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  Article

Two Parties in Jerusalem

Two invitations are awaiting a response. One is for a grand lustful celebration of Barabbas' release from prison. The other is a "mournful occasion, a sad supper taken at the close of day, in the twilight of [Jesus'] glorious career with shadows fast falling around" (SH 32:30, insert added). Which invitation shall we accept?
 
The 'Barabbas Party' was conceived by the Pharisees, tolerated by the Roman government, and mournfully accepted by the people. The Pharisees had enough political clout to sway the government's judicial system and enough hatred of Christ to convince some people to exchange their conscience for a bribe. They had the Law of Moses written on their scrolls but that law was shockingly absent from their hearts. In those days, pride, envy, cruelty, and vengeance were common. Is it any different today? "The looms of crime, hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, are every hour weaving webs more complicated and subtle. So secret are the present methods of animal magnetism that they ensnare the age into indolence, and produce the very apathy on the subject which the criminal desires" (SH 102:18).
 
The 'Last Supper Party' knew that their leader was vastly outnumbered, and his followers were in anguish when Jesus told them that he was about to be condemned to death for revealing Christ to the world. Jesus had foreseen this day; "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He prepared his followers in the best way possible, but that night even his elect lacked enough fortitude to stay awake and watch with him. One was so twisted that he stole away from this solemn occasion to accept the bribe of betrayal that the Pharisees offered him. Those who remained at the holy gathering were so distraught that they could no longer sustain love for their enemies when their dear Master was about to be thrown to the wolves by malice and holy pretense. Could any of us have stood this test of fidelity to the Master? Can we love our neighbors, our governments, and our church leaders when they actively or unwittingly conspire to kill Christ? If not, we have elected to hide from Jesus and his message and pander to hypocrisy and a band of thieves. On the day of Jesus' crucifixion, the apostles hid themselves or stood by in voiceless agony, fearing that a whisper of protest would seal their own doom. Even after his lifeless body was lowered to the ground, they did not exhibit a spark of moral courage. Only one bold disciple stepped forward, Joseph of Arimathea. The only solution to this tragedy, one which Jesus was in the process of demonstrating, was to love beyond hate - to wholly and unconditionally "forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
 
Today, as of old, universal love seems to be vastly outnumbered by those who seek change by belittling their neighbors if they have the slightest differing opinion from their own. In their contempt for one another and arguing in the streets, the masses have succumbed to unrighteous judgement and tongue wagging, very far from the Psalmists wise instruction - "be still, and know that I am God" (Ps 46:10).
 
Nebuchadnezzar's prophetic vision furnishes a useful pattern for those who think they can hide their favorite demons and still escape being found out and corrected. Daniel's devout prayer to God enabled him to recover and translate the dream that Nebuchadnezzar thought was lost, revealing how Christ identifies and removes all misconceptions and supersedes them with omnipotent Truth.
 
"This image's head was of fine gold [mind - "I think, therefore I am"], his breast and his arms of silver [heart - life is mine to live as I please], his belly and his thighs of brass [emotions - I have feelings that can change], His legs of iron [strength - I can defend and attack], his feet part of iron and part of clay [mortal mind]. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Dan 2:32-35, notes added).

This metaphor of human consciousness presents states and stages of self, a delusion that must be broken to make room for the permanent reign of Mind. Everything that we hold dear - the best of mankind's goodness - and everything that we hate - the despotic ego - are founded on the iron and clay theosophy of mortal mind. Right and wrong cannot mix or cohere, and this unresolvable divide is the Achilles heel of all humanistic endeavors: the futility of all arguments and attempts to prop up a mistake by compromise or false charity. Christ, the stone cut without hands, has come to our rescue to remind us of our true being so that we may have life more abundantly.
 
The world is in grave danger today, and its people are either found sleeping or they are looking for solutions in all directions except the right one. Even some of those who think of themselves as religious have been lulled into complacency or misdirected. Unless they awake from their stupor, have their prayers answered from heaven, and enact Christ's message, their dim view of discipleship will be exposed and denounced. Christ will repeat the old message, "I know you not, depart from me."
 
 
"The way of error is awful to contemplate. The illusion of sin is without hope or God. If man's spiritual gravitation and attraction to one Father, in whom we 'live, and move, and have our being,' should be lost, and if man should be governed by corporeality instead of divine Principle, by body instead of by Soul, man would be annihilated." (SH 536:10).
 
Divisions and hatred will always decide in favor of persecution. God did not sacrifice his Son to teach mortals to abandon their sins or to fancy themselves forgiven. "Jesus allowed men to attempt the destruction of the mortal body in order that he might furnish the proof of immortal life" (SH 51:9). As earth-time dissolves, so must all memory of a crucifixion and a resurrection. Divine Love has no contests and knows nothing of it. "Leave the distinctions of individual character and the discriminations and guidance thereof to the Father, whose wisdom is unerring and whose love is universal" (No 7:25).
 
Beyond divisions and despotic tendencies, above humanism and our best efforts to improve mortal mind, we must learn to love, love, love - forever love. We live in a one-party universe. It is all Love. Live as Love.
 
George Denninger © 4/21/2021

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