'Hole In The Rock' Grave
Question: The tomb where Jesus was buried... Where is it? What does it look like? Is there a picture of the tomb? Can you visit the burial site of Jesus? Answer: It would be really nice if I could tell you that the photo above is of the tomb that Jesus once was laid in. Though this tomb, well outside of Jerusalem, serves as a great example of a first century burial place, that's all it is... a great example. In the fax to San Diego, USA on April 17, 1994 this strange fact was thus written: "A light then shone on the earth over the "grave" and Lord Jesus rose up in a meditating position." The word "grave" is in inverted commas to emphasize uncertainty; that it is not a normally accepted description of a grave! (No mention was made of it being inside a rock mound.) Kash's father had to emphasize the uncertainty of "grave" as he had no idea what type of burial place his son was talking about. All he knew was that graves were below the ground, and definitely not above it.
Part of fax sent to San Diego, USA, on April 17, 1994.
Subsequently, after more than two years, he was found to be absolutely right. The Holy Spirit Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi did take him to witness the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ as it took place two thousand years ago!
On May 28, 1996, at 5.55 a.m. this precise mystical description by Kash of Jesus' tomb were confirmed for the first time. On page 197 of Dan Costian's Bible Enlightened the following facts, as witnessed by the Gospels just after the crucifixion, were obtained by his father: "On the day before Passover at about the sixth hour (at noon) Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified (John 19:14,16). He was taken to Golgotha (Gulgultha, in Aramaic), the place of the skull (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17) where He was put on the cross (Matthew 27:35; John 19:18) at the third hour (Mark 15:25). From the sixth to the ninth hour (between 12 and 3 o'clock [p.m.]) the whole land was covered with darkness (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44). At the ninth hour (3 o'clock p.m.) Jesus died (Matthew 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:46).In the evening (Matthew 27:57) of the preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:50; John 19:38) Joseph of Arimathaea, having obtained Pilate's consent, took the body down from the cross, wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb hewn in the rock and rolled a great stone across the entrance (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42)."
Dan Costian, Bible Enlightened, 1995, p. 197.
Other sources point to the same fact of Jesus' grave:
"In Jesus' day, the dead of wealthy families were typically laid to rest in family burial places in use for generations, either caves or tombs cut into soft rock. Although criminals were usually interred in the trench graves where the poor were laid to rest, Jesus did not receive a criminal's burial. Since his own family would not have owned a burial spot near Jerusalem, a follower names Joseph of Arimathea arranged to bury Jesus in his own unused tomb in a garden near Golgotha. Such tombs usually had one or more irregular chambers with ledges where the bodies were placed and were accessible only by a short, low-ceilinged, ramp like shaft. No coffin was used. As suggested in the Gospels, a rough boulder or a specially cut closing stone blocked the entrance, basically to protect the corpse from jackals."
The Story of Jesus, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1993, p. 298.
"Biblical scholars try to pinpoint the Resurrection
From Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walter Rodgers
"The earliest preaching insisted that Jesus was actually alive after being actually dead. No feature of the Christian message caused more intellectual problems, or more rejection in the Greek world, and some recent trends in Western thought have found it equally hard to accommodate. But in the Christian movement as a whole, belief in the resurrection of Christ has obstinately remained a fixed point. It is fundamental to the conviction of the triumph of God and of good in the face of the crucifixion of Jesus [15:177-242]. There has followed from it the conviction of the eventual resurrection of the rest of the race."
John R. Hinnells, A Handbook of Living Religions
JERUSALEM (CNN) — This weekend, hundreds of millions of Christians will be commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth and celebrating his resurrection.The Resurrection in the Holy Land some 2,000 years ago is a central tenet of Christian faith, symbolizing life and hope and triumph over death.
Biblical scholars have identified at least two possible sites of Golgotha, the tomb from which Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead. One is within the walls of modern Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The other is a cave-like structure outside the ancient city of Jerusalem.
"We don't have striking evidence (either site) is the place. We have circumstantial evidence for both places," said Israeli archeologist Rame Arav.
Most Christians believe the tomb inside Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher is Golgotha, according to one biblical scholar.
"Christians who come to the Holy Sepulcher have a 99 percent certitude that Golgotha is where it's said to be. You can actually see the rock beneath the glass," said the Rev. Jerry Murphy O'Connor, a Dominican scholar.
Christians believe the rock is the one that was placed in front of the tomb of Jesus. But Jewish burials were required to be a certain distance from the Second Temple and the Holy Sepulcher tomb is too close, according to some scholars.
A cave outside the ancient city, near a first century Jewish tomb, is another possible resurrection site.
"We believe the Romans may have used this as a crucifixion site," said O'Connor.
Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Christ, according to the Bible, but, "Why a woman?"
"I believe in the Jesus movement women were extremely important. They were probably more numerous than men and I think they had a deeper intuitive, sympathetic understanding of what he was trying to achieve than men," said O'Connor."
CNN, April 6, 1996
"The Resurrection Of Christ (PDF format) ...one of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the gospel. If Christ be not risen, our faith is vain (1 Cor. 15:14). The whole of the New Testament revelation rests on this as an historical fact. On the day of Pentecost Peter argued the necessity of Christ's resurrection from the prediction in Ps. 16 (Acts 2:24-28). In his own discourses, also, our Lord clearly intimates his resurrection (Matt. 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 18:33; John 2:19-22).The evangelists give circumstantial accounts of the facts connected with that event, and the apostles, also, in their public teaching largely insist upon it. Ten different appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament. They may be arranged as follows:
(1.) To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is recorded at length only by John (20:11-18), and alluded to by Mark (16:9-11).
(2.) To certain women, the other Mary, Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the sepulchre. Matthew (28:1-10) alone gives an account of this. (Compare Mark 16:1-8, and Luke 24:1-11.)
(3.) To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.)
(4.) To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection, recorded fully only by Luke (24:13-35. Compare Mark 16:12, 13).
(5.) To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others "with them," at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance, John (20:19-24).
(6.) To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28. See also 1 Cor. 15:5).
(7.) To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of this appearance also John (21:1-23) alone gives an account.
(8.) To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an appointed place in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; compare Matt. 28:16-20).
(9.) To James, but under what circumstances we are not informed (1 Cor. 15:7).
(10.) To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they saw him ascend"till a cloud received him out of their sight" (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).
It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42, 43; John 21:12, 13).
(11.) In addition to the above, mention might be made of Christ's manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Savior (Acts 9:3-9, 17; 1 Cor. 15:8; 9:1).
It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may have been other appearances of which we have no record.
The resurrection is spoken of as the act (1) of God the Father (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:24; 3:15; Rom. 8:11; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; Heb. 13:20); (2) of Christ himself (John 2:19; 10:18); and (3) of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
The resurrection is a public testimony of Christ's release from his undertaking as surety, and an evidence of the Father's acceptance of his work of redemption. It is a victory over death and the grave for all his followers.
"And now an absurd problem came up: 'How could God have permitted that? For this question the deranged reason of the little community found a downright terrifying absurd answer: God gave his Son for forgiveness of sins, as a sacrifice. All at once it was all over with the Gospel! The guilt sacrifice, and that in its most repulsive, barbaric form, the sacrifice of the innocent man for the sins of the guilty! What atrocious paganism! — For Jesus had done away with the concept 'guilt' itself — he had denied any chasm between God and man, he lived this unity of God and man as his 'glad tidings' ... And not as a special prerogative!"
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ
The importance of Christ's resurrection will be seen when we consider that if he rose the gospel is true, and if he rose not it is false. His resurrection from the dead makes it manifest that his sacrifice was accepted. Our justification was secured by his obedience to the death, and therefore he was raised from the dead (Rom. 4:25). His resurrection is a proof that he made a full atonement for our sins, that his sacrifice was accepted as a satisfaction to divine justice, and his blood a ransom for sinners. It is also a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all believers (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:47-49; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2). As he lives, they shall live also.
It proved him to be the Son of God, inasmuch as it authenticated all his claims (John 2:19; 10:17)."If Christ did not rise, the whole scheme of redemption is a failure, and all the predictions and anticipations of its glorious results for time and for eternity, for men and for angels of every rank and order, are proved to be chimeras. 'But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.' Therefore the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation. The kingdom of darkness has been overthrown, Satan has fallen as lightning from heaven, and the triumph of truth over error, of good over evil, of happiness over misery is for ever secured." Hodge.
With reference to the report which the Roman soldiers were bribed (Matt. 28:12-14) to circulate concerning Christ's resurrection," his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept," Matthew Henry in his "Commentary," under John 20:1-10, fittingly remarks, "The grave-clothes in which Christ had been buried were found in very good order, which serves for an evidence that his body was not 'stolen away while men slept.' Robbers of tombs have been known to take away 'the clothes' and leave the body; but none ever took away 'the body' and left the clothes, especially when they were 'fine linen' and new (Mark 15:46). Anyone would rather choose to carry a dead body in its clothes than naked. Or if they that were supposed to have stolen it would have left the grave-clothes behind, yet it cannot be supposed they would find leisure to 'fold up the linen.'"
Note: The Gospel of Mary from the Nag Hammadi Library reveals the deeper mystical experiences and superior spiritual understanding of Mary Magdalene which are more consistent with Christ's teachings. When Peter questions Mary Magdalene about her gnostic experience with Shri Jesus, she replies:
"I, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him, 'Lord I saw you today in a vision.'" He answered and said to me, "Blessed are you that you did not waver at the sight of me. For where the mind is, there is the treasure." I said to him," Lord, how does he who sees the vision see it through the soul or through the spirit?' The Saviour answered, "He does not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind which [is] between the two — that is [what] see the vision and it is [.............]" (the mid- section of the original text is missing from here.)
"Although interpreters like Mr. Perry are confident that Scripture can provide a good idea of ''what happened'' and a reasonable basis for faith, they do not think the reality of the Resurrection could ever be strictly proved. They even worry whether the teaching is being made meaningful for those who do believe. ''I've asked mainline clergy year after year, 'How many times each year do you preach on any of these Resurrection texts?' '' Mr. Perry says. '' 'Once' is almost invariably the answer.'' Dr. Church also expresses concern that the abstract arguments for and against the Resurrection finally don't meet the needs of his congregation. Instead, he has often preached about the impact of the Resurrection on Peter. Peter, Dr. Church says, is a symbol of our human weakness. In his encounters with the risen Jesus, Peter, who had publicly denied being a disciple, is forgiven and accepts forgiveness, becoming the ''rock'' on which the church is built. This, Dr. Church adds, is ''a clearer entry point than the empty tomb.'' For Mr. Perry, the empty tomb will unavoidably be the entry point for his Easter preaching. That passage from Mark's Gospel is the appointed reading this Easter in the common lectionary used by Catholics, Lutherans and Episcopalians. It is ''a very enigmatic tale,'' says Mr. Perry, which ends with the women running away from the tomb trembling, bewildered and too fearful to tell anyone what they had discovered. The women were looking for Christ among the dead, and contemporary Christians do the same when they consider the Resurrection only a matter of the past, he said. ''A dead Jesus offends no one,'' he noted, but the Resurrection reveals a living Jesus who challenges Christians today. ''The good news is that Jesus is not in the tomb, in the past,'' Mr. Perry said. ''He is in the future, going before us to Galilee.''
QUOTES OF Spirit-PARACLETE SHRI MATAJI
"What Christ did there are many people; I read the other day one book saying that He never resurrected himself. I must say they scientifically, they proved scientifically. Can you imagine? How can you prove scientifically I don't understand.
According to them He was, He didn't die. Of course He cannot die! He is an eternal being. I know that. That part is correct; that He never died. He died the way a divine has to die, but He resurrected himself as a divine has to resurrect. He definitely resurrected himself, but these scientists were not there to see.
Then He descended again; that's a different point altogether. But He definitely resurrected His divine body.
But He had such a beautiful, confident personality after that, that, wherever He went He left a great imprint on them.
But this is the trouble that they try to prove everything scientifically. You cannot prove Christ's resurrection scientifically. That's why you cannot deny it either.
What He did at the grosser level at that time has to happen within you. That He has done. That's why they say you have to pass through Him. He has done that for you. He has really done it. And we have to see that happening within us.
Not by saying that: 'Now we follow Christ.' And you have one big flag: 'Followers of Christ.' You see, we are all Christian soldiers walking, and we believe in Christ, and we are all resurrected.' NO! YOU ARE NOT. You are not. At the most, if you are a good Christian or a good Hindu, good Muslim—good, again I say—then you are well balanced for your Resurrection.
But if you are not even that, then it's a problem for Me and a problem for you ... the way people have carried this simple method, of organizing people into better lives, into something so absurd — like hating each other, killing each other or all sorts of things you know. It has nothing to do with God. Believe Me. And 'we are the chosen ones', and 'we are the best', and 'we are the selected' — this is self-certificate.
If I say I am the graduate of Cambridge University how long can I befool myself and others, which I am not. In the same way we have to be really, really get our certificates from ourselves that we are evolved; not from anybody else.
So we boil down to this point that we have to be really, really honest with ourselves because it is our loss; nobody else, that so far we have not achieved that state of Spirit, and that in all humility we are going to achieve it. We have to achieve it, and that we have to accept that this should happen.
It's a very simple thing. There is no complication if you have not complicated yourself much. But even if you have, the divine power knows how to disentangle you, and work it out. This is the blessing of the Divine where you become the Spirit and then you reach your Absolute, from where there is no doubt.
If you want to know what happened you just start feeling a Cool Breeze into your hands, from your hands. And then you ask a question, 'Is there God?' and the Breeze is much more. If you ask about a thug, 'Is he a good man?', and then it stops. This rapport is established with your Spirit. It speaks to you as a Cool Breeze. This Cool Breeze in the hand is the energy of your Spirit flowing by which your diseases get cured, and you can cure the diseases of others. You can raise the Kundalinis of others, and give the Realization. And you can enjoy the beauty of Nature, not thinking about it or grossly vaulting it, but just enjoying in a full way. This is the short and sweet.
But it is such a long story started thousands of years back, and today it is just reaching its climax. The fruit is just going to be formed. It's just the Blossom Time has come for this story, and if the seekers co-operate I am sure it will work out. Have all the hopes. May God bless you."
The Spirit-Paraclete Shri Mataji
All Is Beautifully Made, Hampstead, U.K. — April 22, 1982
"Now we have seen in His life (Jesus) that He was absolutely spotlessly immaculate. He had no defects in Him. He was a perfect personality. Then why did He want to resurrect one can ask? What is in His time is the Resurrection?His Resurrection is like making the way through the Agnya Chakra for all of you to pass through it. He was like the Gate, or we should say He was the One who opened the Gate for all of you. Because He was so perfect He had no problems as we have of our Chakras, our Kundalini. He had no problems.
But He was the complete compassion of, in the nature of vibrations. Vibrations became complete compassion. So much so that even when He was resurrected and even before that when He was crucified He said that," Oh God the Father, please forgive these people because they do not know what they are doing."Such forgiveness, such compassion, and The Mother had to watch all that, keeping quiet because that was the game, that was the thing one has to do. He had to play His game and He played it so well.
So when we talk about Christ we have to remember one thing that He has done all this for us. Now what are we going to do for Him? He is the pattern we have to follow. Supposing if that is the pattern we have to follow then it's not that we carry the cross on our shoulder — that's not the pattern you have to follow. Many people think because He carried the cross, we carry the cross. Anybody can carry the cross. If you in India give about five rupees to a loader he can carry a cross across. What is so great about it? What's so great in carrying a cross on your shoulder? Any wrestler can do it. Anybody can do it. That's not the point. The point is we have to carry the work of Christ, of Resurrection. That is what we have to realize. We have to understand the importance of our being, of our lives, like Christ understood that He has come for this great Job here. And though He came as a human being — though He came as an ordinary son of an ordinary carpenter, though on this Earth He had a body and He lived like other human beings — still He knew what He had to do. He knew what He had to achieve and He achieved it. I think His was the most difficult task which He achieved and which He finished it so well that today we are having all the benefits of that."
The Spirit-Paraclete Shri Mataji
"At the time of Shri Krishna He dared speak about spirituality only to one person and that one was Arjuna. But we are much better off these days. Then, of course, of course after Shri Krishna who took the lead was Christ; and He started talking about spirituality. Even you'll be surprised that Abraham or Moses did not talk of spirituality. They talked about God but not of spirituality. Till Christ came nobody said that you have to be born again even in the, on the other side of the world!"
The Spirit-Paraclete Shri Mataji
Ipswich, U.K. — August 19, 1990
"Now we have to openly say and tell these fundamentalists, 'You don't know about the Truth, or the Power that is working. You are stupid people running after something that is a mirage and all of you will end up in hell.' You may tell people that the new Announcement has to come to say that running after falsehood is not going to take you to God. We believe in the Power of Love and not in the power of hatred. We believe that everyone is capable of finding the Truth and getting to the Heaven of that Paradise which is promised to us — the Kingdom of God."
The Spirit-Paraclete Shri Mataji
The Announcement, Sahasrara Puja, Fuiggi, Italy — May 6, 1990
"Given all these testimonies, Christ's Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples' faith was drastically put to test by their master's Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold.  The shock provoked by Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an "Idle tale". When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening," he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen."
(503. Cf. Lk 22:31-32; 504. Lk 24:11, cf. Mk 16:11, 13; 505. Mk 16:14.)
J. Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
"Christ stands at the heart of this gathering of men into the 'family of God.'... But above all in the great Paschal mystery — his death on the cross and his resurrection — he would accomplish the coming of his kingdom. 'And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.' Into this union with Christ all men are called."
(250. Jn 12:32; cf. LG 3.)
J. Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
"God 'desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth' : that is, of Christ Jesus.  Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach the ends of the earth:
God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all the peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations. "
(29. 1Tim 2:4; 30. Cf. Jn 14:6; 31. DV 7; cf. 2 Cor 1:20, 3:16-4:6.
J. Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
"When we move on to the biblical narrative of Jesus' resurrection, we discover another series of problems present in the contradictions found in the Gospel texts. Almost every detail of the resurrection of Jesus appearing in one Gospel is contradicted in another Gospel. Yet Christianity was born in whatever the experience of the Easter moment was, and if no ultimate reality resides in that experience, then, in Paul's words, our 'faith is in vain' (Cor. 15:14). Such a faith is also probably destined not to be eternal.
But what was the experience that has come to be called the resurrection? Did its reality differ from the description of it given in the Gospel narratives? Can we get beyond those biblical words to a place where we can touch the uninterpreted essence of Easter? Is the truth of Easter bound in time, or is it beyond time and therefore beyond history? Since the experience of resurrection is absolutely essential to the rise of Christianity, this creedal phrase becomes the great divide for the modern man or woman who yearns to be a believer. Where each of us stands in relation to this issue will determine more than most any other whether or not we can still be defined as Christians.
The text of this creed moves on, driving us next into what the church has traditionally called 'the second coming' and 'the final judgment.' What meaning can the phrase 'He will come again to judge the living and the dead' have as the third millennium of the common era takes center stage? The New Testament clearly expected the almost momentary return of Jesus to this earth (John 14:3; Matt 16:27; Mark 9:1). Yet that return has not occurred. Was that Gospel anticipation another example of inaccuracies in the biblical account?
Beyond that problem, however, we need to ask what the judgment of God means in the light of the way life is now understood. What is the basis on which what the Bible calls the final judgment will be conducted? When the Bible was written, the people knew little or nothing about social and psychological interdependence. Can anyone be judged today simply as an individual who is solely responsible for who he or she is or for what he or she has done? Postmodern people who know the depths of human interconncetedness, who understand psychological wounding and blessing, cannot be moralistic in the way these traditional creedal images of judgment have always assumed...
When we examine the history of the Church, it appears that guilt, not forgiveness, has been the great lever of ecclesiastical control. Guilt has also been the source of so much of the Church's power. The Church's faith in life after death has been predicated on that guilt being alleviated, purged, or punished eternally. How do the realities fit into this great creedal crescendo?..
Many of us can continue to be believers only if we are able to be honest believers. We want to be people of faith, not people drugged on the narcotic of religion. We are not able to endure the mental lobotomy that one suspects is the faith of those who project themselves as the unquestioning religious citizens of our age. We do not want to be among those who fear that if we think about what we say about God, either our minds will close down or our faith will explode. We are not drawn to those increasingly defensive religious answers of our generation. Nor are we willing to pretend that those ancient words still have the power and meaning for us if they do not. We wonder if it is still possible to be a believer and a citizen of our century at the same time."
John Shelby Spong, Why Christianity Must Change Or Die
"In the wake of the Second World War, Mohandas K. Gandhi — called Mahatma ("great-souled") by the Hindu people he was to lead to independence — was asked what Jesus meant to him. His answer was published in the popular weekly magazine Liberty.
Although a great part of my life has been devoted to the study of religion and to discussion with religious leaders of all faiths, I know that I cannot avoid seeming presumptuous in writing about the figure of Jesus and trying to explain what significance and meaning he has had for me. I do so solely because I have been told more than once by certain Christian friends that, since I am not a Christian and do not (to quote the exact words) 'accept him in my innermost heart as the only-begotten Son of God,' I can never realize the full meaning of his teachings, and therefore can never draw upon the greatest source of spiritual strength known to man...
The adjective 'begotten' has a meaning for me that I like to think is deeper and possibly grandeur than its literal one. To my mind it implies spiritual birth. My interpretation, in other words, is that in his own life Jesus stood nearest to God. And it is in this sense that I look upon him as the Son of God ...
It is impossible, I think, to weigh the merits of the world's several religions, and unnecessary and pointless even to attempt to do so. But in each one, I believe, there was an original common impulse — the desire to help and to improve the life of all men. I attribute the miracles of Jesus not in a literal sense, which seems to me unimportant, but as the dramatic and unforgettable expression of this impulse, as the most vivid lesson possible to impart — not to pass by the sick and suffering, not to judge those who, in the world's eyes, have sinned, but to forgive them and thus help them to enter a new and better life.
These lessons stand for us today as they stood for the men and women of Jesus' own time.
Jesus gave mankind, in these lessons and in his life, the great goal toward which to aspire. It is because there is such a goal, and because there was such a figure as that of Jesus, that I cannot be pessimistic, but instead as hopeful and confident of the future. And it is because his life has this significance and meaning for me that I do not regard him as belonging to Christianity alone, but rather to the whole world, to all its peoples, no matter under what name they worship."
The Story of Jesus
"The central theme of the preaching of Shri Jesus is the Kingdom of God (Matt. 4:17, 23; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:43). There are some fifty sayings and parables of Shri Jesus proclaiming this kingdom. There are two main elements of this concept — it is eschatological and refers to the end of time when God will be firmly established in the universe to vindicate the righteous; it extols His followers to prepare themselves for its coming (Luke 10:25-28), which requires repentance (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15), and a complete change of heart required to receive this future good news or gospel."
J.R. Porter, The Illustrated Guide to the Bible
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