Episode:Jesus Faces Death—The Crucifixion (Part 7)

From Symmetry of Soul

At about half past four o’clock the burial procession of Jesus of Nazareth started from Golgotha for Joseph of Arimathea’s new family 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.

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Keywords: Urantia, Jesus, His Body, The Tomb, His Burial

Summary by Kermit

Commentary after Review

Our post-summary discussion was somewhat dense, containing several threads of intricate and insightful thought. The serious student will want to listen carefully to the archive in order to derive full benefit. Our thought journey began with focusing on the statement that the ideas, motives, and longings of a lifetime are openly revealed in a crisis. Reflective self-examination of this frequently leads to an emphasis on our shortcomings and feelings of unworthiness when viewed from the deep-seated perspective of being in a debt mode to God, the universe or whatever. However, viewing our thoughts, motives, and longings from the revelatory perspective of human origins, history, and destiny we recognize we are children of God, gifts of God, intentionally created, small, partial, far more potential than real. This perspective yields a far more positive picture of one’s self, full of the promise of continuing growth and development into an adult of God in a friendly universe. The debt-mode viewpoint risks inducing the guilty party to compensate and strive beyond the attitude superb self-respect exhibited in the Master’s life to a more disruptive bearing of self-esteem, even to dangerous self-love.

187:6. After the Crucifixion

This final section of our paper properly locates the principals of our story as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus arrive on the scene with the order from Pilate authorizing them to take possess of the body of Jesus. We commented on the stark exhibition of mortal callousness and human perversity which stunned the onlooking celestials. Why stunned? We noted that Paradise bestowals are usually undertaken on worlds far more advanced than Urantia. The life and teachings of our Creator Son incarnate on such a benighted sphere as ours presents a stunning contrast indeed. Marvel that the Spirit of Truth ministry of our Creator Son can reach such depths to engage with such diverse creature natures.

Paper 188: The Time of the Tomb

The midwayers here remind us of their limitations, being unable to 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. However, using our understanding of the 5th ER in its wholeness we might attempt to go beyond what the midwayers saw in pondering these affairs.

The Jewish leaders intended that Jesus’ body would be thrown into the open burial pits of Gehenna and exposed to the wild beasts. This would have been the crowning indignity to the Master. Accordingly the Sanhedrin sent representatives to Golgotha to ensure the Master’s body would be thus discarded. That Joseph of Arimathea was a Samaritan plays into his tomb being chosen for Jesus’ burial site, thus avoiding the prohibition against the interment of crucified persons in Jewish cemeteries.

188:1. The Burial of Jesus

As Joseph and Nicodemus arrived at Golgotha with Pilate’s order, the body was being taken down from the cross by the soldiers, the Sanhedrin representatives looking on. The centurion and his soldiers held off the raving and infuriated Jews from taking possession of the body. Joseph, Nicodemus, John, and the centurion then bore the body a short distance to Joseph’s family tomb, followed by the faithful women watchers.

Details of the location and dimensions of Joseph’s tomb serve to help sort out the centuries of speculation as to current-day location of these sites, or at least help to rule out incorrect currently proposed sites of the Master’s tomb.

Concerning the burial cloths, midwayer-supplied details of the crucifixion enable us to refute the validity of the Shroud of Turin. Listen to the program for details.

The body was rather hastily prepared for burial with bandages and embalming solutions for that purpose brought by Joseph and Nicodemus. The women were secreted from these doings and decided that the body had not been prepared sufficiently by the men and agreed to return early Sunday morning to more properly prepare the body for the death rest.

Remarkably, very few of Jesus’ disciples aside from David Zebedee and Joseph really believed or understood that he was due to arise from the tomb on the third day.

188:2. Safeguarding the Tomb

Ironically, the Jewish leaders were more mindful of the Master’s promise to rise from the grave than his followers. They therefore asked Pilate to station guards to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing his body from the tomb and claiming he rose from the dead. Thus were ten Roman guards and ten Jewish guards deployed around the tomb’s entrance, which had been reinforced with a second stone affixed with the seal of Pilate further closing the tomb.

We noted how the midwayer account alternated with Jesus rising in three days or on the third day. The revelators sometimes cite biblical accounts with small modifications to provide correct facts in place of ambiguities while at other times they allow ambiguities to remain. Recall the revelation is written in evolutional fashion so readers are not required initially to abandon old wineskins without serious reflection. Being a revelation, our text does not have foundational error. It does present truth based complexities with factual association.

Notes by Brad

  • This author reports thinking a bit about his own "ideas, longings, and motives of a lifetime" and how they are being openly revealed in the COVID-19 crisis now upon us.
    • It's one thing to "tut, tut" at some elected official you disapprove of. But what about ourselves?
    • This author reports being humbled. Perhaps I'm not as lofty in longings as I once presupposed I was.
    • Another co-host mentioned thinking,when you, they were intrinsically patient. And then they had kids!
    • Frankness and unflinching soul-searching seem warranted.

  • But be cautious: don't feel guilty about where you are.
    • The debt modality is an old wineskin.
      • It's what comes naturally. Hardwired.
      • We have an innate tendency to produce guilt. Not wholly unlike our domesticated dogs!
      • It causes you to make an endless checklist of ways you feel you are not worthy of... something.
    • Be humble, not self-effacing.
      • We are started out small, by design. You start out not in debt to God, but designed by God.
      • No reason to feel guilty.
    • You were initiated by God! So of course you are small to begin with.
      • As small as possible, in fact.
      • What you are right now is a gift, a phenomenon of pure grace.
    • The debt modality can even lead you too far beyond self-respect, to somehow compensate for what you perceive as failings.
      • Don't try to make up for something you don't need to make up for!
      • Possess self-respect, not self-esteem. Observe the truth that you are a part of the whole, not the fact that your are some mere part.
    • Be responsible for your thoughts. If you entertain the debt modality, it can influence you subtly, even subconsciously.
    • Sight is natural, insight is unnatural
      • So with natural sight, all you see are your immaturity and deficiencies. If you have any concept of high ideals, you can observe how far from those ideals you are.
      • Better thought: "Wow! I'm just nothing but potential for greater things! Someday I'll be an adult of God."
      • Better thought: "I look forward to the adventure and romance of an infinite future of growth--potential for greater things.".
      • Can you go back to be "as a little child" and enter the kingdom? When sight wasn't so ingrained? Can you see your life as a gift, not a debt?

  • "Youth is wasted on the young," but what about "mortality is wasted on the mortal," this author wonders?
    • Perhaps. But it's the same for you as every mortal in the grand universe. So this is part of the design. Breathe, don't regret.

  • This Roman centurion is a cool dude, observes this author.
    • In the hypothetical movie, what's the standout scene?
    • When he smites his breast and enters the kingdom? Perhaps...
    • Or perhaps it's the astounding scene of him defending the body of Jesus, and being one of Jesus' four pallbearers, so to speak.

  • Interesting how the universe reacted to all these events (last paragraph of the paper)
    • Of course we mortal animals are "callous" (surficial)--not deep.
    • The problem is we on this planet were "perverse," instead of human. The players in this drama were more animal than human. Rotated 180 degrees.
      • But this is what material gravity naturally does--makes things heavy on the bottom.
    • It was stunning because it's unusual (out of normal order) for a bestowal son of this order to be in the midst of such rank primitiveness.
    • Our planet is filled with higher things juxtaposed with lower things. Such juxtapositions rarely happen in the universe. The fruits of rebellion.
    • We have primitive beings here with thought adjusters and the Spirit of Truth. There will be odd shadows cast down into such a mind! Those shadows will be contorted into grotesque shapes.
      • And yet the Spirit of Truth can minister to something so low. How glorious it must be! That's "stunning" in a positive sense.
    • Avoid subjective, angrily, bitterly interpreting this paragraph.
      • That's not very God-like
      • Being on high are none of those things--they will not exhibit hatred.

  • Our authors are amazing beings, but they don't have Thought Adjusters.
    • Can we try to figure out some things in Paper 188, based on a synthetic view of the 5th ER? We will try!

  • Three periods (not days): Death, transport, resurrection.
    • For us death can last a long time if we're part of a group of mortals. And transport to the system capital takes years at about 3 times the speed of light.
    • For Jesus, the middle period is only about 1 day or so.

  • Joseph of Arimathea is a Samaritan.
    • See [Paper 143]
    • So there is bias against him. Lots of regional rivalries.
    • His designation is not just geographic in its connotation.
    • He is a member of the Sanhedrin. And he's been long intrigued (in a positive way) by what Jesus was all about.
    • A Samaratin Sanhedrist (well, former member--he resigned) is an odd sight. But he is wealthy, and he is elite--things like this have always happened.
    • This is why his family's tomb is acceptable for Jesus' crucified body--it's a Samaritan tomb, not a Jewish cemetery.
      • The tomb is to the north of the City (the road leading to Samaria), not to the west where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is located.

  • Concerning the tomb
    • It's not where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is
    • Is it "The Garden Tomb?" No. How are they gently letting us know?
      • The garden tomb is 12' x 17' (not 10 feet square). And it faces south, not to the east. And Golgotha has to be to the west of the tomb, not to the east.

  • Concerning the linen burial sheet
    • All the cloth is linen.
    • There are two linen sheets--is one the Shroud of Turin?
      • He was bound to the crossbeam with ropes first, then nailed to it. The 5th ER says so.
      • But in the shroud picture, he's nailed through the wrists, and the blood seems to be flowing diagonally.
      • So it doesn't seem to be authentic. The image is based on classic assumptions of him being suspended by nails, not bound to the crossbeam.

  • The women decided the men hadn't prepared Jesus'body properly for burial.
    • The battle of the sexes wages even 2000 years ago.
    • Helps humanize the story.

  • Most of Jesus followers were catatonic with shock and grief at this time. His enemies were not--they were collected.

  • "After the third day" versus "on the third day"
    • Debate has ranged for centuries. It's simplified here.

  • What is the seal of Pilate? And a second stone? We aren't sure.
    • But there are plenty of other details.
    • This should remind you that the 5th ER is a very complex book. Best to engage it not in a machine-like way.
    • Masterfully written. to keep you roped into the text, but also to throw you off kilter sometimes to engage your human mind.