Disrobed not robbed: The Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ

 Some prefer the spelling “crucifiction”; I prefer “crucifixion” because I believe it really happened

The term “martyr” is often attached to someone who is perceived to get killed in a religious cause. For some, there are at least two ways of getting killed: being hit by a drone or blowing up bodies – yours included, naturally.  As is commonly known, “martyr ” means witness; a witness who believes in an afterlife, someone who cares, is mindful, is willing to throw his earthly life away for a heavenly cause.

 In Christianity, the greatest martyr was Jesus Christ. He came as a witness to the truth, and was killed because of it.

 John 18

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

 Which means not only a witness to the truth through his life but also through his death, and the heinous manner of his death:

 Acts 2:22-23

 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

 God, the Father, planned the death of his own Son but also held lawless, wicked men accountable for killing the Lord of glory (killing his humanity).

 1 Corinthians 2

 4. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 6 We do however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The Father planned the death of his one and only Son.  Cosmic child abuse? No. The Father and the Son were in it together, as with every action and every word.

 John 19:12-18

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know my own, and my own know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from my Father.

 Here is William Magee in his “Discourses and dissertations on the scriptural doctrine of atonement and sacrifice” (1832).

 “The Son of God had descended from heaven and had disrobed himself of the Glory which he had with the Father, before the world began ; that he had assumed the form of the humblest and most degraded of men ; that, submitting to a life of reproach, and want, and sorrow, he had closed the scene with a death of ignominy and torture ; and, that, through this voluntary degradation and suffering, a way of reconciliation with the Supreme Being had been opened to the whole human race, and an atonement made for those transgressions, from the punishment of which unassisted reason could have devised no means of escape, — these are truths, which prejudice and pride could not fail, at all times, to have rejected; and these are truths, to which the irreligion and self-sufficiency of the present day oppose obstacles not less insurmountable than those which the prejudice of the Jew, and the philosophy of the Greek, presented in the age of the Apostle, For at this day, when we boast a wider diffusion of learning, and more extensive acquirements of moral knowledge, do we not find these fundamental truths of Revelation questioned ? Do we not see the haughtiness of lettered scepticism presuming to reject the proffered terms of Salvation, because it cannot trace, with the finger of human science, the connection between the cross of Christ and the redemption of man?”

 The Son of God disrobed  his life, was not robbed of it.

 

Related: Of funerals, homilies and no train to catch.https://onedaringjew.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/of-funerals-homilies-and-having-no-train-to-catch/

 

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28 thoughts on “Disrobed not robbed: The Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ

  1. From 1832 to the present, Magee’s question (Do we not see the haughtiness of lettered scepticism presuming to reject the proffered terms of Salvation, because it cannot trace, with the finger of human science, the connection between the cross of Christ and the redemption of man?”) proves salvation is of God alone since humanity fails to see the self-deception of relying on themselves as sole arbiter of truth.

    However, He said the fields, at least in some cases, are white for the harvest. Since God is always electing some until the full number of the Gentiles (together with a remnant of Jews chosen by grace-Ro.11.5) we can hold forth the word of life as lights in the world (Phil.2.15b-16a).

    • Magee (No not Magoo, Elmer) is referred to in Joseph Fry’s very good “Joseph and Benjamin.” Anglican Bishop Magee was an extraordinary man. His book on the atonement is magistral. The best books, Christian and otherwise, were written pre 1900. And they’re free on he web.

  2. About suffering (your last post) and this one, some thoughts came to mind that I have been thinking about a lot lately, as I did about 25 years ago. I think what Jesus was trying to teach humanity– most of all, the tribe he loved ( because that tribe IS the chosen tribe to deliver many messages to humanity) is that we each are here as aspects of G-d , one with G-d, so much so that we have to and get to develop our own expression of that Oneness. As the two things that matter most according to Jesus are the Shema and “Love thy neighbor as thy self”, living as a Jew seems and feels to me, all that is needed to fulfill Jesus’ message. Where it gets interesting is using his life and words to embody what he was teaching about suffering, and that part is that through some life event that causes death of the ego, it is the only way we learn that we are One. Just as you say, Jesus was disrobed, not robbed ( of his essence, his life force energy, his Oneness), his ego and body crushed but not his true identity, his soul, the G-d within him. G-d is One, we are One even when not exalted. Through suffering, death of the ego, we emerge knowing and feeling that Oneness, having love for ourselves and for every other person. That is everlasting life– to feel inside that there are no real separations or boundaries— there should only be felt by us that love that we each are, yet it has to be learned and experienced through life situations. In my Catholic up bringing, I was very devout yet hit a crisis at age 21 when I married, rather than be sexually sinning ( as the Church would say). This was a grave mistake (miserable!) that made me realize at a young age how the Church created a culture of piety through self denial— instead of teaching joy and that when suffering comes, know what Jesus taught to help you in your despair, there is a 24-7 emphasis on suffering and self denial. If you try to follow the work of Jesus through the Church– or at least in my experience– you may create a downward spiral that could put you in hell on earth. Many live that way their entire lives, in self denial because they think it makes them superior ( not at One!) with others and they think this is what being close to G-d is. And they scorn and judge and disapprove of anyone else being full of life and happiness–or anyone with a different orientation to G-d and life, such as the Jews (“they just don’t get it” kind of attitude). So to me, it makes me want to live as a Jew where I feel the joy, self assertion or argument with G-d— healthy discourse, and keeping the two things Jesus said matter the most– the Shema and love thy neighbor.

    • Elaine yours in quotes followed by my comments

      “Jesus was trying to teach humanity… we each are here as aspects of G-d , one with G-d, so much so that we have to and get to develop our own expression of that Oneness.”

      The rabbis do talk of people (some rabbis limit it to the Jews) being “a piece of God above.” If they mean one with God in his eternal being, this is unbiblical. But then the rabbis are not restricted to the Bible; they claim, like the Roman Catholic Church, to have divine revelation outside the Bible – the “Oral Torah.”

      “aspects of God” – if you mean we share some of God’s attributes – those he built into our spirits/souls – such as a will, a mind, emotions (called his “communicable” attributes, then yes. This is what “image” of God means. I wrote on this topic here https://onedaringjew.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/what-does-man-is-the-image-of-god-mean/.

      “As the two things that matter most according to Jesus are the Shema and “Love thy neighbor as thy self”, living as a Jew seems and feels to me, all that is needed to fulfill Jesus’ message.”

      Let me see if I understand you correctly: are you saying that the reason why Jesus came into the world was to teach mankind how to follow Torah properly?

      Another question: Do you believe that Jesus was nomore than a man?

      “Where it gets interesting is using his life and words to embody what he was teaching about suffering, and that part is that through some life event that causes death of the ego, it is the only way we learn that we are One… having love for ourselves and for others.”

      So, Jesus was teaching that his suffering and ours is to teach us to conquer our egos through some event – of his life and of ours? What do you think is the most crucial event in Jesus’ life?

      “That is everlasting life– to feel inside that there are no real separations or boundaries— there should only be felt by us that love that we each are, yet it has to be learned and experienced through life situations.”

      Do you think that this description of eternal life is the same as what Jesus says it is?

      “… the Church created a culture of piety through self denial— instead of teaching joy and that when suffering comes, know what Jesus taught to help you in your despair, there is a 24-7 emphasis on suffering and self denial.”

      Jesus did say

      Mark 8 – “34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

      John 16 – 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

      What is problematic in Roman Catholicism is the idea that suffering in itself is redemptive. So it doesn’t matter what you believe about Jesus. The emphasis in modern Roman Catholicism is not to trust in Jesus but to love your neighbour (feed the hungry, etc.). Mother Teresa never tried to tell the dying about Jesus. She said “I try to reconcile them with their Gods. Actually, you seem to be saying the same thing with your view of “Oneness,” which seems to mean “God is himself and everyone else.”

      “If you try to follow the work of Jesus through the Church– or at least in my experience– you may create a downward spiral that could put you in hell on earth.”

      The Roman Catholic Church is works based – sacraments, masses, indulgences, rosaries and doing acts of charity. (The latter is, of course, very biblical).

      “Many live that way their entire lives, in self denial because they think it makes them superior ( not at One!) with others and they think this is what being close to G-d is.”

      Some may feel superior, others hopeless.

      “And they scorn and judge and disapprove of anyone else being full of life and happiness–or anyone with a different orientation to G-d and life, such as the Jews (“they just don’t get it” kind of attitude). So to me, it makes me want to live as a Jew where I feel the joy, self assertion or argument with G-d— healthy discourse, and keeping the two things Jesus said matter the most– the Shema and love thy neighbor.”

      Joy, self-assertion, argument with God, healthy discourse. You’ve summed up the rabbinic literature well. Are you intimating that self-assertion and argument with God are the root of joy?

      As far as enjoying life, many Roman Catholics – and Jews – know how to have a good time.

      Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
      There’s always laughter and good red wine.
      At least I’ve always found it so.
      Benedicamus Domino!
      Hilaire Belloc (1870 – 1953)

      • I’m enjoying this feast here with you, that’s for sure! Beautifully described—so let’s see if I can answer your questions. I’ll start with the last one first and then go from the top. You asked me if I am intimating that self-assertion and argument with G-d are the root of joy. In my own personal experience, that would be true! I grew up passive in my orientation and devout, absorbing the idea suffering as a pathway to heaven. In my own journey to understand G-d on earth as I live, I only truly built that relationship when I began to argue (assert my truths back to) G-d. And I literally felt laughter and joy from above, and still do. However I am not stating that others should do what I am doing, I’d say the entire point of it is to do as each person feels called to do in order to have that meaningful and sacred relationship with G-d. I cannot and would not tell someone else how to build that relationship. I am sharing my own discoveries, that is all.

        You ask if I am saying whether or not Jesus came into the world to teach us how to follow Torah properly. If the most important prayer in Torah is the Shema, Hear O Israel, the Lord is One. Love the Lord thy G-d with all your heart, all your soul, all your might, then I’d say Jesus was leading people back to the sensational and blissful meaning in that message, as well as in “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. I do not think he was saying, “The way to be close to G-d or to find everlasting life is to read Torah”, no. He was going for a non-ritualistic emphasis and love mattered most. But if you follow those commandments, it will get you there–at least it does for me. I think what he was trying to do with his life is show us that (and this answers your next question on if Jesus was “no more than man”) we are each G-ds ourselves, as we are at ONE with G-d and if we only knew that, we could co-create, live in joy, love others unconditionally and allow the temporary persona/ego die in order to save ourselves from the idea that suffering is tantamount to G-d’s absence in our lives, or of His wrath and punishment. The times Jesus lived in called for someone to save and uphold the Jewish people–a mighty king who would stop the constant slaughtering of the Jews. He was trying to teach, in my opinion, that G-d is still very present even when we do not feel exalted on earth. But nothing he taught is non-Jewish in my opinion. For me, it takes me back to all there is–the Shema and Love thy neighbor as thyself. But again, each person has to have their own discovery, I’m not preaching, just sharing.

        When Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it”, I believe he was saying that when we desperately hold on to our current idea of self (ego, personification) through a life struggle, we will not grow, we will lose that essence of life that is greater than ego, greater than our current notion of self. When I was a child, reading that Jesus instructed his followers to leave everything behind and go follow him, it was in a literal way confusing. And I did just what he said–I went on my own with nothing to do work among the poor. But unlike Mother Teresa, I wanted to have children (and besides, women can’t just safely go out and about on their own, they get their periods and have nesting instincts and want to gather surroundings for an environment that will be safe and nurturing for children–at least in many women–including me) so some of those messages were confusing.

        The reason why suffering is redemptive in the Roman Catholic perspective is because Jesus taught through his suffering that being utterly destroyed unites you with G-d, or that through your suffering, you can find G-d anew (which each person experiences in their own way). This is true if you come out of the depth of misery with your soul intact (meaning if you come through life experiences with a deeper and stronger spirit and comprehension of self in relation to G-d and fellow man). For example, if I have an illness I can feel more compassion for others and it “sets me free” from fear because it has taught me love. If I have a trauma, but come out of it alive and having endured something, I may have more compassion to serve others and to embrace joy without the need for self-centered focus or the sense of ego that doesn’t provide inner peace. For me, this great message Jesus brought gave me a way to embrace life in a different way than the way I had been relating to G-d–and so I learned what I needed to learn. I again do not say my experience would be like anyone else’s, but I’m describing my own.

  3. Elaine your
    “You ask if I am saying whether or not Jesus came into the world to teach us how to follow Torah properly. If the most important prayer in Torah is the Shema, Hear O Israel, the Lord is One. Love the Lord thy G-d with all your heart, all your soul, all your might, then I’d say Jesus was leading people back to the sensational and blissful meaning in that message, as well as in “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. I do not think he was saying, “The way to be close to G-d or to find everlasting life is to read Torah”, no. He was going for a non-ritualistic emphasis and love mattered most. But if you follow those commandments, it will get you there–at least it does for me.”

    So you reject/ignore the heart of the New Testament, namely, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ?

    • Reject? No, not at all! Ignore- definitely not. Do you think Jews ignore forgiveness of sins? I ask because I think the sacrifice Jesus made changed the perception of sin. Jesus sacrificed his life to make it so sin no longer would have its terrible power over us. Each individual can understand that sins can be forgiven without having to pay a middleman, and it is each person’s choice to forgive himself and others. I’m saying that I feel that Jews understand this and practice and teach forgiveness. I am not saying that Jesus did something that is ignorable– but the gift was given and the wirld changed. Individuals now can exercise their own will to let sin kill them over time ( crushed spirits, unresolved anger– whatever) or to practice forgiveness. I know everyone loves to keep a sword slashed between Christianity and Judaism like we have to be for one team or another, but I don’t experience it that way.

      • Why do you think Judaism rejects substitionary atonement, namely, that someone else could pay for your sins? They, of course, reject Christ’s substitutionary atonement.

        Do you think that those who reject Christ are condemned, and do you think this condemnation takes the form of eternal damnation?

        • Good question (and I see you ended up w/ both of my responses–sorry!). I hear rabbis say they don’t need a redeemer, but each person probably contemplates what Jesus said each in his own way, those scholars and rabbis who study the New Testament. I suppose the Jewish perspective is perhaps a kind of thing where you redeem yourself (in the end this is true in that we have free will to save ourselves from misery or not) and have not the right to or place to redeem another soul unto G-d. If Jesus was not understood by Jews to be a more evolved soul bringing salvation to the earth, then it would be odd to allow him or anyone else to take your sins away–since that would be between a person and G-d. Because I was raised Catholic, I have no trouble feeling deeply moved by the idea that Jesus did sacrifice his life to open up and reform the thinking and positions of mankind in relation to sin and forgiveness. And Jews are beginning to have discussions about ways in which Jesus made an impact. You ask if I think that those who reject Christ are condemned or damned eternally to hell, and I do not. What I think is that hell is in the experience of the soul, while alive and same as while without the physical body. We are either in a state of spiritual peace or hell. We all know what it feels like to be suspended in misery, to be separated from bliss or peace (G-d). I feel the story of Jesus shows us to lift ourselves out of the misery straight into the hands of G-d, to ask to be forgiven, saved, helped and supported. If Jesus is the redeemer, he loves everyone as a child who does not yet understand, it’s unconditional love, not “damn you to hell, stupid!” This is a construct for a religious institution to keep itself a functioning club. It is fear based and at times abusive. However, if I am wrong, and I won’t know for absolute sure until I die, then G-d help me. But this is how I perceive it at this point in time. What about you?

            • I’ll have to work on that, so ill dig up quotes etc another time. I think by your comment you believe what I say doesn’t reflect the New Testament. I grew up in catechism every week and mass at least once a week, since the age of six and did not miss Holy Days straight through into young adulthood. I appreciate your passion for it! I respect you in your discoveries and impressions and hope you do mine as well. Thanks!

                • I have of course read and still do read the New Testament and maybe you’ll inspire me to delve deeper in– can’t hurt. But you seem to condescend here so I’ll excuse myself. The best thing is the NT speaks to you and makes you feel fulfilled and that’s great!

                  • By condescending, are you referring to my question, “What sources are you reading?” I AM horrible sometimes.

                    When one of my daughters was a teenager she used to bring home a bunch of her school friends. I used to ask them, “read any good books lately?”

                    By “speaks to you” do you mean one man’s meat is another woman’s poisson (fish).

                    • Oui? I think it’s fascinating how moved we are to answer an inner voice, one that pulled you from your Jewish roots and me toward Jusaism. G-d works through people in mysterious ways as they say. There must be a reason for this. You are so bright and alive with it all, and I am but each in our own ways. How we experience G-d is where the meat and fish seem to be!

            • I will say that I get discouraged with the NT at times– as beautiful and powerful as the Gospels are, Paul never personally met Jesus and all but the Gospel of John I understand was written 100 years later after the death of Jesus. The letters that most intrigue me are James the Just but decisions were made to include only one of his. He was the one who kept the teachings alive according to what Jesus wanted, at the Temple. Paul was called to Jerusalem many times to explain himself. What is like to know is what kind of Judaism did Jesus want bec he did not want a separate religion from what I understand.

              • Elaine.
                Your “the Gospel of John I understand was written 100 years later after the death of Jesus.”

                Impossible. The temple was destroyed in 70 AD. “Temple” is mentioned in 14 places in John, for example,

                John 2:15-20
                he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
                18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

                There is no mention of a destroyed temple anywhere in the NT. Do you think such a devastating event would have been omitted? Unless you think the NT is a fabrication.

                What sources are you reading?

                • I thought I said all but the Gospel if John was written 100 years after. John’s is the only one not written so long after. I really shouldn’t reply tonight bec it’s late and I’m using my iPhone and not proof reading what ice written.

                  • Yep, you did say “all BUT the Gospel of John was written a hundred years after.” Forgive. But that, of course, doesn’t change the point that all of the NT must have been written pre-70 AD.

                    • I just mean that I am very famiar with the NT and truly love it beyond words but am frustrated by them becayse i love learning about the historical Jesus and translations and discourse over what he truly said vs what is in the NT get my attention. I have read Elaine Pagels’ The Gnostic Gospels, some A.N. Wilson, of course the recent Zealot by Aslan. I’ve got Dying For God and Jesus Through Jewish Eyes. I’m interested in your passion and personal evolution with G-d as much as I am with my own impressions because I love G-d. But I’m not an academic, I’m an artist so I communicate best visually. So we seem to whack around but never hear each other here. The thing that matters must is we are seekers of G-d.

                    • The gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John) maintains that one gains access to God through (faith in) Christ alone; the Christ described as the substitutionary sacrifice for sins. Judaism regards belief in Christ as the mediator, the only mediator, between God and man as blasphemy. So, how do you reconcile your attraction to Judaism, which handed Jesus over to Pilate for claiming to be equal to God?

                      Do you believe with Pagels that your personal beliefs offers you access to God?

                      You say,

                      “I’m not an academic, I’m an artist so I communicate best visually.”
                      Surely the Bible is about words, which everyone, including artists, need to engage with.

                      Would you say that one’s beliefs have eternal consequences, which in the NT of Christianity are either eternal life or eternal damnation?

                  • Women sometimes will give away to any consideration of truth in name of a sentimental affinity that most of the time comes from the desire to make amendment for injustice. Jews suffered injustices and women will consider the Jewish religion as their own. It is only a pity that truth is going to get lost. Usually people who are going after this sentimental affinity do not go after the religious truth anyway, it is not important. In losing sight of the truth perhaps other injustices will occur and again there will be amendment based on the wrong premises and so on.

                    • Not sure about the gender specifics but if ” sentimental affinity” is the same as empathy and compassion– love thy neighbor as thyself– this is the truth Jesus taught us to embody, to recognize G-d in all others.

                    • No quotation in this case…my thoughts…and for sure there are others who are thinking right now the same 🙂
                      By the way if I had written something about…Mary…you would not have thought that my thoughts were interesting…it’s funny for me 🙂 if not for you

                    • The reason why I asked whether you were quoting is because I am familiar with your writing style, and it didn’t “sound” like your style. With regard to Mary, I imagine it is difficult to say anything that has not been said about the dear mother of the Saviour.

                      Elaine and I are panting for your response to her.

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