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Jesus Conquered Death and So Can We

Jesus: A Death Like Ours by Greg Carey

This is a wonderfully thoughtful piece, exploring the fact that Jesus died as a man; he submitted himself to-not only living the life of a mortal man-but dying the death of a normal man. Even though few of us will ever be called upon to suffer and die such a horrific death, under the same circumstances, we would die as Jesus did...gasping for air and finally succumbing to death through asphyxiation.

Here's a snippet from the article, and I would defnitely recommend a read-through of it.

"Jesus' death does not distinguish him from the rest of humanity so much as it unites us with him. If we begin to argue that Jesus' death was somehow unique, we embarrass ourselves. How many millions of people have died in horrific ways, ways even more tortuous than crucifixion? Dare we contemplate the horror of those who have died from diseases that inflict intense pain over extended periods of time? Are we willing to consider those who die completely alone, bereft of comfort or love? Jesus, at least, could look out on the courageous women who followed him even to the cross. None of us would volunteer for Jesus' death, but countless others have endured equally harrowing fates."

Click to read the entire article

The main reason that this article piqued my interest though, is that it it echoes the teachings of The Urantia Book regarding one of the primary purposes of Jesus' mission to our world, that being the necessity of Jesus' gaining the full experience of living his life as a mortal man - and dying as a mortal man. He could have sidestepped that last part. He could have, but he did not.

Here a few passages regarding these teachings:

120:0.1 To live such identical lives as he imposes upon the intelligent beings of his own creation, thus to bestow himself in the likeness of his various orders of created beings, is a part of the price which every Creator Son must pay for the full and supreme sovereignty of his self-made universe of things and beings.

Click to read about Creator Sons

Click to read about Jesus as Creator Son

In the section titled Alone In Gethsemane, we read:

Each time he prayed in the garden, his humanity laid a firmer faith-hold upon his divinity; his human will more completely became one with the divine will of his Father. Among other words spoken to him by the mighty angel was the message that the Father desired his Son to finish his earth bestowal by passing through the creature experience of death just as all mortal creatures must experience material dissolution in passing from the existence of time into the progression of eternity.
Earlier in the evening it had not seemed so difficult to drink the cup, but as the human Jesus bade farewell to his apostles and sent them to their rest, the trial grew more appalling. Jesus experienced that natural ebb and flow of feeling which is common to all human experience, and just now he was weary from work, exhausted from the long hours of strenuous labor and painful anxiety concerning the safety of his apostles. While no mortal can presume to understand the thoughts and feelings of the incarnate Son of God at such a time as this, we know that he endured great anguish and suffered untold sorrow, for the perspiration rolled off his face in great drops. He was at last convinced that the Father intended to allow natural events to take their course; he was fully determined to employ none of his sovereign power as the supreme head of a universe to save himself.

Read details of the Crucifixion, in which we learn:

At about half past nine o'clock this Friday morning, Jesus was hung upon the cross. Before eleven o'clock, upward of one thousand persons had assembled to witness this spectacle of the crucifixion of the Son of Man. Throughout these dreadful hours the unseen hosts of a universe stood in silence while they gazed upon this extraordinary phenomenon of the Creator as he was dying the death of the creature, even the most ignoble death of a condemned criminal.
Jesus had purposed to live without resort to his supernatural power, and he likewise elected to die as an ordinary mortal upon the cross. He had lived as a man, and he would die as a man—doing the Father's will.

These decisions that were made by the human Jesus, as a man among men, are so important. It is so important that he did what he did, so that we all can identify ourselves with his humanity ... just as we can know from the teachings of The Urantia Book that Jesus was conceived and born as all human beings are, so we can be assured that just as Jesus died and on the third day rose from the dead, we all will have that same opportunity. We will not resurrect on this earth again, but we will resurrect. Jesus' humanity assures us that. He claimed no supernatural powers because the average mortal being cannot do that. He called on no angels to deliver him for the same reason. Jesus truly is one of us - then, now, and always.

The teachings of The Urantia Book assure us further:

190:0.2 All this power which is inherent in Jesus—the endowment of life—and which enabled him to rise from the dead, is the very gift of eternal life which he bestows upon kingdom believers, and which even now makes certain their resurrection from the bonds of natural death.
The mortals of the realms will arise in the morning of the resurrection with the same type of transition or morontia body that Jesus had when he arose from the tomb on this Sunday morning. These bodies do not have circulating blood, and such beings do not partake of ordinary material food; nevertheless, these morontia forms are real. When the various believers saw Jesus after his resurrection, they really saw him; they were not the self-deceived victims of visions or hallucinations.

To anyone who doubts Jesus, or who wonders about the reality of eternal life, we can only say that knowing this part of Jesus' life and death can inspire a second though about it. What an amazing event this was! What an amazing life lived! What an amazing demonstration of love and devotion Jesus was.

The Urantia Book unequivocally states that knowing the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it is THE most important knowledge that one can have. Why? Precisely because, although Jesus was a divine Son of God, Jesus WAS ALSO A HUMAN MORTAL like you and me, and he lived a life of single-pointed desire to find and do the will of God. He pointed the way then, and still points the way through the bestowal of his Spirit of Truth, the spiritual counterpart and promised comforter who Jesus sent to be with us when he left.

And it is not only these dramatic events of the last week of his life that are important, but his entire life, both before and after he became aware of who he really was. And only in The Urantia Book can one find this complete and inspiring story - nowhere else.

At this wonderful time of year, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and mourn for the brutality of his death, we hope you'll feel like re-dedicating YOUR life to God's will, too. You and I are born, and are destined to die, just as Jesus was, but the promise of resurrection is also our destiny ... hope for eternal life as an immortal spirit along with Jesus, is one of the most thrilling things about it all...we hope you'll agree.

Happy Easter from your blogging friends at TruthBook!

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