Episode:Jesus Faces Death—The Crucifixion (Part 6)
It was just before three o’clock when Jesus, with a loud voice, cried out, "It is finished! Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." And when he had thus spoken, he bowed his head and gave up the life struggle. When the Roman centurion saw how Jesus died, he smote his breast and said: "This was indeed a righteous man; truly he must have been a Son of God." And from that hour he began to believe in Jesus.
Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, Penitent Brigand, Converted Centurion, Noble Death
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
As we walk through the narrative of these final events of the Master’s time in the flesh on Urantia, we continue to note how the precision of detail addresses gaps, divergences, and long standing controversies in the gospel accounts of these events.
Referring to last week’s summary equivalating the revelation’s value of clarifying knowledge through the authoritative elimination of error with demolishing biblical inerrancy, we are admonished to be ever mindful of the deeply ingrained habit of thinking of truth as merely correct understanding and humbly adopt an attitude of Socratic ignorance regarding the real meaning of the words TRUTH and error. Further, avoid the tendency to embrace the stasis of satisfaction with every new cosmic insight and be content with the rewards of striving to advance on our paths of perfecting.
187:4. The Thief on the Cross
The age-old controversy about the meaning of Jesus’ statement to the penitent brigand as recorded in the New Testament Gospel according to Luke is somewhat clarified, yet deeper reflection is required to further discern the implications and meaning of the reference to Paradise in the Bible and in light of what we are told about Paradise in the 5th ER. The serious student of the revelation needs ever to critically confront their preconceived opinions etc., on the path toward finding a three dimensional cosmic relationship with its words and concepts instead of a unidimensional material or even spiritual one. Efforts to achieve a 3-D cosmic perspective often produce rationalization in lieu of truth, validation of which demands the faculties of the higher insights (cosmic intuitions). It should go without saying how tall an order this is, but it is sad to record... But, doubt not that someday when our minds function more holistically, the Master’s gift of the Spirit of Truth (SoT) will serve as a powerful 4th insight facilitating a more direct path for faith-sons seeking truth.
We marveled at the midwayers’ greatly expanded account of the believing brigand’s motivations and intentions which led him to being crucified next to Jesus, and finding deliverance. Note the implications for today in the brigand’s being cast in the light of a social justice activist. For much of the Jews’ history and certainly today social injustice is a lightning rod for 6th adjutant zeal to the neglect of wisdom. It is for many religionists a major focus of action instead of social justice being a fruit of the religion of the spirit.
With the precise detailed account of the various comings and goings of the principals in our narrative, particularly John Zebedee, a brighter light is shown on the importance of the centurion’s part in giving believers for the past two thousand years details of these doings, sketchy as they are. How much more sketchy would they have been had not the centurion been so impressed with the Master’s behavior and presence.
187:5. Last Hour on the Cross
More clarification is provided regarding the witnesses to Jesus’ last hour on the cross. Also, note the telltale reference to the fierce sandstorm from the Arabian Desert which caused the sky to darken, cited often by Christian apologists as a divine reaction to the crucifixion. The 5th ER simply stated, “…shortly after twelve o’clock the sky darkened by reason of the fine sand in the air.” We can begin to abandon the old wineskin of Fatherly divine intervention and manipulation to explain every such coincidence. Yet, contemplate that Mother Deity and supremacy in their holistic function influence and exert a conformational control over literally every individual phenomenon of the finite domain. With the recognition of the incompleteness and imperfections inherent in the evolutionary process, insights pertaining to these cosmic relationships can have a tempering effect on our zeal to make things right and lead to wiser choices in our attempts to move towards light and life.
The Master’s utterances during these waning hours of his life have been the source of endless debate among theologians and churchmen. The simple explanation is that his waning energies and consciousness were given to the repetition of Hebrew scriptures, only fragments of which were heard by those standing by. We briefly speculated on what might have triggered his choice of scriptures, as did perhaps his witnessing of the soldiers dividing his garments or other specifics which can easily be rationalized to be prophetic as referenced in the twenty-second Psalm.
Jesus made a final request of his fellows with a little more than one hour to live saying for the second time, “I thirst.” The centurion again moistened his lips with a wine soaked vinegar sponge. At the end, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “It is finished! Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” It was at this moment the centurion smote his breast and proclaimed his conviction in the Master’s divinity.
The Jewish leaders, not wanting the three crucified bodies exposed on Golgotha over the Passover as well as the Sabbath petitioned Pilate to dispatch the condemned, that they might be taken down from their crosses and disposed of in the criminal burial pits. However, notwithstanding the Master’s superb physical fitness the overwhelming emotional agony and acute spiritual anguish brought an end to his mortal life in the flesh in a little less than five and one-half hours.
As promised SoS will more fully explore the meaning and substance of his spirit of mortal acquirement which he handed over the Paradise Father as he expired.
Notes by Brad
- Lots of duplicate names in these times.
- That's foreign to us in America these days. Here the individual rules.
- Interesting that Jesus' friends and family "held their peace" as they gazed upon this scene.
- Was it somehow peace that passes all understanding? The Jewish people of this time are not known for their stoic, Vulcan calm after all.
- Rebecca is not mentioned in the Bible, but is a poignant character here. She wanted to marry Jesus.
- Of course, the Roman centurion who narrated most of these doings wouldn't have known about her.
- Quid est veritas? What is truth? said Jesting Pilate.
- High words are often laid low.
- Truth is a transcendent concept, not an exclamation point in written form.
- Can you avoid the default cultural reaction when you hear someone use the word truth?
- Truth is not defined as correct understanding.
- When someone says "that's not my truth," they almost certainly mean "that's not my understanding".
- "That's very true!" usually means "that's correct".
- Truth is not emphatic facts or very vivid facts.
- Don't assume "verily, verily" signifies what follows is "truly, truly."
- Compared to the word truth, the word faith is child's play! Truth is the height of heights, indeed.
- Can you avoid this problem? Aim higher! Don't flatten your vocabulary!
- On being a serious student of The Urantia Book
- The first time you read the 5th ER, fine: just read it at a glace and obtain a feel for it.
- But to be a serious student, you must examine it. Not fuzz out the details in a poor man's unity fog.
- Instead of a fuzzy one, a "sharp-eyed, living relationship" with the 5th ER.
- People will accuse your rationalizaions of being ad hoc and merely clever, not living and attempted objectivity.
- Fine. Haters gonna hate. And maybe at first they are problematic. But keep at it.
- Be humble but also ruthless with yourself. You can rationalize anything.
- Critical examination of the text is a skill. So it's a teachable skill. Practicable. Refinable. Be patient with yourself.
- The 5th ER is written in an evolutional fashion. They write in this way to meet you where you are (evolutionary religion).
- But it's in your freewill hands as to whether you remain where you are. Better that you don't.
- If you read the 5th ER once through and say, "Yep, that's about what I already believe," it has done nothing for you except affirmation.
- Challenge yourself to slow down a bit as your read. Paragraph breaks are there for a reason. Can you let the text ripen just a little more? Practice reflective thinking?
- "I say to you, today" versus "I say to you today,"...
- Debated for 2000 years. Clarified here. The word "sometime" added, and "Paradise" properly capitalized because of its conceptual importance.
- Jesus will see him "IN Paradise," not "ON Paradise." Not the same thing.
- It's not an outer life ON-ness thing. It's an inner life IN-ness thing.
- The only way you can be on Paradise someday is for it to already be within you.
- Paradise-ness. "You have to be in it to be on it."
- Paradise as an adjective is a big hint. Paradise Trinity, Paradise Isle, etc.
- Can you avoid the old wineskins of assuming Paradise is ON a fluffy cloud in some definite geographic location?
- The thief on the cross didn't get a ticket to heaven magically in this moment. That's an old wineskin.
- This isn't about schemes (or mumbling magic phrases) as a scheme for salvation.
- Note the text precision: he reached out for salvation, but found deliverance (as in liberty). He was set free from all the shackles of tradition and authority.
- All the guilt of the Hebrew religion weighing down on him was instantly gone.
- John Zebedee is running all around, back and forth on errands, during this time.
- No wonder this story as told in the Bible was the result of a game of telephone!
- Based heavily on the Roman centurion's account.
- We're fortunate this man was so impressed by all this! Or the Bible would have written almost nothing about these events.
- John only saw Jesus ask for drink one time, for one time. Hence how it was recorded.
- No wonder this story as told in the Bible was the result of a game of telephone!
- Concerning the well-meaning brigand:
- "Well-meaning" is a technical term. Things and values are involved.
- The urge for adventure is timeless. But in and of itself it's only an inclination in the mind energy system—neither good or evil.
- We all have built-in error and evil detectors.
- Jesus fired the brigand's zeal. But so had social injustice, which had led him to this tragic end.
- It takes little to notice an imperfection. Much more to evolve a solution.
- A sandstorm at the time of his death. So easy to interpret in the old wineskin.
- "Coincidentally" this happened.
- The 5th ER "by reason" clarifies the science of this event. But still it's quite a... coincidence... isn't it?
- It wasn't the finger of God swirling sand up in the desert. Somehow it was the subtle God the Mother wholeness.
- A reminder that every moment is a divine dispensation.
- A reminder that the parts are subject to the whole. You can't rearrange the parts to achieve light and life—there is still the whole, and you and I have no direct control over the whole.
- But you don't have to be a helpless victim of the times you live in.
- Conform, not consent. Don't consent in your inner life, but conform in the outer life.
- Why would Jesus' mind recite the psalms that he did?
- Well, Psalm 22 is about dividing up garments. Might have keyed his memory when he saw this happening. Like a song lyric comes to mind when you see something like the lyric.
- Jesus "commends his spirit" to the Father. We'll talk about that in the next paper. Lots of physics.
- And this is a "spirit of mortal acquirement." Curious.