make sense today?

R
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #5 - Mar 17th, 2014 at 2:11am
 
    Source never wanted animal sacrifices.  This became involved with cultures and belief systems because of outside negative influences. 

  Re: Yeshua.  His life was not about sacrifice for our sins, but rather, he came to a sin sick world to reorient us back to a constructive, creative path so that we could become joyous and healed. 

   His life involved letting himself be falsely tried, tortured, and murdered, because he had to make his message as dramatic and memorable as possible, to have the greatest and farthest reaching impact he could. 

    Because, after his very human death, he did manifest physically to many for a time. 

  There was no teacher previous to him who fully overcame the illusion of death, especially as one who was born of a woman.  Now, we had Melchizedek who had manifested into this dimension (Earth) straight from Source Consciousness, and who did not die physically, but he was not born of a woman.  The "game" changes a bit when more fully subjected to the process of forgetting, being raised as a child, etc.   Btw, Melchizedek and Yeshua are part of the same "Disk" or "I/There" or Expanded self essence.  He has manifested a number of times here as a teacher, wayshower, and guide.  Some fully in human, and some direct manifestations from outside the ELS. 

     Think on this for a moment.  During the trial and crucifixion, and after same, many of those who followed him forsook him.  They were confused, many didn't think it would end like this despite Yeshua trying to prepare them (gave plenty of hints). 

    They scattered, lost focus, and despaired.  But after he showed up physically to them, it all changed again.  So much so, that many of these people went to their own tortures and deaths in his and his teachings name. 

    How many would give their freedom, their comfort, or their lives for a cause that they weren't totally convinced in?   What might it take, perhaps to experience first hand a Teacher who was so filled with Life, so filled with Light, with Love, that death had no power of them? 

   Without the crucifixion and resurrection, Yeshua would have just been another spiritual teacher preaching  concepts--there have been many of these in history, in many cultures.  Yeshua went beyond the Buddha and others.  He attained complete and full conscious Source Consciousness while in the flesh.  Others had gotten relatively close, but only he fully completed same. 

   There was some sacrifice involved on his part in a few ways.   One, coming into this world to begin with, especially during such a slow vibratory and negative cycle and in the area he grew up in.  Painful to such an aware and sensitive consciousness.

  Two, Yeshua like all of us, was operating from within a human.  There was a part of him, that had some trepidation about experiencing extreme physical torture, because he knew it wouldn't feel good and would be hard to bear physically.   It was not without physical pain as some sources would have us believe. 

   The human part of him, balked some at this fore knowledge, and so yes, there was sacrifice involved even though he knew that if he went through with it, he would raise the temple again in 3 days as he told the Pharisees etc before hand. 

  So, it's not that his torture and death was some kind of direct sacrifice for our sins, but rather it was an extension of his larger message and impact meant to reorient us back to Source's consciousness and livingness and away from our error filled lives, belief systems, etc. 

  All the meanwhile, encouraging others and telling them, what i am and can do, you are and can also be and do. 

  To fully understand his life and message, you have to understand the difference between life and death metaphysically and metaphorically.  Most of us know that death is kind of an illusion because we survive, and it's not the end of anything. 

  However, the real meaning of death is not that, but a discontinuity of conscious awareness.  Even for more mature individuals, when they die, there is a temporary loss of awareness and an adjustment phase.   Also, death is not a necessity to begin with. 

  We "die" here (provided it's not forced and allowed as in his case), because we live a life that is not completely LIFE in essence.  In other words, part of the reason why we die, is because of our lack of attunement to PUL and Source Consciousness.  In other cycles (many thousands of years ago), wherein the collective vibration of Earth and humanity was much higher, individuals tended to live MUCH longer in physical lives than current. 

    When there is full attunement to Source and PUL within, then there is full continuity of consciousness, no stuckness, no being limited by local dimensional 'laws' or trends, no loss in conscious awareness.   You realize the truth of Oneness and connectness, and you phase from one dimension or level to another simply by conscious will. 

  These truths will become more plain to humanity in the nearish future, when other individuals attain to similar attunement as he, as in-physical humans and demonstrate similar attunement.   Not necessarily exactly the same as he as in being killed and manifesting in physical after, but in ways similar to the various so called miracles he acted as a channel for. 
 
   He will also make public appearances again with the same body image he was born with some 2000 years ago.  A man 5' 11 1/2"-6" tall, weight around 174, fair of face, strong, athletic looking body (but not gym pumped by any means), light brown hair with strong reddish and golden highlights--fairly reddish overall with tendency to waviness and a little curl towards the ends, eyes a light and piercing blue gray or gray blue with some greenish tint at times, fullish lower lip, some almost Leonine appearance a bit.  Not much stereotypcially Hebraic looking, except for a very slightly prominent nose. 

    Course, those who know him, will know him better by his emanation than his looks.  The kind of powerful emanation that Bob Monroe talks about in relation to meeting He/She. 

  However, we can and should meet him before his public in physical appearances.  We can do so through raising up the Christ Consciousness within. 


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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #6 - Mar 17th, 2014 at 11:45am
 
Justin, if crucifixion meant making eternal life possible, I as a maker would at least admit to myself I made a mistake to avoid my own judgement concerning the ones dying prior to enabling it.

Walking on water equals attention. Enduring pain to get attention doesn't make sense to me because there are other options. I can think of a heart-shaped sky suddenly descending, stepping onto it while All You Need Is Love is playing through invisible speakers, and then ascending without blood and gore, maybe waving goodbye and blowing kisses to the crowd. If blood was needed for effect, pudgy red water could flow from the heart and still no harm done.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #7 - Mar 18th, 2014 at 1:30am
 
  Well, as they say, Karma is a beeatch. 

  There is some back story here, that relates to other lives and karma, that makes Yeshua's life a little more understandable if you know the back story. 

   The Biblical person Joshua, leader and warrior-priest of the Israelite's, and Yeshua are part of the same Disk. 

  During Joshua's lifetime, as a warrior-priest, after attacking Jerusalem, he found the King or general of same hiding in a cave. 

Under Joshua's order, he had this man hung up in a tree to die.   

   Yeshua was meeting self and karma in the crucifixion.  Without fully meeting self and his karma, he would not have been fully re-Christed. 

  However, again, it also had the benefit of being an extremely dramatic and memorable account.  Man gets brutally tortured and crucified unjustly for different beliefs and preaching, experiences pretty sure physical death.  Yet, same man's body disappears from the cave 3 days later, and ends up showing up to friends and others and at times physically interacting with them....

  People were use to E.T. stuff previous to this.  Ships and lights coming out the sky.  ET technology had been shown in some pretty dramatic ways previously.  Look at Elijah's contest with the Priests of Baal.  Elijah was in communication with friendly E.T.'s and on his request, they shot a type of laser fire down in a dramatic show.

  No, people needed the purely human element of dramatics here.  No show in the sky or the like.  As mentioned, that had been done before.

  Yes, walking on water is dramatic too, but not much of a sacrifice for ones belief or others.  The Christ like life, is at it's essence, about the sacrifice of the selfish, little, willful self, to the will of Source/Creative Forces attuned with same and the good of Whole or larger self.

   In a sense, it's no different that being with another person--say a little kid, you have food, but you both are hungry and starving, and you give  your last bit of food to the child.  Why?   Why do something like that?  Because you feel their pain, their suffering, and in that moment their suffering for whatever reason matters more than your own?

  Well, from the Christ perspective, it's always about others.  It's a shift, an emphasis away from the little, seemingly separated self that we have become so accustomed to operating from.  In doing that, do you find or gain your real self, the little, individual self fully connected to the Whole. 
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #8 - Mar 18th, 2014 at 11:28am
 
It's always about others, yet giving away food to a kid doesn't mean it's always about others, and meeting self and the karma all about you.

This isn't purely dramatic, but down to earth: instead of two neighbours fetching each other's papers in the morning, for starters, fetching the paper on the respective porch works out very well.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #9 - Jan 25th, 2017 at 5:35pm
 
Thank you for this thread Don. It has answered many questions I've had recently. Interestingly my spiritual practice and research into what is really happening in this world has led me to strongly consider Christianity.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #10 - Apr 28th, 2017 at 11:47am
 
Don:

Thank you for your explanation as to how the Bible says that God doesn't want sacrifices. It makes sense that he doesn't become thirsty and hungry.

I also believe that he doesn't desire to be worshiped in the way that some people try to worship him (some people act this way towards their guru).  His love is so complete that he doesn't need to be adored in the way a narcissist would be adored. I prefer to love him as I would love a father or a good friend.

A lady named Khartika Goe wrote a book called "The Multidimensional Traveler." She wrote of a temple in Kyoto Japan and found that lower dimensional beings were stealing energy from people that prayed to the metal statues that exist within the temple.

A while back Justin wrote that his wife's mother is a hardcore Christian fundamentalist. Justin's wife had a dream where she saw that Reptilians were getting energy from her mother's fundamentalist-like worship.

I don't believe that praising God and loving God are the same thing. I believe that God is the source of everything. I believe that God is a being of perfect love and wisdom. I believe that God has set things up so that an absolutely wonderful way of existence is possible, if we choose it. I believe that God used a very small portion of his own being to create me, and I am grateful that he did so. I feel committed to helping him accomplish what he is trying to accomplish. Sending worship like energy to beings that aren't interested in what he is trying to accomplish, doesn't go along with helping him. Having appreciation for God is much more sublime than what adoration entails.  It is closer to when two good friends really appreciate, respect and care for each other. I believe that one of the reasons God created us, is so that he would have somebody to share love with. We can love him completely without getting into a worship like mode.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #11 - Apr 28th, 2017 at 4:58pm
 
Berserk2 wrote on May 27th, 2013 at 3:27pm:
The New Testament teaches that Jesus died for everyone, not just for Christians.  The first question is this: is it essential to believe in Jesus to inherit eternal life through Him?  Or does one merely need to develop the quality of consciousness His teachings are designed to produce and live the grace-based life He teaches?
Consider this concession made by Paul in a public address on his first visit to Athens.  "in the past God overlooked such ignorance.  but now He commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30)."  Prior to Paul's arrival, most Athenians know nothing about the Hebrew Bible and had never even heard of Jesus.  Paul is saying that God does not hold them accountable for  what they don't know.  This principle, of course, applies equally to modern pagans and people of other faiths who either have never heard of Jesus or, if they have, have no more than a superficial impression of what Jesus is like and what He stands for. 

Now consider what Paul says about the potentian of non-Christian faith traditions to be the vehicle for salvation:

"God will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.  There will be glory and honor and peace with God for all who do good--for the Jew first and also for the pagan [Gentile].  For God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:7, 10-11)."

These observations lead to many other questions, which I hope to address when I have time.  Right now, I have to pretend I'm a lawyer and write a letter to keep  a troubled seeker out of jail!

Don



I like this view, but I'm wondering what you make of verses such as the following:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16–18).

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom. 10:9–10)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #12 - Apr 28th, 2017 at 5:38pm
 
Dude:

The introduction to the Gospel of John in the "New Living Translation" says that the Gospel of John was written about 90 years after Jesus' death. As those 90 years passed it is possible that the accuracy of some of the details were lost.

Notice that you selected 3 versus that seem to make the point that Jesus is somebody other than God. These and many other Gospel of John versus (plus Matthew, Mark and Luke versus) contradict the few versus that say Jesus is God. Perhaps such inconsistencies show that one needs to use one's discrimination when one considers which Biblical  versus represent the truth.

I said this elsewhere, certainly God is wise enough to see into a man's heart and understand why he doesn't end up believing as you suggest people should believe with the three versus you provided.

Perhaps a more accurate way to consider this matter is, what would it take to be able to rejoin God in heaven? I figure that one needs to be ready to live according to the qualities that beings with God live according to. Qualities such as unconditional love, respect for others, humility and gratitude. A person can live according to these qualities regardless of what they do or do not know about Jesus. Whatever the truth about Jesus is, if a person has an open mind and humble attitude, he (or she) can find out when he is ready to find out.

Please remember what I shared about Howard Storm's NDE. Jesus showed him that Jews that were murdered by Nazis went to heaven after they died. This took place years after Paul wrote Acts 17:30. Perhaps it would be wise to consider what Jesus has told some people during more recent times. 

When I look within my heart I understand that God loves us so much that there is no way he is going to send people to hell because they don't end up becoming one of the small percentage of people who believe according to the 3 versus you provided. My heart also tells me that God and Jesus are extremists when it comes to being reasonable.

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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #13 - Apr 28th, 2017 at 5:48pm
 
Because of "A Channel's" ex-member status I am not able to edit my last post, so I will instead add to my last post.

I recommend the following when considering the three versus Dude asked about.

Tune into the depth of your soul to an extent where you love all people dearly. Consider the possibility that when you tune into that level of being, you tune into a level of being that is close to God. Then ask yourself whether the versus Dude asked about accurately represent how God considers things when determining who does or doesn't get to go to heaven. Perhaps Jesus' prodigal son story relates.

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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #14 - Apr 28th, 2017 at 6:24pm
 
Dude, your reactions to my posts will help guide me in the creation of future threads.   More specifically, your last reply invites a discussion of the possibility of universal salvation and what can prevent the actualization of that possibility.  ES's revelations are helpful here because they neatly dovetail with NT teaching.  I need time to plan a thread on this (and the verses you quote); so stay tuned.

Don
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #15 - Apr 29th, 2017 at 11:55am
 
Don:

It doesn't seem as if you answered Dude's question about those three versus he referred to. Well, to some extent you did with some of the things you wrote on this thread before he asked that question. You provided some good related verse references.

Perhaps you can tell Dude that God's beingness, wisdom and love are all one. Therefore, if we open up to God's love as much as we can and accept the wisdom we find there, we'll find out much more than we could ever find by reading any book. We'll know how to consider the versus that Dude asked about. Heart-based wisdom is the best wisdom of all. God has graced us with the ability to listen to our hearts, which connect us to him. Our intellects on the other hand can be quite fallible.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #16 - May 1st, 2017 at 11:52am
 
Berserk2 wrote on May 22nd, 2013 at 8:32pm:
The New Testament understands Jesus' atoning death as the sacrifice that ends the legitimacy of all sacrifices.  His death signals the end of sacrifices in 2 senses: (1) The NT views the OT sacrifices as prophetic types pointing ahead to Jesus' fulfillment of the sacrifice cult.  (2) Jesus predicts that destruction of Temple, whose sacrifices expressed the heart of Jewish atonement theology.  Within 40 years of Jesus' death (70 AD), sacrifices were terminated by the Roman destruction of the Temple.


But why would God's plan employ a now culturally obsolete practice like sacrifices in the first place?  Divine revelation does not destroy culture.  If it tried to do that, it would never find acceptance. Speaking metaphorically, divine revelation "lisps" through cultural categories to express its truth, but as cultures vanish or evolve, the revelation needs continual restatement to prevent the kernal of truth from being confused with the cultural husk.


Thus, God declares through Jeremiah (chap. 7)  that He never established the Israelite system of sacrifice in the first place.   Elsewhere in the OT, God makes His true attitude to sacrifices clear when the Jewsh sacrifices no longer reflect true repentance and a desire for transformation.  Thus, God asks sarcastically, "Why would you imagine I want sacrifices?  Do you think I get hungry or thirsty?  Why don't you just eat your sacrifices yourself?"   The implciation is that God reveals "His" truth and prescription for living within the cultural structures provided by the sacrifice system.  God reveals His word not instead of cultural categories, but within them.  So God constantly reminds Israel that He really wants obedience, not sacrifice.


In another post (2), I'll address the question," What can anyone's death, even the Messiah's death, possibly have to do with my shortcomings?"  Two wrongs don't make a right.  So how can Jesus' death be anything more than an injustice to Him that compounds the Judaeo-Christian God's culpability?


Don, I'm still trying to make sense of the OT sacrifices, so maybe you can help. The following are my thoughts. Perhaps you can comment and let me know if I'm close.

Ritual sacrifice was an important part of the culture around the time of Leviticus. God demanded animal sacrifices not because he required blood or death (I've heard theories that God required a substitutionary death for man's sins via animal sacrifices), but because the sacrifice represented repentance in the minds of men. So it was essentially the best way of introducing the practice of repentance into that culture.

Does this sound accurate?

I've also heard the idea that the killing of animals served as a demonstration and representation of the evil and horror of sin, so in this way the people in that culture had a way of understanding how horrible sin was in the eye of God via the relationship between the gruesome act of killing these animals and the sins they were committing which required the killing.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #17 - May 18th, 2017 at 3:52pm
 
Jesus' atoning death is rich in symbolism at several levels. For example, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) in ancient Israel one goat was offered up as a sacrifice and the other goat was released into the wilderness.  This practice is grounded in Leviticus 16.  For a general description of this ritual read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoat

During Jesus' trial, Pilate looks for a way to release Jesus.  Before the crowd clambering for Jesus' crucifixion, he points to the Passover custom of releasing a prisoner and gives them a choice between Jesus and the thief, Barabbas.  The crowd prefers Barabbas probably because he is a political revolutionary.  Barabbas and Jesus are both symbols of the 2 goats because in Hebrew "Barabbas" means "son of the father" and Jesus is the Son of God, the Father.   

In my next planned post, I will discuss Jesus' sacrifice in its most important sense as representative atonement. 
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #18 - May 25th, 2017 at 1:41pm
 
At this point it is useful to see how the meaning of Christ's atoning death finds practical expression in baptism and Holy Communion.  For Paul, baptism means immersion, which in turn symbolizes a burial with Christ in which our sinful nature is buried and our participation in Christ's resurrection power when we rise from the water a new creation in Christ.  In other words, because on the cross, JGod takes responsibility for creating flawed human nature, the crucified Jesus represents us in such a way that we share His fate, ignominious death, followed by glorious risen power and life.  Paul expresses this in Romans 6:3:5:

"Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like His."

This symbolism has a twofold practical application:
(1) By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the true Christian's life expresses His/her Christ Self:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:19-20)."

(2) Another way of expressing this is that our immersion baptism initiates our being clothed with Christ's Spirit.  But "wearing Christ" in this way becomes real only to the degree that we the church become truly one (in love and harmony.  Thus, in Christ there can be no discrimination based on race, social standing, or gender:

"As many as were baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ.  There  is no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile; for all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28)."

How Christ's atoning death manifests on concrete Christian unity and oneness must be illustrated by a proper understanding and practice of Holy Communion.  I will explain how this is intended to work in a future post.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #19 - May 25th, 2017 at 11:01pm
 
There is a neglected mystical dimension that is ideally achieved through baptism.  So I will digress and describe my own baptism at the tender age of 11.  I was the only child among about 12 baptismal candidates.  We first had to attend a class on the theology of baptism that was geared for adults and involved unexplained abstract theological jargon.  The lecturer used terms like justification, sanctification, and propitiation which created excruciation to my young mind that had hoped this would be a meaningful rite of passage.  We were told that we needed to become "circumcised in spirit," which was fine, except I didn't even know what physical circumcision was!

The baptisms were to be performed in a large tank behind the platform in a Sunday night service before a huge crowd of 1,500 people.  We were expected to share our personal faith testimonies before our immersion, but I had no idea what I should say and was too petrified to comply.  Everyone except me shared their testimonies.  When my turn came, I nervously waded out in about 4 1/2 feet of water, and when the pastor asked me if I had "a testimony for the Lord Jesus," I shook my head with great shame.  So the pastor compensated for this failure by posing a series of catechetical questions.  At that point, I just felt eager to get my ordeal over with. 

The pastor dunked me, but his act of raising me up from the water led directly to one of the most sacred of experiences of my life.  I suddenly saw a vision of Jesus in the corner of the tank, smiling lovingly at me.  Jesus' expression seemed to display a sense humor and empathy at my embarrassed plight.  Seldom had I ever felt so loved.  In retrospect, I think Jesus foreknew that He would call me to the ministry and wanted this rite of passage to be a truly sacred and memorable experience for me.  Jesus empowered my baptism to become a vehicle through which I got an inkling of what Paul meant when he taught that baptism is intended to "clothe us with Christ." 










soo
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #20 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 2:24pm
 
A proper attitude towards the sacrament of Holy Communion demonstrates the practical implication of at/one/ment theology.  Consider these 4 points:

(1) For Jesus the practice of Holy Communion must not be trivialized as merely symbolic; it is a way to affirm and reestablish an intimate connection with Him:

"My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Those whoi eat my flesh and drink my blood ABIDE IN ME AND I IN THEM (John 6:35-36)."

It is a visceral way to acknowledge the crucified Christ as our representative and thus is our way of mystically "participating" in and benefitting from Christ's atoning death. 

(2) But Communion is not a magical ritual.  How does this ritual enable such an intimate connection with Christ?  The answer is a proper reaction to the double meaning of the bread as the body of Christ.  The bread represents not only Christ's body broken on the cross, but also the Church as the corporate Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

(3) Just as baptism means a commitment to abolish discrimination based on race, social standing, and gender (Galatians 3:27-28), so Communion implies an agreement to work towards a loving harmony with socially marginal members of Christ's body.  The consequences can be serious for those who establish an intimate connection with Christ through Communion, and yet, do nothing to enhance this loving group harmony:

"All who eat and drink WIHOUT DISCERNING THE BODY eat and drink judgment against themselves.  Foe this reason, many of you are sick and ill, and some have died (11:29-30)."

Paul's indignation is prompted by complaints from believers among the poor and slaves who are being neglected and denied a loving share of the food and drink served at the love feast, of which Holy Communion is a part.  The conventional elitism that characterizes Greek culture has infected the church in defiance of Paul's teaching.  Divine protection from dark forces can be removed as a result of a frivolous participation in Communion. 

(4) The NT frowns on isolated spirituality.  Authentic Holy Communion and intimacy with Christ normally requires regular attendance of a church or worship group.

"Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, NOT NEGLECTING TO ASSEMBLE TOGETHER, as the habit of some is, but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25)."

The badge of Christian spirituality is our love for others in general, but the Christians' demonstration of a love for each other that emulates Jesus' love for His disciples:

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, id you have love for one another (John 13:35)." 

A truly loving Christian community is needed to draw in the unchurched.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #21 - Jun 9th, 2017 at 11:00pm
 
Hey Don, great posts.

I have some reservations regarding communion. The ideas presented in this article make sense to me. Perhaps you could give it a read some time and comment on it. http://drmsh.com/the-lord-supper-supernatural-constipation-lords-supper-part-2/
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #22 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 10:13pm
 
Tonight I went to church for the first time since my conversion. It was a local baptist church that some volleyball friends invited me to. A band played Christian rock songs for the first 45 minutes, and the rest of the two hour session was preaching and communion. I was more open to the ritual after doing more research into it since my last post, as I am a bit aversive towards Catholic rituals  and I hadn't given it deep enough consideration.

The preacher seemed wise, spoke with great emotion, and was biblical. The music they played moved me to tears as I contemplated and worshiped Jesus. My eyes were actually teary more than they were dry tonight. I didn't see anyone else crying but I didn't feel uncomfortable about it.

I was baptized at the local Catholic church before I was a believer (for marriage purposes), but I am thinking of getting baptized at this baptist church, not that I think it's necessary but it's something I want to do to symbolize my faith. Anyway, it was a great experience and I'm definitely going back next week.

Don, thanks for encouraging me to seek out a church. This was just what I needed.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #23 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 1:37am
 
Vince,  I'd advise you to pray about getting baptized.  Remember, that in the early church it was closely associated with the bestowal of the Holy Spirit--not that this bestowal is automatic, but ccntemplative expectation will make your rebaptism more meaningful. 

I'm glad you liked your friends' church.  I'd recommend some church hopping before you settle finally on one church.  Check out at least one Pentecostal or charismatic church and just assume that you have the gift of discernment to assess whatever spiritual gifts are demonstrated.  The Holy Spirit will reveal to you which church best suits you.  It's not just a question of which church you enjoy the most.  You have undeveloped spiritual gifts that are most likely to be revealed to you in a church setting, at least one of which, I believe will build on the skills you developed in your OBE Dude period. 

When I have time, I'll address your additional question about Holy Communion.  btw, one of the most famous Christian evangelical leaders in the USA just created a scandal for his radio listeners because he joined a Greek Orthodox church.  One of the main reasons for the switch, he says, is their belief in the "real presence" of Christ during Communion.  As he points out, the church has almost always believed in this throughout church history, until the Reformation.  It's an important issue to get straight because your perspective will affect what the Spirit can do in your heart when you participate in Communion. 

P.S. It's only fair to warn you that I am a deadly spiker! Roll Eyes
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #24 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 9:10am
 
Thanks, I will check out some other churches before I settle on one.

So you're a fellow volleyballer, huh? My kind of guy! Maybe you'd enjoy this short video of me that gives the term "deadly spiker" a new meaning!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyb3_LrRkM
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #25 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 12:54pm
 
Lutheran, Methodist and Anglican also believe in the "real presence" of Christ during communion as well.  I don't know if there are others.

Volleyball was my game as well.  Nice spike!  Smiley
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #26 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 5:57pm
 
So I'm wondering if there is a connection between Don's last post and him being banned. For the life of me, I can't comprehend how he could get banned when I could site dozens of posts by other members who clearly violated the posting guidelines to a far greater degree and much more consistently than anything Don has done. Let this serve as a lesson to all at this forum that if you don't conform to the consensus belief system, you are not welcomed here. Pathetic.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #27 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 6:14pm
 
What?  Don is banned?
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #28 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 8:47am
 
I Am Dude wrote on Jun 12th, 2017 at 5:57pm:
So I'm wondering if there is a connection between Don's last post and him being banned. For the life of me, I can't comprehend how he could get banned when I could site dozens of posts by other members who clearly violated the posting guidelines to a far greater degree and much more consistently than anything Don has done. Let this serve as a lesson to all at this forum that if you don't conform to the consensus belief system, you are not welcomed here. Pathetic.


How do you know that Don is banned?

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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #29 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 7:07pm
 
I don't know if Don was banned.

Dude, boy do you see what you want to see, and so will others that choose to ignore Bruce's stated wish that Don start his own forum to do what he does here.

I have mixed feelings about this. It isn't an all or nothing matter. Since Bruce did state that he wished Don would start his own forum rather than post here, it might be reasonable to conclude that Bruce didn't start this forum so someone could use it to discredit Robert Monroe (and Bruce, mainly by discrediting Robert) and then create numerous posts that serve the purpose to get people to think of Don's version of Christianity instead.

If Don was banned, I for one support such a move. Perhaps this forum could be used for its original purpose. Perhaps more people who are interested in exploring the afterlife will find the forum interesting. I doubt that people come here to learn about the Bible, and about how making contact with spirit world should be avoided. Don, Dude and Roger have all written posts stating that it should be avoided.

Dude, if you believe this is pathetic, perhaps you should find a forum that was created for the purpose of promoting Christianity.

Don't act so self-righteous when you aren't willing to acknowledge the other perspective on this matter.

Come on guys, don't play dumb, some of you know that you are using this forum to turn people off to some of the things Bruce wrote about, and to instead become Christians. You can deny this all you like, actions speak louder than words.

1796 wrote on Jun 13th, 2017 at 8:47am:
I Am Dude wrote on Jun 12th, 2017 at 5:57pm:
So I'm wondering if there is a connection between Don's last post and him being banned. For the life of me, I can't comprehend how he could get banned when I could site dozens of posts by other members who clearly violated the posting guidelines to a far greater degree and much more consistently than anything Don has done. Let this serve as a lesson to all at this forum that if you don't conform to the consensus belief system, you are not welcomed here. Pathetic.


How do you know that Don is banned?

crossbow

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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #30 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 10:36pm
 
Recoverer

It is you who cannot see past your own bias and attachments. Take a look in all of the threads from the past couple of months in the main forum section, particularly threads started by members looking to investigate, explore and learn about the subjects that you claim I have devised a conspiracy against, and honestly tell me what percentage of them I have tried to convince the members that what they are doing is wrong and dangerous. Especially all of the threads and posts by Focus 69 and Morrighan. Not once have I imposed anything on them in their exploration and expression of certain concepts and practices which you claim I have a campaign against.

You and another member have resorted to bringing up posts that I made months ago for the fact that I have not been pushing my beliefs to the extent that you pretend I have. It seems you still haven't figured out how to distinguish between expressing a belief and imposing a belief. What you are doing is imposing your beliefs- following me around in every single thread jamming your own beliefs down my throat when you have a disagreement.

What you haven't figured out is that I'm not here to convert anyone, I am here to learn, and I just so happen to express my beliefs now and then as well. Again, your own delusion fabricates an entirely different picture and allows you to pretend to know my intentions, which I assure you, you are wrong about. This will soon be proven to you as now that Don is gone, who was the source of knowledge and wisdom that motivated me to engage to the extent that I have at this forum, I have little reason to participate here. If my goal was to convert, his absence would have little effect.

So please, carry on with your shenanigans. You claim to have the ability to see through others, yet you can't even see what you yourself have become (but probably always were, it's just more apparent now). If I were of similar inclinations as you, I'd lay out exactly what that is, but instead I'll pray that one day you see it for yourself and change for the better. Good luck.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus' Death
Reply #31 - Jun 13th, 2017 at 10:44pm
 
Dude:

I'll let you have the last word.
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