(Excerpt from the book The Art of Meditation by Robert Elias Najemy)
I would like to share with you here some of my humble thoughts concerning these important parts of Jesus’ life, birth, death and resurrection, which we celebrate yearly.
Jesus Planned To Be Crucified
It was planned long before He descended into the earth plane. It was already written in the Old Testament that it would happen that way. He knew it would happen, mentioned it to his disciples and even pushed Judas into his role.
JOHN 14.26: Jesus answered, «I will dip some bread in the sauce and give it to him; he is the man». So he took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to him, «Be quick about what you are doing».
It was all a divine plan designed to imprint an important archetypal symbol into our minds; a way of getting us to wake up; a piece of live theater to shock us out of our ignorance, our sleep.
Jesus was determined to be crucified. He could have avoided it so many times in front of the Jewish elders and in front of Pontius Pilate. But He was purposely non cooperative, acting in exactly the way He would need to so as to leave them no choice but to kill him. How else could He prove his God-hood in such an effective way and give us so many messages simultaneously?
THE PAIN AND THE JOY
Most of us have the tendency to focus on the pain and the suffering of Christ. We have identified with it, we have cried, felt guilty. Then comes the joy and the ecstasy of His resurrection and victory over death and thus all the powers of life. This is useful. It is a cathartic, emotional cleansing and even a physical cleaning for those who fast during the Lenten period.
It is a new beginning, an opportunity to start all over again, to forget the past way of life; to live more spiritually, more in harmony with His teachings. Unfortunately this often does not last long. It all happens on the emotional level. Lots of enthusiasm and self-promises but little wisdom or self-control.
Perhaps it is time to go beyond the pain and the joy of this event and try to penetrate some of the deeper messages, which we can apply in our daily lives. After emotional cleansing we can move beyond it and use it as a propelling force towards deeper thought and a firmer conviction in the application of the spiritual truths, which we already know.
There are so many lessons that we can learn from the birth, crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ.
THE LESSON OF SURRENDER, DEVOTION AND LOVE
We are told that surrender, devotion and love for God is the simplest and most direct path to spiritual liberation. This is the unified agreement of almost all religions including Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
Christ gave us a living example of what true surrender, devotion and love mean in action. He was more dedicated to the Truth, to the principles of right living, to His Father, to our evolution and spiritual awakening than he was to his own body, to his own comfort, to his own life. He was willing to suffer ridicule, abuse, torture and even death rather than not stand up for that which he loved and was dedicated to.
The spiritual path is often full of such trials. We are afraid of change and growth. Our insecurity drives us to panic and even violence towards anyone who tries to elevate our consciousness ie. Jesus, Socrates, Gandhi, Martin Luther King.
Thus the message here is, don’t be small. Be full of courage. Do not be afraid to stand up for that which you believe. It is better to suffer abuse than to give up our connection with the truth that we know in our hearts. We can be so weak, so afraid and so easily change our opinion hiding the truth of our feelings and beliefs in the face of resistance, ridicule or rejection.
Thus one basic lesson to be learned from Jesus’ example is to be true to our beliefs and put them above all other comforts or dangers.