Happy Easter 2015 to our TruthBook Friends and Family,
Just in time for this most joyous of celebrations commemorating the resurrection of Jesus, we are happy to present to you a beautiful new painting of Jesus by Michael Dudash; it is one of the latest in TruthBook's series of fine-art renderings of scenes from Jesus' life, as presented in The Urantia Book
. The painting immortalizes Jesus' sermon during the Feast of Tabernacles, and is titled Light of the World
. This is a large painting - 42 x 72 inches! It is dramatic and colorful, effectively capturing the scene that is described in Paper 162 of The Urantia Book
: The Feast of Tabernacles
This is a scene that will be familiar to Christians and Urantia Book readers alike. In The Urantia Book
, though, we learn greater details of the very interesting backstory surrounding this visit to Jerusalem, which makes the Light of the World
painting all the more poignant.
By this time in Jesus' public ministry, he had attracted the dangerous attention of the Jewish authorities; they were bent on his destruction. And so, when he boldly decided to not only go into Jerusalem for the feast, but to teach in the temple, the Sanhedrin were so surprised that they surmised that the Roman officials had made a secret arrangement with Jesus. As a result of this mistaken assumption, as well as some dissention in their ranks towards Jesus, he was allowed the freedom to teach in the temple, but not without some challenges. During this visit, Jesus prophesies his own death, to the confusion of those gathered to hear his gracious words.
The visit to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles was a significant visit, one in which Jesus was challenged several times by the authorities, and there was even a plan to apprehend him. But in the end, Eber, the Sanhedrin officer dispatched to detain Jesus, dared not arrest him; he feared the wrath of the multitudes who hung on Jesus' every word, and he harbored a respect for Jesus in his own heart, too. He told his superiors: "...this man speaks to the multitude words of mercy and hope. He cheers the downhearted, and his words were comforting even to our souls. What can there be wrong in these teachings even though he may not be the Messiah of the Scriptures? And even then does not our law require fairness? Do we condemn a man before we hear him?" This plea fell on deaf ears.
The day before the Feast of Tabernacles was to end, Jesus delivered his sermon on the Light of the World
in the temple. It is included here in its entirety:
"On the evening of the next to the last day of the feast, when the scene was brilliantly illuminated by the lights of the candelabras and the torches, Jesus stood up in the midst of the assembled throng and said:
" 'I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. Presuming to place me on trial and assuming to sit as my judges, you declare that, if I bear witness of myself, my witness cannot be true. But never can the creature sit in judgment on the Creator. Even if I do bear witness about myself, my witness is everlastingly true, for I know whence I came, who I am, and whither I go. You who would kill the Son of Man know not whence I came, who I am, or whither I go. You judge only by the appearances of the flesh; you do not perceive the realities of the spirit. I judge no man, not even my archenemy. But if I should choose to judge, my judgment would be true and righteous, for I would judge not alone but in association with my Father who sent me into the world, and who is the source of all true judgment. You even allow that the witness of two reliable persons may be accepted—well, then, I bear witness of these truths; so also does my Father in heaven. And when I told you this yesterday, in your darkness you asked me, `Where is your Father?' Truly, you know neither me nor my Father, for if you had known me, you would also have known the Father.
" 'I have already told you that I am going away, and that you will seek me and not find me, for where I am going you cannot come. You who would reject this light are from beneath; I am from above. You who prefer to sit in darkness are of this world. I am not of this world, and I live in the eternal light of the Father of lights. You all have had abundant opportunity to learn who I am, but you shall have still other evidence confirming the identity of the Son of Man. I am the light of life, and every one who deliberately and with understanding rejects this saving light shall die in his sins. Much I have to tell you, but you are unable to receive my words. However, he who sent me is true and faithful; my Father loves even his erring children. And all that my Father has spoken I also proclaim to the world.
" 'When the Son of Man is lifted up, then shall you all know that I am he, and that I have done nothing of myself but only as the Father has taught me. I speak these words to you and to your children. And he who sent me is even now with me; he has not left me alone, for I do always that which is pleasing in his sight.'
"As Jesus thus taught the pilgrims in the temple courts, many believed. And no man dared to lay hands upon him."
We invite you to share Light of the World
with your friends, your family, and your associates who may be searching for an expanded and enlarged knowledge of Jesus. The Urantia Book
gives us that expanded view and detailed accounting of these familiar, beloved Biblical stories as no other source on the planet.
Jesus said: "I speak these words to you and to your children." We are one in a long line of generations before, and to come, who can once again hear these words of Jesus and do our part to lift him up to a world so sorely in need of his teachings-teachings that are now restated in Part IV of The Urantia Book
for the spiritual uplift and advancement of humanity in the 21st century.
We wish you and yours a happy Easter season! May the love of God in your own heart inspire you to do all you can to make the Master's light to the world stay bright and lifted up as it is reflected in your life.
Your TruthBook Team