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5. LESSONS FROM THE CROSS

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sevens
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« on: February 20, 2008, 01:39:39 pm »

JESUS RETURNED GOOD FOR EVIL

5. LESSONS FROM THE CROSS


188:5.1 The cross of Jesus portrays the full measure of the supreme
devotion of the true shepherd for even the unworthy members of his
flock. It forever places all relations between God and man upon the
family basis. God is the Father; man is his son. Love, the love of a
father for his son, becomes the central truth in the universe relations
of Creator and creature -- not the justice of a king which seeks
satisfaction in the sufferings and punishment of the evil-doing subject.

188:5.2 The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward
sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal
and loving salvation. Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his
life and death do win men over to goodness and righteous survival.
Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in
the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative.
Jesus' death on the cross exemplifies a love which is sufficiently
strong and divine to forgive sin and swallow up all evil-doing. Jesus
disclosed to this world a higher quality of righteousness than justice
-- mere technical right and wrong. Divine love does not merely forgive
wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them. The forgiveness of love
utterly transcends the forgiveness of mercy. Mercy sets the guilt of
evil-doing to one side; but love destroys forever the sin and all
weakness resulting therefrom. Jesus brought a new method of living to
Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a
goodness which effectually destroys evil. The forgiveness of Jesus is
not condonation; it is salvation from condemnation. Salvation does not
slight wrongs; it makes them right. True love does not compromise nor
condone hate; it destroys it. The love of Jesus is never satisfied with
mere forgiveness. The Master's love implies rehabilitation, eternal
survival. It is altogether proper to speak of salvation as redemption
if you mean this eternal rehabilitation.

188:5.3 Jesus, by the power of his personal love for men, could break
the hold of sin and evil. He thereby set men free to choose better ways
of living. Jesus portrayed a deliverance from the past which in itself
promised a triumph for the future. Forgiveness thus provided salvation.
The beauty of divine love, once fully admitted to the human heart,
forever destroys the charm of sin and the power of evil.


188:5.4 The sufferings of Jesus were not confined to the crucifixion.
In reality, Jesus of Nazareth spent upward of twenty-five years on the
cross of a real and intense mortal existence. The real value of the
cross consists in the fact that it was the supreme and final expression
of his love, the completed revelation of his mercy.


188:5.5 On millions of inhabited worlds, tens of trillions of evolving
creatures who may have been tempted to give up the moral struggle and
abandon the good fight of faith, have taken one more look at Jesus on
the cross and then have forged on ahead, inspired by the sight of God's
laying down his incarnate life in devotion to the unselfish service of
man.

188:5.6 The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the
spirit of Jesus' attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the
cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the
victory of truth over evil when he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do." That devotion of love was contagious
throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master.
The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down
his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, "Lay not
this sin to their charge."

188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it
discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of
his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would
be willing to lay down his life for his friends -- and Jesus had such a
love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love
greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.

188:5.8 On other worlds, as well as on Urantia, this sublime spectacle
of the death of the human Jesus on the cross of Golgotha has stirred
the emotions of mortals, while it has aroused the highest devotion of
the angels.


188:5.9 The cross is that high symbol of sacred service, the devotion
of one's life to the welfare and salvation of one's fellows. The cross
is not the symbol of the sacrifice of the innocent Son of God in the
place of guilty sinners and in order to appease the wrath of an
offended God, but it does stand forever, on earth and throughout a vast
universe, as a sacred symbol of the good bestowing themselves upon the
evil and thereby saving them by this very devotion of love. The cross
does stand as the token of the highest form of unselfish service, the
supreme devotion of the full bestowal of a righteous life in the
service of wholehearted ministry, even in death, the death of the
cross. And the very sight of this great symbol of the bestowal life of
Jesus truly inspires all of us to want to go and do likewise.

188:5.10 When thinking men and women look upon Jesus as he offers up
his life on the cross, they will hardly again permit themselves to
complain at even the severest hardships of life, much less at petty
harassments and their many purely fictitious grievances. His life was
so glorious and his death so triumphant that we are all enticed to a
willingness to share both. There is true drawing power in the whole
bestowal of Michael, from the days of his youth to this overwhelming
spectacle of his death on the cross.

188:5.11 Make sure, then, that when you view the cross as a revelation
of God, you do not look with the eyes of the primitive man nor with the
viewpoint of the later barbarian, both of whom regarded God as a
relentless Sovereign of stern justice and rigid law-enforcement.
Rather, make sure that you see in the cross the final manifestation of
the love and devotion of Jesus to his life mission of bestowal upon the
mortal races of his vast universe. See in the death of the Son of Man
the climax of the unfolding of the Father's divine love for his sons of
the mortal spheres. The cross thus portrays the devotion of willing
affection and the bestowal of voluntary salvation upon those who are
willing to receive such gifts and devotion. There was nothing in the
cross which the Father required -- only that which Jesus so willingly
gave, and which he refused to avoid.


188:5.12 If man cannot otherwise appreciate Jesus and understand the
meaning of his bestowal on earth, he can at least comprehend the
fellowship of his mortal sufferings. No man can ever fear that the
Creator does not know the nature or extent of his temporal afflictions.

188:5.13 We know that the death on the cross was not to effect man's
reconciliation to God but to stimulate man's realization of the
Father's eternal love and his Son's unending mercy, and to broadcast
these universal truths to a whole universe.
------------------------------------------

Such high standards of love that I many times fail to reach in my own expressions coupled with emotions and passion.

Jesus was a superman

I would suggest everyone test themselves according to this standard and see how you fair in the attitude!

What a challenge for any soul for such a high spiritual benchmark.

It would be good personal project for anyone to bear in mind these words in your daily life and see how you fair.

Particularly in light of scenarios where aggression can take hold.


Sevens
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 01:46:13 pm by sevens » Report Spam   Logged

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