Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Truth, Jesus is the Son of God

Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9 a.m.

From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. there was darkness all over the land.  Jesus was on the cross not for 3 hours, but for 6 hours, after being brutally scourged, and after being beaten and abused by the Temple guards, leaders, and people before being handed over to the Romans.

Some meditations say that from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. was when Jesus experienced the soul torments of hell that come from sin.  

These meditations teach us to flee from sin as all sin contributed to the suffering and death of Christ from the original sin to the sins before the Incarnation, to the sins of all those living with the knowledge and understanding of Salvation History.  These meditations also teach us to flee from hell by not turning our eyes, understanding and hearts to the right or to the left, but instead everyday, under the guidance, sanctifying grace, and coaching of the Holy Spirit, remaining faithful in prayer, reading and studying the Bible, and taking God's and Jesus's commandments as musts, not guidelines or recommendations for how to live our lives.

Why did Jesus yell out "My God, My God, why have you deserted me?"

I have heard this explained as similar to when a father needs to hold down a son for a necessary but painful medical treatment.  He keeps his son from moving through act of will, because he knows it is for his good, but he tends to avert his eyes from looking at the face of his child, because it is more than his father's heart can take.

Maybe God the Father, who did not spare his Son for our salvation, averted his inward gaze away from his Son during this time because while he willed for this atoning sacrifice of his beloved Son so that we might have eternal life, joy, love, and communion with him forever, in this moment where his son was nailed to the cross, abandoning his divine power to escape the agony, and suffering the internal soul torment due to our sins, he looked away as his Father's heart was so pained to see the one he loved so much suffering internally, in addition to his external torments, what no one before or since has suffered.  Jesus had never experienced this before, and now here in his worst suffering he doesn't feel the gaze of his father.

It was also Jesus invoking the prophetic words of Psalm 22 written 1000 years earlier by King David.

"But Jesus gave out a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, 'In truth, this man was the Son of God.'" Mark 15:37-39

Fr. John Bartunek in The Better Part in meditations on Mark 15:21-29 reminds us, 
The souls of those faithful men and women who had trusted in God, and in God's promise during the centuries before the Incarnation were not yet in heaven.  They had died in friendship with God, but the gates of heaven were still closed, because no one had yet atoned for the sin of mankind that had closed them in the first place.  Now Jesus comes and achieves the atonement.  And the first thing he does is go and announce the good news to the souls who were waiting their redemption. . . . Now the mystery of God's saving love is revealed to them in the piercing, loving gaze of their Savior.  Now they can experience what they longed for with vibrant faith and faithful hope, the full presence of God as they await the resurrection of their bodies and the final judgment. . . . 

Christ's self-sacrifice on the cross reveals that God's love for weak and selfish sinners has absolutely no limit. . . . Love is self-giving for the good of the beloved. . . . His love has no limits . . . . 

Paraphrasing Fr. Bartunek . . . Jesus loved us so much that He:
  • Left the Heavenly Glory to become one of us
  • He lived among us
  • He worked and suffered the grind of ordinary life
  • He taught and healed and revealed God's heart
  • He founded the Church to extend his presence and grace throughout all time
  • He let himself be betrayed, humiliated, condemned, mocked
  • He subjected himself to excruciating physical torments
  • He hung helpless on the cross in our place
  • He took upon himself our sins, suffering internal torments, also in our place
  • He the Creator and Lord of all, did not have his life taken from him, he laid it down for us his friends
  • His love was completely self-giving
  • His love has no bounds
Truly, Jesus is the the Son of God.  Truly, Jesus is one of the three persons in one God, one of the Glorious and Holy Trinity.  As God, He knows:
  • Jesus is always with you
  • Jesus understands you completely
  • Jesus's compassion toward you is more perfect than you can imagine
  • Jesus knows that you don't know this
  • Jesus longs for you to know this because . . . 
Jesus yearns for you to trust him.  He knows this isn't easy for you.  It may be easy in a given moment, but how constant are we in this trust?

He has done so much for us.  Lord, please give us the grace to more faithfully pray:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.  

Jesus, Son of God, I trust in you.  

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

"You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same." (Colossians 3:12-13)


  1. A beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing. I really liked the lists from Fr. Bartunek ... and your prayer after!

    God Bless.

  2. Thank you, Michael. Today I was reminded that while meditating on the Passion of Our Lord do not view it as a spectator, "Isn't it sad he had to suffer and die like that," and instead to view it more personally, "Jesus suffered and died that way for me." To keep in mind that when his side was pierced it wasn't just symbolic of the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion but that he poured out all his love for me. Nothing was left.

  3. Did Jesus Lie under Oath?

    Gospel of John's Jesus:
    Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.
    John 18:20

    Gospel of Mark's Jesus:
    He strictly ordered them that no one should know this.
    Mark 5:43

    Mark’s Jesus seems to ALWAYS be telling his disciples and those he heals to keep his deeds secret. John’s Jesus swears under oath in front of the Jewish Sanhedrin (high court) that he has said nothing in secret.

    This is a blatantly false.

    To Jews, God cannot lie, therefore this is absolute proof to them (and maybe it should be to Christians) that Jesus was not God.

    The Jewish Bible:
    God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of a man that he should repent...
    --- Numbers 23:19

  4. Hi Gary,

    I found you have a blog of your own and you made this post there as well. I'll reply in both places as you might not be subscribed to comments here.

    I noticed in 2014 you stopped being a fundamentalist Christian. What caused that?

    I want you to know before I answer that I do not judge you. I don't know why you are where you are faith wise, why you started a blog, why you commented on my post. I do pray that if there is anything the Holy Spirit can help me to reply here to draw you back into the healing, forgiving, strengthening embrace of Jesus, the Savior, Son of God, and lover of your soul, that he would do so.

    At first blush, without any resort to Biblical Commentary, I note that in Mark 5 - Jesus's hour had not yet come. In later chapters he is openly confrontational and insulting to the Pharisees. So in John when he says he has said nothing in secret---it is not blatantly false. It is completely true. He had been teaching openly in the Temple and had confronted the Pharisees publically. It is also true that in Jewish Law that a man could not testify against himself. The leaders of the Sanhedrin were actually going against Jewish law to ask Jesus directly. It was their obligation to ask for witnesses. Jesus is upholding the law here.

    Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He cannot lie. He has no need to repent of anything. I do, and if you are part of the "all" that Paul refers to in Romans, you do too.

    There is no Mark's Jesus nor John's Jesus. There are themes pertinent to one Gospel depending on the human writer, the Divine -- God Breathed inspiration received by that writer, and then the context of the Gospel. When I do go to the commentary on Mark using the Ignatius Study Bible (Scott Hahn, Curtis Mitch) - there is a theme in Mark of the "secret Messiah" because there were many during Jesus's life and still today that are looking for a political, military Messiah in keeping with the legacy of King David. The light - the truth comes in the climatic confession of the Roman Centurion in Mark 15:39, "In truth, this man was the Son of God."

    The theme in John from the outset is that Jesus is the I AM. We a people in darkness have seen a great light. We are called to communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is no walking of people into the truth in John -- it is right there in the first verse.

    God does not lie. God cannot lie. Jesus is God. Therefore Jesus cannot lie. Therefore Jesus did not lie.

    1. Hi Colleen,

      Christians always seem to have a harmonization for every biblical discrepancy. Is this due to the fact that Christians have had 2,000 years to come up with these harmonizations?

      I would encourage you to read one book, It's not very long. It is fascinating reading. It will shake your faith to the core. It is "Twenty-Six Reasons why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus" by orthodox Jewish author, Asher Norman. It completely dismantles the Christian claim that Jesus was the Jewish messiah, a cornerstone belief of Christianity.

      Here is an excerpt below. How would you harmonize this discrepancy?

      Jesus did NOT want to Die. Three of the Gospels say so.

      Did Jesus want to die? Surprisingly, there are clear indications in the Gospels that Jesus didn't want to die. Therefore, Jesus apparently did not believe that there was a messianic prophecy that required his death. This undermines the credibility of the verses attributed to Jesus requiring his death in "fulfillment of Prophecy." John, Mark, and Matthew reported that Jesus used a "cup" analogy to deal with the issue of his potential death:

      John: At Jesus' arrest, Peter took out his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest's servant, Malchus. Jesus then said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the father has given me?" (John 18:3-12)

      Mark: Jesus prayed, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." (Mark 14:36)

      Matthew: Jesus said, " soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me." Jesus prayed, "O my Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

      Analysis: It seems clear from these verses that Jesus didn't want to die.

      Mark's Jesus said, "Take this cup away from me...not what I will." Matthew's Jesus said, "O my Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will." In both cases, Jesus clearly stated that his own death was, "not what I will." In each case Jesus implored God to "take this cup away from me." Clearly the cup symbolized the requirement that he must die. These verses make clear that Jesus didn't want to die but was willing to do so if God required it.

      Christian theology teaches that belief in Jesus is the basis of "salvation" for sin because Jesus intentionally "died for our sins." Therefore it is highly significant that it was not Jesus' will that he must die, but reluctantly would do so if God required it. This is extremely problematic, since according to Christian theology Jesus was a deity, the "son of God" who came into the world to intentionally die for our sins. If, in essence, Jesus died against his will and merely acquiesced to God's will, can Christians really claim that Jesus intentionally died for their sins? Finally, Christian theology asserts that Jesus is a member of a divine trinity and that each "person" in the trinity has the same essence. If this is true, how could the will of Jesus be different from the will of God?

      ---orthodox Jewish author, Asher Norman, "Twenty-Six Reasons why Jews don't Believe in Jesus"

    2. Gary, I would be happy to read that book if you would Scandal of the Incarnation: Irenaeus Against the Heresies. I have to give much more credibility to the Fathers of the Church who were taught by the apostles who were taught by Jesus than to some 20th century Jewish author.

      Nothing is problematic if by the gift of faith you believe in the doctrine that Jesus is true God and true man. In his divine will he left the glory of heaven to become incarnate. Every miracle he performed, the sins he forgave was not just due to his divinity but was in anticipation of his laying his life down for his friends, suffering the penalty of sin due to each of us, as the sacrificial lamb of God--the firstborn, spotless (without sin), male sacrifice to atone for our sins. The judgment and justice of God is overwhelmed by his mercy due to the perfect atoning sacrifice of his son. There are many, many Jews from Pentecost day forward that had child-like humility and grace sufficient to repent, be baptized, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit come to stronger faith in Christ.

      If you believe that Jesus was true man you can see that is the part that was tortured to the point of sweating blood when Satan confronted him in the garden with the scope of his suffering. In his love and obedience he submits to be the sacrifice. I don't get what you were saying about him not wanting to die. He told Peter, "Get behind me Satan," when Peter suggested he avoid Jerusalem and the suffering and death Jesus in his divinity was going to happen there. His human will is united to his divine will, and the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit when he says, "not my will but yours be done." He wills in his humanity at that moment to have the cup pass. But he wills to see his plan through to completion, "It is Finished" out of his divine love and mercy toward us, and out of his filial love and obedience to the Father. This is so abundantly clear to me, and I doubt that anything Mr. Norman wrote could shake that in the least.


    1. I don't doubt that Christians have rebuttals to every one of Asher Norman's 26 reasons why Jews don't believe in Jesus. But what every one of us must ask ourselves, is this: are these Christian rebuttals/harmonizations credible or simply ad hoc acts of desperation to hold together a belief system so full of errors and contradictions that it is embarrassing.

      The problem for Christians is that there isn't just a few discrepancies in the Bible, there are many. You believe that the Early Church Fathers know better than I and any other modern skeptic. But I would challenge you to prove that any of your Gentile Church Fathers understood the Hebrew Bible better than every Jewish scholar and sage who has ever lived! Jewish scholars overwhelming state that Jesus absolutely, positively did NOT fulfill ANY of the six messianic requirements found in the Old Testament. You have been brainwashed to believe that Gentile Christians understand the Hebrew Bible better than Jews. That is nonsense.

      Here is yet another discrepancy in the Christian New Testament:

      Why was Matthew unaware of the Messianic prophecy that the Messiah needed to Die?

      If you read Matthew's Gospel, it is full of messianic prophecies that Jesus allegedly (according to Matthew) fulfilled. If a "dying Messiah" was part of Jewish messianic prophecy, why did Jesus' disciples act oblivious to it? In particular, if Matthew was such an expert on messianic prophecies, why wasn't he aware that the messiah would need to die?

      Excerpt from, "Twenty-Six Reasons why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus":

      According to Mark, Luke, and Matthew, Jesus said that it was necessary for him to "die and rise again on the third day to fulfill Jewish "prophecy". Unfortunately for Jesus' credibility, there is no such prophecy in the Jewish Bible.

      Mark 8:31-33

      Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

      Luke 18:31-34

      Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. 33 After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.” 34 But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

      Matthew 16:21-23

      From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

      (cont'd below)


    2. Analysis:

      Peter should have answered: "Praise God! You must be the Messiah ben David who is prophesied to die and rise again on the third day!" Instead, the disciples' response was total ignorance and dismay, which proves that at the time of Jesus there was no concept that the Messiah ben David must die. Clearly, Peter and the disciples never heard about such a prophecy. It is particularly significant that Matthew had no such concept because his Gospel is filled with dozens of other invented messianic prophecies that Jesus supposedly did fulfill. These verses directly contradict the current Christian missionary argument that Isaiah's chapter 53 was believed by Jews in biblical times to be a prophecy about the death of the messiah, but "the rabbis" later changed the interpretation to oppose Christian theology.

      ---orthodox Jewish author, Asher Norman in
      "Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus

  6. Gary - not brainwashed, and you are judging me without knowing me to presume that. I don't debate people who judge me, since it puts us on uneven playing field as I was trying so hard not to judge you.

    I do doubt your knowledge of the Bible and Church history if you doubt that Paul was not an Torah and Prophets scholar superior to Asher Norman and any other 20th century Jewish scholar.

    I would put the Church Fathers scholarship--Torah and the Prophets, IQs, faith above or at least on par with any Jewish non-Jesus Christ believing person. The difference between them and the Jewish Scholars you prefer is who has the gift of the Holy Spirit. "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you." (John 14:26) Jewish Believers in the Jesus Christ have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jewish Scholars that do not believe in Jesus Christ do not have this gift and in to the degree that it is a deliberate choice might be in rebellion against the gift of the Holy Spirit and are in danger of losing their souls.

    1. All you have said, Colleen, is very true...IF Jesus was God. If he wasn't, then your belief system is completely false. Jesus was not the Jewish messiah. He failed to meet any of the six messianic requirements. He was a man. He was a false prophet or he was delusional. He was not God.

    2. I have come to believe that Paul of Tarsus was most likely mentally ill, probably bipolar. That or he was a liar, a label he frequently denies in his epistles. You know what they say about someone who is constantly denying that he is a liar.

      Here is what the Jews say about Paul of Tarsus:

      An excerpt from orthodox Jewish author Asher Norman's must read book, "Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus":

      The apostle Paul arrived on the Christian scene around 50 C.E., about 15 years after Jesus had been killed. Although Paul never met Jesus, he was the putative author of approximately half of the Epistles (letters) in the Christian Bible. In addition, Paul's disciple Luke was the putative author of the books of Luke and Acts, which describe how Paul came to dominate the early Christian movement. Luke portrayed Paul as a fearless, virtually infallible central character in the Christian story...

      Paul was a deeply troubled, wildly volatile personality. Significantly, Paul clearly revealed in his own Epistles that he was often accused of being a "liar". The fact that the editors of the Christian Bible felt it necessary to reveal this embarrassing fact demonstrates that Paul's credibility was a major issue. In addition, Paul stated in his Epistles that he believed that the ends justify the means. A strong case can be made that Paul lied about being born Jewish. This can be inferred from the fact that Paul used the word "we" when referring to Gentiles. There are significant indications that Paul was a failed convert to Judaism. Paul probably lied about being a member of the Pharisee party. This may be inferred from the fact that Paul worked as a policeman for the High Priest who was leader of the rival Sadducee party. Paul probably lied about being a student of Gamaliel, the leader of the Pharisee Party. This can be inferred from the fact that Gamaliel supported the law and opposed the High Priest while Paul opposed the law and worked for the High Priest. Logically, it is much more likely that Paul was a Sadducee, since he worked for the High Priest who was the leader of the Sadducee Party. Paul seemed to have a distorted sexual nature, which was expressed through his theology. Judaism views sexuality in the context of marriage as a holy creative act while Paul viewed sex within marriage as a concession to passion.
      (cont'd below)

    3. An early Christian group called the Ebionites was comprised of descendants of the original disciples. The Catholic Church persecuted the Ebionites out of existence by the fourth century, but fragments of their writings survive. They wrote that Paul was a Gentile who became a Jewish proselyte, was circumcised as a convert, and studied Judaism. They said that Paul arrived in Jerusalem from Tarsus as an adult hoping to marry the High Priest's daughter. When she rejected him, Paul became enraged and wrote against circumcision, the kosher laws, the Sabbath, and finally opposed the efficacy of all the laws of the Torah.