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RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for April 24, 2011 

              "... when Jesus returned "from the dead," He had demonstrated more than the overcoming in His own life.  He did that.  He rose again.  And this was and is good reason for rejoicing for those who love Him.  But the most important factor, and one that has been almost universally overlooked, is that He had verified His teaching of the Divinity of Man.  He had proved in the most dramatic manner that there is a depth within man beyond the human.  He not only achieved a victory for Himself but He became the greatest explorer of "inner space."  We downgrade Jesus and the Great Demonstration when we think of the Easter "happening" as a miracle of God instead of a revelation of the depth-potential of man." - Eric Butterworth, Discover the Power Within You
               
      There are those who have faith in Jesus because of the miracles attributed to him and there are those who have faith in Him because they believe that He died for their sins.  There are also those who believe that the radical Jesus was a "conception" rather than a real person.  No matter what anyone believes about the radical Jesus, we all know at least something about Him and this is proof that He made a dynamic impact on the consciousness of the world.  From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday there is evidence of both the real and the surreal played out in churches throughout the world ... the triumphant ride on a donkey through Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, death on a cross on Good Friday and the Resurrection of life on Easter ... all create not only a faith but an opportunity for dramatization that has not been lost on both writers, film makers and churches.

      It was inevitable that the radical Jesus would clash with the powers of the world, both political and religious.  I believe that the radical Jesus understood that both the governing powers of an Emperor and a theocracy bound us to the laws of man, rather than gave us the freedom to be found in the Law of G-d.  His was a consciousness that was so "fully developed" to the point of recognizing that life was more than what anyone had at this point in history, had fully realized.  Not only was the government during Jesus' era based on the absolute rule of an Emperor, but that the religious leaders had created a massive number of rules in which to bind the people to religion, rather than to G-d.  A "free spirit" such as Jesus could not be suppressed by either the rule of an Emperor or by the dogma of religion.  The radical Jesus stated that the hypocritical observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit was shutting out the people from the kingdom of heaven; that is, the abundant life full of joy and love for one another, for peace and happiness and a true communion with G-d, Infinite Spirit.

     Paul's writings (New Testament of the Bible) preceded the Gospels (which is something most Christians are not aware of), and he unduly influenced the writing of the Gospels in favor of religion and Jesus as a sacrificial lamb ... something the radical Jesus' own brother, James, had fought against.  It is important to understand that in both the Gospels and the writings of Paul, there are contradictions regarding Pontius Pilate's role in the crucifixion of Jesus:  In Matthew, Pilate washes his hands to show that he was not responsible for the execution of Jesus and reluctantly sends him to his death.  Mark, depicting Jesus as innocent of plotting against the Roman Empire, portrays Pilate as extremely reluctant to execute Jesus, blaming the Jewish priestly hierarchy for his death and washing his hands not of Jesus (as in Matthew) but of the Sadducees and of any association with their actions.  In Luke, Pilate not only agrees that Jesus did not conspire against Rome, but Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, also finds nothing treasonable in Jesus' actions.  But, historians have written that Pilate was a notoriously vicious man.  And Pilate had absolute authority as a Prefect of the Emperor to do with Jesus as he desired.  And he wanted him gone.  Pilate, being educated, understood that the radical Jesus was creating a revolution, even if He wasn't aware of it Himself.  And Pilate was not going to allow this to continue and the only way to stop it was to use the most tortuous method of execution known at the time, crucifixion.  Crucifixion was forbidden by Jewish law because it was considered torture.  But, Pilate's decision to crucify Jesus was to make Him an example of what would happen to those who might try to replace Him.

     The Romans had outlawed Christianity during the time of the writings of Paul and the writing of the Gospels and neither Paul n or the Gospel writers were willing to publicly offend the authority of the Romans.   And, in this fear of retribution, they played down the role of the vicious Pilate in the crucifixion and fostered a greater blame on the religious, who they had alienated themselves from anyway.  The Romans knew they had executed the icon of Christianity, but the story of the "Resurrection" had yet to be fully understood.  Instead of getting rid of Jesus by murdering Him, the Romans had in fact created an opportunity for something useful, "the Resurrection" ...  for those who wanted to use Jesus' extraordinary life-story to create a religion.  I don't believe that Jesus died for our "sins" nor do I believe that He can "save" us.  He taught us to live to Something greater than a physical existence implies, and in this we can "save" ourselves from the consequences of a life filled with the false identity of being human only and allow the Christ, that is the Spirit of G-d within us, to be "Realized Within us" to a greater degree than we have ever imagined.  He showed us this is possible by demonstrating to us the Power of the Spirit within Himself.  As we embody this Principle in our consciousness, we can transform our lives and begin to realize the power of the Spirit within us to a greater degree and change our life with this new realization.  "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." - Holy Bible, John 14:3

     When the disciples of Buddha told him of a man who had performed a so-called miracle - had taken a bowl from a great height without  touching it - and showed him the bowl, he took it and crushed it under his feet and told them "never to build their faith on miracles, but to look for truth in everlasting principles.  He taught them the true inner light - the light of the Spirit, which is the only safe light to go by."  We don't need miracles or fairy tales to recognize and identify with the power, presence and genius of the radical Jesus ... we only need to "do what he did" ... give our attention to G-d, first ... seek to recognize and understand the principles of Life ... and know within ourselves that we have a G-d-gifted ability, to make even the best, better!

AND SO IT IS!

Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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"I have been all things unholy.  If God can work through me, He can work
through anyone." 
-
St. Francis of Assisi