LAST WEEK

hen I entered the city upon the colt many people put their cloaks on the road, while others cut palm branches and laid them along the path. The people were excited. Some asked who I was others answered, “This is the savior, the promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth” (Matthew 21:11). I was very much impressed by the verses of Zechariah and, in my soul I knew that this concept of the Messiah was in accord with what God had willed for the Christ. So, when I set out for Jerusalem, I chose to enter the city exactly in the manner described by Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9).


When my disciples and I went to celebrate the Passover at Jerusalem, I remained near Bethany because I feared trouble with the Jewish authorities. In the evening I joined my disciples and told them, “If ye love me, you will keep my Commandment that ye love one another even as I have loved you” (John 15:12). This was the Eleventh Commandment and was above the Ten Commandments of Moses. This is the law of love, and it is obedience to this Commandment that brings what is called the ‘Comforter’.


I never taught that God ordained my death on the cross, or that Judas should betray me. In fact, my death was never a part of that which God considered necessary in the performance of my mission. Although it was certain that I would die, the manner of my death was not foreordained as is written.


Judas was not a bad man as he has been depicted. His betrayal was not for silver or because of jealousy or any desire to revenge a wrongdoing. It was because he was impulsive, and had such a strong belief in my powers and my ability to overcome the Jewish leaders that he thought he would be doing me and the cause a great benefit by having it demonstrated to the authorities that I could not be silenced or harmed by any of their acts. His betrayal actually grew out of his love for me and his belief that I would demonstrate the greatness of my powers.


At my arrest by the hirelings of the high priests in the Garden of Gethsemane, the youth who was present at the time of my betrayal was seized and had to tear himself away from the clutches of the hirelings. This youth was my younger brother James, who was known as ‘James the lesser’. The reason the hirelings seized James was because he resembled me so much in face and figure that they wanted to make certain that they had apprehended the right man and, because of this close resemblance they arrested him.


My trial was by the body of men known as the Sanhedrin, in accordance with a rudimentary decree of the Sadducean laws. The Sadducees were aggravated and incensed at the thought that any mortal could call himself the ‘Son of God’, in any sense other than that all human beings are the sons and daughters of God. I was on trial because I had stated that, “I was in the Father and the Father was in me” (John 14:10). This seemed to the Jews to be blasphemy because it was making myself equal with God. They felt that such blasphemy destroyed the meaning of God to the Hebrew people, and that I deserved death for saying this. I never meant that I was equal to the Father, but meant that the Father's love was in me, and that made me one with him in this love.


The nails that pierced my flesh were hammered into my wrists, and not into my palms, as has been widely understood. Physical death came to me through asphyxiation, due to the unnatural position of my body dragging on my outstretched arms on the cross. The Roman lancer did open my heart and there was an accompanying flow of blood from the right auricle and the liquid from the pericardium actually took place as described by John the Apostle (19:34).


When death came to me on the cross my soul encased in its spirit body was freed from my physical body. I accompanied my dead body as it was carried by my followers to a place not far from the site of execution. My father Joseph had purchased a tomb for my burial. I observed the events, waiting until the ritual had been accomplished, and then I ascended to the spirit world from the Mount of Olives.


My entrance into the spirit world was a glorious one and I was welcomed by many spirits, and by the Father. I proclaimed the availability of God's love through prayer and that the possibility of attaining at-onement with God was now available to all who sought for it through sincere prayer.

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