A Brief History of Jesus
History of the Dates of Christmas
There are and have been many calendars used throughout the world to reckon time. Some are based on lunar cycles, some on Venus cycles, but most are based on solar cycles. Of the latter, their annual starting dates are variously placed on the Vernal Equinox, when spring brings renewed life to the Northern Hemisphere, or at the Winter Solstice, when the Sun begins its apparent return northward from its lowest point at noon on the southern horizon. The Roman Empire celebrated December 24 or 25 as a festival in recognition of the Sun’s return northward and called it Natalis Solis Invicti, which translates to “birthday of the invincible Sun.” This followed the year-end holiday period called the Saturnalia, in which there was feasting and gift giving and, in some quarters, boisterous revelry. Also on December 25 was celebrated the day that Isis gave birth to the Egyptian world savior, Horus. The cult of Isis was very popular in the Roman Empire, and it rivaled the cult of Mithras among that part of the populace who favored the mystery religions over the pagan gods before and after the birth of Jesus. Mithras, incidentally, was claimed to have been born on the 25th of December. Mithras was the principal Persian deity from the 5th century B.C. as Mithra, and he dates further back to India, where he was called Mitrea. Both Horus and Mithras were regarded by their followers as Sons of God and as Saviors and Redeemers, and both were said to have been born of holy virgins. The bishops of the early Christian Church chose December 25 to dedicate a Mass to Christ in an obvious effort to offset the influence of the competing religions of their day.
The Essene Brotherhood
The Essene Brotherhood recorded the birthday of Jesus as October 4, 4 B.C., which date, incidentally, can also be obtained in The Great Pyramid at Giza by projecting the floor line of the Queen’s Chamber to the Ascending Passageway, where it intersects the chronographic line. The Essenes were a mystic sect present in Jerusalem from the time of Isaiah (about 700 B.C.) until the second century A.D. Their number was always small among the other Jews. They were most prevalent in Galilee but also maintained communities at Engedi, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Mount Carmel, where they had an exclusive school and temple. They were regarded as even stricter than the Pharisees in their religious observances, wore only white clothing and believed in scrupulous cleanliness, worked to help the poor and destitute, and maintained inns for pilgrims at the city of Jerusalem and elsewhere. Because most of them were in Galilee, they were often referred to as Nazarenes, and those Essenes who took vows of abstinence, celibacy, and asceticism were known as Nazarites, John the Baptist being one of these. The Essenes practiced baptism and believed in immortality of the soul but not in resurrection of the body. They condemned slavery and the giving of oaths. Their possessions and activities were communal, and this governed their lifestyle.
Joseph Ben Jacob, the father of Jesus, was an Adept of the Essene Brotherhood, and he made his living as a builder of houses and furniture in Galilee. Joseph was the true pretender to the throne of Israel through his direct lineage from King David, as detailed in the first chapter of Matthew, and therefore was of the root of Jesse from whom Isaiah (chapter 11) proclaimed the Messiah would be a descendant. Therefore, the cognoscente of the Temple had kept tabs on Joseph and his forebears in anticipation of the birth of the “Savior of the Jews,” who was expected to come in glory and power and rule over the nation and make them victorious over their oppressors. Joseph, being an Adept, was also member of the “Holy Spirit,” as are all members of the Brotherhoods.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the daughter of a wealthy Levite lawyer named Joachim, who lived in Galilee with his wife Anna, who was of the tribe of Judah. Joachim was a believer and student of the teachings of the Essenes, but he was not a member of their sect. He had connections with wealthy Jews of power in Jerusalem and knew intimately the members of the Sanhedrin, which was the Jews’ supreme council and tribunal. Mary was educated by her mother as a small child and then by Essene teachers. Although Jews generally did not educate their daughters, those who were wealthy saw to it that even their girls received formal instruction by private tutors. The Essenes held that women had souls, whereas the other Jewish sects believed otherwise, and so there was more equality between men and women in the Essene communes. The influence of Greek culture upon the Jews since the days of Alexander the Great (about 330 B.C.) and the Roman occupation from 78 B.C. with the defeat of the Maccabees added a further westernization to the Near East. All this gave an acceptance of girls being educated.
Members of the Essene Brotherhood, some of whom were living among the Essenes, perceived Mary’s Egoic advancement and destiny, and they saw to it that Mary was specially educated at home and then at Mount Carmel until she was about eleven years old. She was then brought to Jerusalem by her father, Joachim, where she became a server of the Temple. The Temple compound consisted of many buildings and housed hundreds of people--priests, acolytes, students, teachers, servants, guards, custodians, cooks, accountants, lawyers, scribes, etc. The Temple virgins or maidens served only until about age thirteen, when they became of marriageable age. During the two years Mary served in the Temple, she was given special instruction by her father’s friend, Hillel, who at that time was chief of the Sanhedrin. Hillel was secretly an Adept of the Essene Brotherhood.
When Mary returned to Galilee, she was married at age thirteen to Joseph Ben Jacob, who was then 45 years old, in a ceremony arranged by Essene Brothers. Joseph, a widower, was to be her teacher, guardian, and the father of all of her five sons—Jehoshua, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas (see Matthew 13:55) and two daughters. Jehoshua’s name was pronounced Ye-osh-wa almost as if it were all one syllable. (This name was later translated into Jesus, and he attained the title Saint Issa during his travels in the Far East before he returned for his ministry in the Holy Land. The Druids of Western Europe knew of him before he taught in Judea and Galilee, and they called him Hesus. The Council of Nicea, which was called in A.D. 325 by Constantine I, combined the Western Church’s name, Hesus, with the Eastern Church’s name, Kristos, into one title. Thereafter, all inhabitants of the Roman Empire were compelled to accept the Nicean Creed under threat of execution, which resulted in the death or exile of millions of people.)
The claim that Jesus was born of a virgin stems from the fact that Joseph and Mary both became Adepts of the Essene Brotherhood, and a marriage between Adepts has always been called a Virgin Marriage by the Brotherhoods. Any children born to such a marriage are known as Virgin Births. Likewise, Gautama Buddha was born to two Adepts as was Lao Tzu, and they were both said to have been born of virgins. Later legends ascribed their sires to be manifestations of God. Jesus never mentioned being born of a virgin in all his ministry. nor was such a thing noised about among his followers, That he was conceived of the Holy Spirit is correct, for Joseph was a member of the Holy Spirit by virtue of his being a Brother of high degree. Mary was not yet a member of the Brotherhood when Jesus was born, but she had attained Adeptship in her prior incarnation. Joseph died in his 67th year when Jesus was 22 and Mary was 36. Joseph and Mary shared a few years of their marriage together while both were Adepts. Jesus had been an eleventh-degree Adept in his prior incarnation, and so he never lost consciousness of that advancement as an infant or child.
The Date of Jesus’ Birth
The birth of Jesus occurred in Bethlehem, the City of David, If we use our present calendar to reckon the date, it projects backward to October 4, 4 B.C. Mary and Joseph had journeyed to Jerusalem from Galilee to celebrate the Jewish New Year, which occurs near the Autumnal Equinox, with the Essene colony there. It was a great occasion for those who were Initiates to realize that the plan conceived by the Archangel Melchizedek to use the body of a man in order to walk the Earth and preach truth to Jew and Gentile alike was about to begin in their lifetimes. The Holy Family was much honored among those Essenes who were aware of such things.
A census ordered by Caesar Augustus, which required every Jewish man to be counted in his tribal home, would not have been ordered at a time that required travel in winter, but neither would it be before the harvest was completed. Several weeks after the Jewish New Year festivities, Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, six miles south of Jerusalem, to be registered for the taxation census. They lodged in one of the Essene hospices, which in this case was a cave that long before had had its natural form squared up and made into dry, comfortable rooms. The expecting couple were, of course, the honored guests of the hospice. It was written of Bethlehem by the prophet Micah (5:2) “Out of thee shall he come forth who is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” The birth of Mary was well prepared for, and she was provided expert assistance on the day Jesus was born.
The Birth of Jesus
That night, the shepherds guarding their flocks in the fields heard voices and saw visions of Heavenly Hosts singing praises of the new-born child, and they were told that, “in the city of David has been born a Savior,” and that the child could be found lying in a manger. The visions and voices the shepherds heard were mentally induced by members of the Brotherhood going out among them. The hospice sheltered its milk animals in an adjoining grotto, and there it was that Mary brought out and laid down the baby Jesus to receive the admiring shepherds. Word spread quickly of what had been heard and seen by them. Before dawn, Joseph removed his wife and baby son to the home of a shepherdess in Bethlehem where no one would look for them, and the Essenes of the hospice pled ignorance of the little family’s whereabouts, but they confessed the wonders of the Heavenly Hosts’ appearance and the night’s events to all who cared to listen. On Jesus’ eighth day, He was circumcised and given the name Jehoshua; and when He was forty days old, it was time for Mary to undergo the traditional purification rites after giving birth. They went to the Temple in Jerusalem, where she made a sacrifice of two turtledoves; and on the same day at the Temple, Jesus was formally consecrated to the service of God, which was a common practice for pious Jews to do with a first-born son. The family returned to the house of the shepherdess in Bethlehem to prepare for the long journey back to Galilee.
At this time, three Magi (Zoroastrian priests from Persia) appeared in Jerusalem seeking the whereabouts of the prophesied “King of the Jews” so they could honor Him, for, being noted astrologers, they claimed to have seen the sign of this in the skies. When King Herod learned of it, he became concerned and asked the chief Jewish priests and scribes where a new king was prophesied to be born, and they told him it was in Bethlehem that the Messiah was to appear. Then Herod secretly had the Magi brought before him so he could enquire when they had seen this sign. They explained about the triple conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the sign of Pisces, the symbolic House of the Hebrews, which had begun in 6 B.C. and occurred twice again within a year because of the apparent retrograde motion of the planets through the Zodiac due to the Earth’s swing around the Sun. Tradition within the Brotherhoods timed the conception of Jesus by this specific triple conjunction in Pisces. The Zoroastrian priests, having seen this “star,” knew when to journey to the land of the Hebrews. Herod told the Magi to search in Bethlehem and to bring back news to him if they were successful in finding the infant. Thus, six weeks after Jesus was born, the Magi found the Holy Family in the house of the shepherdess, and they worshipped the infant Jesus and gave symbolic gifts.
The Magi warned Joseph of King Herod’s jealousy and suggested he take his family somewhere to safety, then they unobtrusively returned to Persia, going around Jerusalem. Joseph, with the help of trusted Essenes, fled with Mary and Jesus in the night to Zoan, Egypt, where the world headquarters of the Essene Brotherhood was then located. Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was also escorted with her baby, John, to Zoan by the Essenes. Shortly after this, King Herod realized the Magi had tricked him, and he ordered the slaughter of all the infant boys in Bethlehem who were up to two years old, dating from the conjunction that had been observed two years earlier. Elizabeth’s husband, Zacharias, was serving in the Temple and was unaware of his son’s whereabouts and so could not tell Herod’s men where his family was. After several attempts under Herod’s prodding to get Zacharias to confess his son’s place of hiding, Herod ordered Zacharias slain, which was done in the Temple as Zacharias was at the altar. Immediately after this was accomplished, Herod was found dead upon his throne. Herod the Great died at the end of year 4 B.C.
The Travels of Jesus
While changes were occurring among Herod’s family and in the political structure of Palestine, Mary and Elizabeth were given special instruction for about three years by advanced saints from the headquarters of the Essene Brotherhood in Zoan on how to rear their little sons. For a time, Joseph and Mary lived in On, which today is Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo. The courtyard of their home is revered by local Egyptians, and the so-called Tree of Mary still stands behind the wall that has been built around it in the slums of the city. When the saints’ instruction of the two mothers and their little boys was deemed to be far enough along, Joseph, Mary and Jesus returned to Galilee. Elizabeth and John went to reside with a relative in the hills of Engedi near the Essene commune. Here John was educated from the time he was nine years of age by Matheno, an Egyptian Jew and Essene saint. When John was twelve years old, his mother died; and Matheno took John to Zoan, where he lived until he was thirty years old.
The education of Jewish children during the time of Jesus was considered very important. According to the early laws of Moses, the education of a boy was the responsibility of the father. A religious atmosphere surrounded the child of Jewish parents from his birth. Teaching at home ordinarily began when the child was three years old. In addition to school, every father had to teach his son some craft. There was a saying that if a boy was not trained to earn an honest living, it would be as though his father had taught him robbery.
Joseph and Mary attended to Jesus’ early education at home, and Jesus could read with deep comprehension at the age of five years. Because of his great spiritual advancement of eleventh degree in the Essene Brotherhood, his mental powers were able to overcome the normal limitations of his young body. Jesus had memorized verbatim all the works of the Hebrew Prophets by age seven. He began his formal training under a wise Rabbi named Baruch, who was himself a saint, but Baruch did not know the spiritual rank or destiny of his student. When Jesus was eleven years old, Baruch brought his young charge to Jerusalem to show the wise elders and learned Rabbis of the Sanhedrin and in the Temple what genius resided in Galilee. Hillel was so taken by the brilliant youngster that he personally undertook to be Jesus’ mentor and instructor for the next year. Because of their mutual respect for one another, they engaged in philosophical discussions as intellectual equals; and they became inseparable companions.
Prince Ravanna, a traveler of the royal house of Orissa in India, took up residence near the home of Jesus after he had heard the boy dispute with the doctors of the law in Jerusalem. Jesus journeyed to India with Ravanna when he was thirteen in order to learn the wisdom of the sages in that country. A year later Jesus arrived in Jagannatha, where he was a student for four years at Jagannatha Temple. In India and Tibet, he is still known as St. Issa. He traveled and studied in India, Nepal and Tibet for twelve years. A Tibetan monastery in Lhassa contained ancient scrolls, originally in the Pali language, from which Dr. Nicholas Notovich, a Russian physician, in 1887 copied over two hundred verses that had been translated into Tibetan and was known as “The Life of St. Issa.” It is believed that some sixty-three manuscripts written in various Oriental languages concerning the travels and adventures of Jesus in the Far East are in possession of the Vatican in Rome. The history they relate parallels the Essene biography of Jesus.
Because Jesus lived among the low-caste populations of several large cities and argued that they should not regard themselves as lesser men than the Brahmins, He became marked as a seditionary. The common people saved him from execution, and he fled northward from India to Nepal, where Buddhist priests in the city of Kapilivastu welcomed him. Here he learned from saints in the monastery practical exercises in mental control such as levitation, walking on water, and making himself invisible. Teams of saints of every race worked together to teach Jesus, to support him in his further spiritual development, and show him how to achieve control over his environment. While in Tibet, Jesus studied under the great Chinese sage Meng-tse, who was then several hundred years old. When he was twenty-three years old, he left Tibet, and on his way home, stopped at Persepolis in Persia and spent a few weeks at an Essene retreat where he shared with those present the information he had learned in the East. Jesus then continued his journey to Galilee via Assyria and arrived home to visit his mother after an absence of almost twelve years. Mary had been widowed two years earlier. Jesus did not remain at home for long but sailed to Athens, where members of the Hermetic Brotherhood sought to coordinate with him their part in spreading Christ’s doctrines. He sailed from Athens to Zoan, Egypt, to visit his cousin, John the Baptist, at the Essene headquarters. Shortly after that, he was formally recognized as an Adept of the Brotherhood in the temple at Heliopolis, Egypt. Jesus was then twenty-five years old. For five years he remained there while receiving special instruction from Masters who had congregated there specifically to help him prepare for the transition wherein the Christ was to temporarily borrow his body. Jesus strengthened and perfected his physical body during this period for the Archangel Melchizedek’s use.
Baptism of Jesus
When Jesus was thirty years old, he left Egypt and went to visit his mother in Cana. Then late in the winter of A.D. 27 he went to the Jordan River near Gilgal to hear John the Baptist. For several days Jesus remained obscure among the crowds who came to be baptized and to hear John’s promise of the Messiah soon to come. It was then, while John was baptizing him, that Melchizedek took over Jesus’ body.
Appearance of Melchizedek
When the Archangel whom we call Christ first appeared on the Palestinian scene, He made a considerable impression. He was an imposing figure of a man. He stood six feet, one inch tall and weighed about 180 pounds. He had exceptionally handsome features and was very muscular. A contemporary observer commented on the fairness of his skin and his beautiful arms. He wore his sand-colored hair to shoulder length and trimmed his beard fairly short. He was a head taller than just about any man He met, and He was of confident mien but not haughty or commanding. He did not bow to any man, but neither did He expect others to bow to Him. He wore a full-length, sleeveless tunic, belted at the waist, over which usually He wore a cloak with sleeves, both garments being made of homespun cloth. He wore sandals on His feet and often a cloth headdress that fell over His shoulders as protection against the sun. He had the basic elements of kingly appearance but without the glorious trappings of wealth or martial power. There was obvious power and assured confidence in His demeanor. Anyone encountering Him without knowing who He was would think twice about challenging or accosting Him.
Christ worked at being relaxed and non-threatening lest the people He was trying to reach be afraid or distant. His grey-blue eyes, which bordered on a violet hue, were soft and accepting of the people whose hard life and physical ailments He sought to ameliorate. Toward those persons in authority who tried to discredit Him or challenge His teachings, those eyes could be piercing and flashing. He was an entertaining speaker. He knew that to get His points across He had to reach people and keep their attention. He framed His language along lines familiar to the farmers and tradesmen among the common people. He knew how to tell a joke and entertain His audiences. He was a storyteller of such wit and skill in delivery that He was a first-class raconteur.
Christ did not engage in pious talk. Piousness was the manner of the Pharisees, and He wanted to remain entirely removed from that association. Christ loved everyone, and He enjoyed making people laugh while making them see a point, We are rarely given a scene of I-Jim laughing or presenting a clever parable, let alone joyously entertaining a throng gathered in a generous host’s home while feasting and drinking wine as are all the other guests. Our stereotype of Christ being very holy, patient, serious-minded, even dourly intense is not justified by the Gospels. He was an athletic and robust person, for Jesus had traveled much and was used to a hard, rough life on the road. He was in total control of all He surveyed. He enjoyed the crowds who swarmed around Him, and they admired and loved Him. As an Archangel He was the epitome of mature manhood--emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually.
He was loved by women in a worldly sense because He was handsome, sensitive, and secure in His self-worth. Men saw in Him a leader worthy of following, for He demonstrated wisdom, justice and courageous strength. Children instinctively were attracted to Him for His compassion and gentleness. People in His presence felt uplifted, and they experienced a joyousness frequently expressed in spontaneous hosannahs and song. Christ stirred happy responses even when He didn’t exhibit His healing powers among the sick and crippled. Those instantaneous cures earned the people’s respect and awe, but He didn’t want the healings to be confused with His message; so He continually played them down and asked many whom He cured to tell no one.
Christ was no ascetic, and in this He differed from Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, who was known as a Nazarene. He demonstrated no outward signs of the Essene regimens other than meditation, probably to be more readily accepted as one of the general population. Of all the sects in Palestine, no criticisms of the Essenes have been recorded by Jewish or Gentile historians and commentators on their practices. They were respected by everyone but were clearly regarded as too different to join or be imitated because of the strictness with which they adhered to their ways.
When John the Baptist was imprisoned, Christ took up the Baptist’s preaching of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Christ taught in the synagogues in order to get the people to repent of their ways and take up a better way of living. He aimed to improve the morals of the people, get them to commit to a higher awareness of Mosaic Law, strive for the perfection of self, and uplift Israel to the status of a Holy Nation. Since Christ and His followers were known for their eating and drinking, and because the Pharisees could not abide His forgiveness of sins or His departures from orthodoxy, it was not long before He found the synagogues closed to Him, and thereafter, He conducted His preaching in the open countryside. Most of us attended one or more of Christ’s sermons as a spirit, and a few of us incarnated in Palestine then to experience Him in the flesh.
People with large homes or courtyards provided places where the feasting and good times took place. Christ was known to make those times memorable and joyous. He made it clear that God loved mankind, that God made beauty for men to appreciate, and that all men were God’s heirs to love and joy. Wherever He went, He brought enjoyment and cause for celebration. Upon His leaving a place, everyone looked forward to His return; and He and His traveling companions were loved extravagantly, for the citizenry, His stopovers were like being visited by a king. He was treated royally, and His hosts were delighted.
His well-aimed barbs surely tickled Christ’s audiences and made His words all the more memorable. Nevertheless, all hearers probably were aware enough to see that even though they were not the immediate targets, His wise criticisms applied as well to themselves.
Although Christ frequently discussed the vices and foolishness of people, it was done in the spirit of educating, not sarcastically or hurtfully. Christ’s message is love, and that is opposite to the kinds of hurt feelings aroused by accusing someone directly. Christ was the author of many metaphors that fill our language. He coined figures of speech and painted preposterous mental images that were both witty and playful. Who could forget the image of a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle, or a man trying to cast out a speck in his brother’s eye when there was a log in his own eye? These clever turns of speech were intended to amuse as they instructed in order to be remembered.
He used parables to make His philosophical points so that everyone could get a picture without being an educated scholar. His similes and aphorisms are simple and couched in language that is notable for brevity and clarity. He transformed the consciousness of the people by dint of His character and His show of caring emotion. He called for everyone to prepare themselves for the Kingdom of God by being kindly, just and humble.
The main attraction He offered was the Kingdom of God, which everyone expected to be an earthly nation in accordance with Jewish tradition. At the Last Supper, He told the apostles that He would not drink wine with them again until “1 drink it new in the Kingdom of God." In addition to the earthly Kingdom, He also spoke of a state of the soul where a person has attained a sinless condition, and then the Kingdom of God would be within him. He advanced the concept that the Kingdom of God would come about naturally when all the citizenry cleansed itself of violence and greed, thus making obsolete the need for laws. What He sought was a deeper, spiritual revolution so that men would be free and self-directing.
Christ had no intention of becoming the King so many anticipated, and He had to drive home that point. Those who understood His real message worshipped Him; but for the most part, the men who followed Him saw a handsome, fearless leader worthy of the throne of David. When speaking to a throng of people on a hillside, Christ repeated His familiar message of how a man must first create the Kingdom of God spiritually within himself. He removed a crown of laurel a young woman placed on His head, broke it and stepped on it. He spoke of peace and of everlasting brotherhood between men, and many Jews turned away from Him at that moment and persuaded others that the promised Messiah was yet to come.
The priests of the Temple and Pharisees of the Sanhedrin had followed the activities of Christ with suspicion. In January A.D. 30, the Sanhedrin resolved to kill Christ, Of course, this resulted in His crucifixion, but not death. Crucifixion had been a Roman custom for executing rebels and criminals for the prior three centuries.
Christ was captured and handed over to the Sanhedrin for trial, where He was charged with blasphemy. Christ was then delivered to Pilate, the Roman Procurator, at his house about 7:00 a.m. Roman law did not cover things like religious disputes among the Jews, and there was no provision to invoke the death penalty for blasphemy; so the Jewish authorities had to come up with a new and different charge to get Pilate to pronounce a sentence of death.
Therefore, Sanhedrin officials claimed Christ to be a dangerous seditionist guilty of treason against Caesar. Pilate could find no fault in Christ, so he sent Christ to Herod Antipas, since Christ was a citizen of Galilee and Herod was the Roman governor of Galilee. Still neither Pilate nor Herod could find fault in Him. Then it occurred to Pilate that there was a Roman custom to set free a convicted man on the occasion of a special holiday; and in his apparent desire to avoid any harm to Christ, he offered to give the mob the choice of releasing Christ or a notorious criminal and murderer, Barabbas, But the people called for the release of Barabbas and insisted that Christ be crucified.
Christ arrived at Golgotha (Calvary) outside the gates of Jerusalem about nine o’clock that Friday morning (equivalent to our April 7, A.D. 30) with the cross-beam He had been carrying to the place of execution. Although He had been offered a drink of vinegar mixed with gall (a narcotic plant), He refused it lest His mental acuity became numbed. Christ had little to say during His ordeal. His first words were typical of His compassion as He asked, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
At noon, the sky became unnaturally dark (not due to an eclipse, since the Moon was full and at the opposite side of the heavens, but because of exceptionally thick storm clouds that caused midday to become as dark as though it were late evening for about three hours). During that darkness, Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? This is the opening phrase of David’s twenty-second Psalm. When Jewish scholars debated theology, they usually referred to scriptural points by merely quoting the opening sentence of sections they knew by heart. Here Christ made a coup against His enemies. The psalm in part is as follows:
All who see me mock at me. They make mouths at me, they wag their heads, ‘He committed his cause to the Lord; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him! ‘Yea, dogs are round about me; they pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots. ‘And he who cannot keep himself alive, posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn.
This psalm is a prophecy written a thousand years before the crucifixion, and it describes the scene exactly, as well as the subsequent triumph of Christian belief. Christ’s reference to it struck awe in those who understood what He meant. Knowing that all things were now accomplished, He commented that He was thirsty, and a guard held up on a reed a sponge soaked with sour wine for Christ to drink. Then He cried, “It is finished! Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” He bowed His head and released His spirit. At that, a strong earthquake shook the country. The unnatural darkness and the earthquake caused the spectators to be terrified. Those who had earlier in the day reviled and mocked Him now repented, and the New Testament records that people cried out, “Certainly this was a righteous man! This was the Son of God.”
A centurion, Gaius Cassius, who was the official observer for Pilate, had remained during the entire crucifixion of Christ in order to report exactly what occurred. He had been impressed by the dignity and humble courage of Christ; and in order to protect His body from disgusting mutilation, Cassius impulsively charged forward on horseback and thrust a spear into Christ’s body to show that He was already dead. Thus, Isaiah’s prophecy that, “A bone of Him shall not be broken,” and Ezekiel’s prophecy, “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced,” were unwittingly fulfilled by a Roman.
Later that afternoon, Joseph of Arimathea, a merchant of great wealth who was a member of the Sanhedrin and also a secret disciple of Christ, petitioned Pilate to bury the body of Christ. After receiving a report which verified that Christ was dead, Pilate gave permission for the body to be turned over to Joseph. The embalming with a mixture of myrrh and aloes brought by Nicodemus had to be postponed because sundown was upon them, and all labors of Jews had to cease during the Sabbath. Joseph had a heavy stone placed over the opening of the tomb, and the burial party sadly departed.
The burial of Jesus’ body was observed by several people—some of Christ’s disciples and some spies of the Sanhedrin—and both sides kept vigilance at a distance in order to report if anyone entered or disturbed the tomb. The Sanhedrin leaders persuaded Pilate to seal the sepulcher and set a watch of Roman guards to prevent any tampering with the huge wheel-like stone covering the entrance. A watch consisted of sixteen men of whom four at a time stood guard on a three-hour shift. In addition, there were dozens of Jewish guards supplied by the Temple.
The Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin, which was studied in detail by Dr. Pierre Barbet of France in the capacity of an anatomist and forensic specialist in 1932, states it is reputedly the burial cloth in which Christ was laid. It is a strip of linen cloth with a distinct herring-bone weave 14’3” long by 3’7” wide that experts identify as being made at no other time but around the time of Christ. It bears a photograph-like image and blood stains of a man matching the description of Christ and provides graphic details of the brutal treatment He suffered the day of His execution. The cloth was evidently spread flat on a stone slab and the body was laid on its back with the feet at one end of the cloth. The remainder of the cloth was brought over the head and draped on the front of the body so that both free ends of the long cloth were even at the feet. This produced an image of the entire length of the front of the victim head to head with the entire length of the back view, the images of the feet being toward both ends of the cloth. The photographic image is like a negative and is very clear and amazingly detailed, but how it was produced remains a mystery. All forms of possible forgery have been eliminated by scientists, and the logical explanation remaining is that the image was produced by a burst of energy which scorched the image onto the cloth.
Meanwhile, unseen spirit beings—including the Archangel Melchizedek, Jesus (having become a Master) and several other Masters—worked to heal the wounds inflicted by the punishments to the body. Soon the body was capable of self-sustaining life, and Jesus again animated it and brought it to consciousness. The spirit beings closed all the wounds to the back and head so that only small scabs showed, but left open the spear wound and the nail holes in the wrists and feet.
Shortly before dawn Sunday morning, Melchizedek’s spirit passed outside the tomb and appeared to the guards and the other watchers as a bright Angel, which terrified them. They were all caused by Him to fall asleep. Then some Essene men came and rolled away the heavy stone that sealed the tomb, and they brought clothing for Jesus to wear. Jesus stepped out of the tomb and departed with the Essenes, leaving behind one man to fold the shroud and to later return to tell those who would come to anoint the corpse with spices and ointments what had happened. When Jesus and the others were gone, the guards awoke and discovered the tomb to be empty. In great consternation they fled to the Sanhedrin to tell what they had seen.
At dawn, Mary Magdalene, Salome (the mother of John) and Joanna came to the garden to complete the anointing of the corpse but found the tomb empty. The Essene man , dressed in the traditional pure white gown, was sitting on the shelf that had borne the body. He told them very truthfully that Jesus had risen from the dead and that they should go to tell Peter and the other apostles. Mary Magdalene hurried to where the apostles had spent the night and gave them the message from the man sitting in the tomb. Peter and John ran to the tomb to find the area deserted and the tomb empty. John took the shroud, and both men, mystified, returned to the others to report what they had seen. Mary Magdalene, in a distraught state, wandered back to the tomb where she saw a man whom she assumed was the gardener. She asked him if he knew to where they had carried her Lord, and when the man compassionately called her “Mary,” she realized it was Christ. She went to embrace Him, but He forbade her to do so, saying, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” The reason He would not let her touch Him is because He was incorporeal, and He made Himself known to her by impressing on her mind His familiar image and voice, During the first few days after the Resurrection, Melchizedek. as a visible spirit, and Jesus, in his own body again, appeared at different places miles apart at about the same time, and this amazed Christ’s followers when they compared experiences, The first night, as the apostles hid in a house for fear of the authorities, Jesus came to them and showed his wounds so they would know it was truly he who had been crucified and buried, and he encouraged them to put their fingers into his wounds. The apostles were overjoyed to see him, and Jesus ate with them. Jesus, in the flesh and playing the role of Christ, spent the next five-and-a-half weeks mostly in Galilee instructing the apostles and other disciples as to the tasks they must accomplish during the rest of their lives in order to tell the good news of the Messiah and His conquest over death. At the conclusion of this instruction period, Jesus told many of the disciples to meet him in Jerusalem.
On the fortieth day after the Resurrection, the Day of Ascension, Melchizedek Himself appeared to the apostles and other disciples, about 120 persons altogether, in a spirit form which convincingly looked to them to be a physical body. There He promised them that they would receive powers to perform healings, be able to argue philosophy in any language even though they had never heard that language before, and be given courage and comfort in carrying out the great commission He had given them. He requested that they wait in Jerusalem until these powers would come to them in a baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then He led them from Jerusalem toward Bethany, some two miles away. There Christ lifted up His hands in blessing while His spirit image slowly rose from the ground. As the vision rose, it became surrounded by an increasingly brilliant white light which turned into a glorious golden blaze that seemed to dissolve His spirit image into a cloud. The night before, Jesus had secretly gone away and never again was seen in Palestine.
More Travels of Jesus
The Master Jesus, who departed from Palestine the night before the Ascension of Christ, traveled overland to the Red Sea, where he embarked on an ocean going merchant ship owned by Joseph of Arimathea that plied the Indian Ocean. Jesus sailed to what is now New Zealand and remained with the inhabitants for more than a year. He, with the assistance of discarnate fellow Masters, performed what seemed miraculous cures, and he taught the Maori people the message of Melchizedek. The Maoris subsequently transported Jesus through the Polynesian Pacific Ocean islands so he could teach and heal. All the Pacific peoples loved him and regarded him with reverential awe. In their legends since, He is called Wakea, and they ranked him a god. The Polynesian mariners carried Jesus in their large canoes across the open sea to Peru, and he began a forty-year trek through western South America, Central America, and North America, teaching all the Indian tribes. His powers to quell storms and heal the desperately ill soon earned him the status of a god in the Americas. His fame went before him and everyone knew of him as Wakon. Virtually every tribe in the Americas has legends him and his feats. At the end of his journey, he was invited to become the ruler of the Toltec Empire in Mexico. This had become a far-spread military empire since its founding a hundred years earlier by Carthaginian survivors of the Punic Wars. Their capitol city was called Tula, and~ was renamed Teotihuacan in honor of Jesus. He became the first Quetzalcoatl, and he established a religious order there after the manner of the Essenes, When he was in his eighties, Jesus sailed from Mexico to Egypt, where he became the head of the Essene Brotherhood as a member of the Order of Melchizedek at their world headquarters.