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 THE WAY TO A WONDERFUL LIFE WEEKLY MESSAGE

 Rev Bates
Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life, Sunday, March 24, 2013 
  

Listen to the Radio Broadcast of this Message:  click here
           When the article, "Shape-Shifting Jesus Described in Ancient Egyptian Text"  first appeared a few weeks ago the "comments" sections of most News Sources on the Internet were filled with Christians defending Jesus' divinity and lots of jokes and ridicule from those who don't accept religion's version of Jesus' life and teachings.  Less than 10 days later a Yahoo search identifies 27,000,000 results on the subject.  All of this is fascinating because whether we believe that Jesus was our Savior, was God come to Earth as a man, or was just a Jewish mystic wise beyond anyone else's level of enlightenment, the fact that an article about him these 2013 years later stirs up so much energy proves that his was a life that changed the world.  And in this single fact we can know that whatever it is that is true or false about his life story, both have endured over centuries.

        Out of the writings of this newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, and written in the Coptic language, comes this telling of Judas kissing Jesus:  "
In the canonical bible the apostle Judas betrays Jesus in exchange for money by using a kiss to identify him leading to Jesus' arrest. This apocryphal tale explains that the reason Judas used a kiss, specifically, is because Jesus had the ability to change shape.
     "Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him (Jesus), for he does not have a single shape but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat coloured, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man ..." This leads Judas to suggest using a kiss as a means to identify him. If Judas had given the arresters a description of Jesus he could have changed shape. By kissing Jesus Judas tells the people exactly who he is."

      
As we look at the historical Jesus we know that he was in hiding much of the time and was being watched and followed by those who sought to destroy him.  Not because of him personally, I believe, but because of what he stood for and what he stood against.  He stood against those who put Law before Love; both the extremist religious leaders of his time and the Romans.  He stood for the Truth that man [generic] is the Spirit of G-d in human form.  His teachings of our divinity and power to establish within our very own individual consciousness part of the Power, Spirit and Intelligence of G-d, through faith and belief, rather than through the following of religious dogma and religious tradition, caused him to be both feared and hated.  His teaching that we are free in the Spirit and that "it is done unto you as you believe" was offensive to some and radically revolutionary to those in authority.  And so it makes sense that he used clever disguises to elude those who were out to get him; even taking on different shapes and forms.  After all, could this be so difficult for someone who had turned water into wine or multiplied a couple of loaves of bread and a few fish to feed the multitudes?

      "When people heard Jesus saying, "I am the light of the world," they thought he was referring to himself, that he was announcing that he was God, or God's special agent.  But he was simply affirming the truth, or "throwing the switch."  And he made it clear that each of us must also affirm the truth.
       The true affirmation is: I AM.  This was the key to Jesus' power: his affirmation and realization of I AM.  Not "I want to be," "I hope to be,' "I will be someday," or "Dear Lord, make me to be."  But simply:  I AM.  Recall that occasion in the wilderness when Moses heard the inner voice urging him to undertake the task of leading the Israelites out of their enslavement in Egypt and on to their promised land.  Moses was meek and, in his own self-image, "slow of speech."  He asked, "But who should I say hath sent me?"  And the voice boomed, "You shall say to the people, 'I AM that I AM' hath sent you."
- Eric Butterworth, The Universe Is Calling

      
It was in his continually affirming "I AM" that infuriated the religious extremists and the people in authority during Jesus' time, and confuses so many people still today regarding his life and mission.  Jesus realized that "I AM" is the power of G-d and the presence of The Spirit in each of us.  No one can say "I AM" for anyone else.  The Intelligence that created us and all that we see and know, incarnated within us a part of Its Power, Spirit and Intelligence ... I AM ... and gave us dominion and authority over those things that are personal to us.  Knowing this as the absolute Truth was Jesus' great triumph.  Knowing that nothing outside of him, even those things that could seemingly destroy his body, had power over his life and death, or for that matter anyone's life or death, instilled within him the triumphant spirit that entered Jerusalem on a donkey believing and knowing that there is only One Life, and that Life is G-d ... no matter in what form of life It may appear to be.  And just as the Israelites transcended slavery and bondage to claim victory in G-d, Jesus celebrated the Passover knowing that the "I AM" that stirred up the spirit of confidence within Moses, was within him and you and me, and everyone.

      This Palm Sunday and Passover let us realize that the Spirit of G-d within us shall always triumph over those things of the world that seek to steal our freedom and our joy in knowing that the Living Spirit of G-d is within us.  Let us realize, with joy, that our victory is our realization that we are not of this world, but of G-d.  John 10: 34  "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"

AND SO IT IS!

Keep the faith!
Rev
. Henry Bates

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