Jesus Faces Death (Study Arc)

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Jesus Faces Death was a 31-episode arc covered in 2019 and 2020 by Symmetry of Soul. It comprises three series covering 9 papers of The Urantia Book, from Paper 180 through Paper 188.


Some things to keep in mind

When studying these papers, try to see them from a revelatory point of view, not merely an affirming one. Most of us in Western culture "think" we already know all there is to know about this story of Jesus' arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Don't be so satisfied with that preexisting understanding.


  • Proper way to study Part IV
    • Read the life of Jesus with an eye toward today
      • Makes the text come alive.
      • How do our lives and circumstances resemble what Jesus experienced?
      • Example: might Jesus' speaking policy during his trial might serve as a model for a personal social-media policy during trying times?
    • See past the sentiment and emotion.
      • Many readers of The Urantia Book report they do not get a pleasant feeling when reading about Jesus facing death; they tend to avoid these papers.
      • But there are truths waiting to be revealed in them if you can approach them from a philosophic point of view.
      • Don't be tender-hearted to a fault.


  • Rehabilitation of classic Bible characters
    • Pontius Pilate. Yes, he was a moral coward, but he also was emblematic of a civilized, educated person of his day.
      • Notice how he resists mob rule, tries to appeal to logic, etc.
      • Notice his deep-seated problem: an adherence to skepticism, a "purely negative" philosophy that leads nowhere cosmically.
    • Judas Iscariot. His name is "eschewed" throughout a universe. But we can see in his mind and see the all too animal-origin frailties going on. We see in him sin: its intoxicating quality, its disillusionment, and the subsequent trance-like shocked state.
      • Can we relate to the "intoxicating" quality of sin that Judas experienced? And the trance-like state he felt after his disillusionment?
    • Can we see these men, not as an evil villain caracitures, but as imperfect children of God?
      • Jesus called them both "friend", with complete sincerity.
      • Friend literally means "to love," the highest of the levels of meaning.


  • Walk a mile in the characters boots
    • You can see into their minds. No Bible scholar had this.
    • Ask yourself, "Can I act better than them under those circumstances? Or even under less trying circumstances in my own life?"
    • The Roman Centurion is one fine example of many players on this stage.


  • Outer life versus inner life.
    • Observe in the stories how dislike becomes hatred; how ill-humor becomes ill-will.
      • Dislike and ill-humor are unavoidable in our lives.
      • But don't let dislike (unavoidable outer life stuff) bubble up into your inner life; don't let dislike grow into hatred.
      • Likewise, don't willingly let ill-humor enter your enter life and infect it as ill-will
    • Once in the inner life, hatred and ill-will corrode you from the inside out.
      • Love is in your heart (inner life) by grace, but you can crowd it out willingly.
      • True love, once crowded out, becomes self-love.
    • Observe how Pilate's hatred of the Jews undid him.
    • Observe how the Jews' hatred of the Roman Empire led to insurrection, rebellion, downfall, and the "perishing of the flower of a generation."
    • Instead of nurturing hate, get over it.


  • Jesus demonstrates here how to pray and respect others' freewill
    • Prayer is not a material technique.
      • Don't wreck your faith by praying for material matters. Jesus didn't.
      • "God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness." [91:8.11]
    • That said, prayer can be a sound psychologic procedure.
    • It's in your freewill hands. Jesus didn't dictate to the apostles what to do after he was arrested and killed.
      • He gave them reflective material and let them make their own freewill choices.


  • Leadership is always needed.
    • Just because you have free will, hierarchical authority should not be rejected outright.
    • Just because some material authorities should be questioned, not all should be questioned.
    • Spiritual authority cannot really be rejected. The Spirit of Truth is here, whether you like it or not.
    • Even when 2 or more divine counselors get together, there is not self leading.
    • Pilate's leadership style was "lead by following." A moral coward.


  • If you agree "don't judge a book by its cover" then likewise don't judge reality by its appearance.
    • Analogies about agriculture (vine and branches) are about a subtle a deep pattern in the cosmos. Not mere food.
    • You always have a lens you're seeing any matter through. Unless you've worked very hard at it, it's surely a subjective lens.
    • Jesus appeared to be the pschal lamb on the cross, and evolutionary religion ran with it. Can you use insight to see through that to what was really going on?
      • A child of God cannot. An adult of God can do this.
      • The child of God believes in Jesus. An adult of God believes with Jesus. See [Paper 196] for plenty on this.


  • Jesus as a savior -- it's not what you've always thought!


List of Series and Their Parts

  • Farewell Instruction
    • Part 1 [Paper 180:0-2, p. 1944]
    • Part 2 [Paper 180:3-4, p. 1946]
    • Part 3 [Paper 180:5, p. 1949]
    • Part 4 [Paper 180:6-181:1, p. 1951]
    • Part 5 [Paper 181:1-2, p. 1954]
    • Part 6 [Paper 181:2, p. 1957]
    • Part 7 [Paper 181:2, p. 1960]
    • Part 8 [Paper 182:0-1, p. 1963]
    • Part 9 [Paper 182:2, p. 1966]
    • Part 10 [Paper 182:3, p. 1968]


  • Brought to Trial
    • Part 1 [Paper 183:0-2, p. 1971]
    • Part 2 [Paper 183:3-4, p. 1973]
    • Part 3 [Paper 183:5-184:1, p. 1977]
    • Part 4 [Paper 184:2, p. 1980]
    • Part 5 [Paper 184:3, p. 1982]
    • Part 6 [Paper 184:4-5, p. 1984]
    • Part 7 [Paper 185:0-1, p. 1987]
    • Part 8 [Paper 185:2, p. 1989]
    • Part 9 [Paper 185:3-4, p. 1991]
    • Part 10 [Paper 185:5, p. 1993]
    • Part 11 [Paper 185:6-8, p. 1994]


  • The Crucifixion
    • Part 1 [Paper 186:0-2, p. 1997]
    • Part 2 [Paper 186:2-3, p. 1999]
    • Part 3 [Paper 186:4-5, p. 2001]
    • Part 4 [Paper 187:0-1, p. 2004]
    • Part 5 [Paper 187:2-3, p. 2006]
    • Part 6 [Paper 187:4-5, p. 2008]
    • Part 7 [Paper 187:6-188:2, p. 2011]
    • Part 8 [Paper 188:3, p. 2014]
    • Part 9 [Paper 188:4, p. 2016]
    • Part 10 [Paper 188:5, p. 2017]