Jesus is the light of the world! And this particular proclamation is one of the best examples of how the mission of Jesus resonates with sincere truth seekers everywhere and every when, for as the poet said: “We all warm ourselves before one hearth.”
In the Gospel of John we are told: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” In essence Jesus, as Creator-Son, exercised certain Creator prerogatives. Here we will focus specifically on the Divine Right of Subrogation. In its most basic form, subrogation means “to put in the place of another.” Jesus did not displace actual persons during his sojourn on earth, but rather the mythic gods of the ancient world. The life of Jesus fit the mosaic of the times in ways we are now just beginning to understand.
Although the polytheistic mysteries were, at best, hazy reflections of monotheism’s intensifying concept of God, these ancient myths endured because they touched upon the Divine attributes. During the dark days of the planetary insurrection, they helped to keep alive the heavenly inspiration that would eventually lead to humanity’s most intimate encounter with Divinity. Polytheism is, after all, evolving monotheism. And the object of worship, for those who venerate the sun, is at the heart of a serviceable metaphor.
Human kind lived and died by the seasons and by, what we might describe as, the whims of nature. The hunter’s take, the fisherman’s catch, and the grower’s harvest all required that certain conditions be met. And many of those conditions were beyond the control of man, unless of course, he could somehow persuade the powers that be. In the mind of early human kind, the price for securing nature’s bounty was to appease nature’s gods. And, the one thing that all of the most revered gods had in common was their ability to grant fertility.
In the days of Jesus, our ancestors were not only slaves to tradition, they could not escape the cyclical nature of, well, nature. There is a reason we celebrate Easter within days of the vernal equinox and Christmas within days of the winter solstice. These were days of celebration, throughout the world of agriculture, and all of the mystery religions are deeply rooted in this particular culture.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the ancient world took note. Bethlehem was an agricultural community. Its main commercial activity was the production of sacrificial lambs. The birth of our Lord and Savior is itself an act of divine syncretism addressing the “shepherd god” legends of Dumuzi in Mesopotamia, Tammuz in Babylon, and Adonis in Greece.
The first two mythical characters shared the role of a lamb that was sacrificed for the sake of the people. In Dumuzi’s case, the opening of the final act was described this way: The “lamb” is sacrificed and his sheepfold is “given to the winds.” Sound familiar? Now consider this prophetic element: From ancient China and to this day, the indelible symbol for earth is a cross on the horizon.
The mother of Jesus was named in accordance with a long standing Hebrew tradition. And yet this particular way of honoring the Semitic God-Mother and Queen of Heaven bears a remarkable similarity to the traditions surrounding Aphrodite-Mari, Mari-Anath, and even Isis as Stella Maris. They all refer, some more directly than others, to the Great Goddess. The name that Mary was instructed by Gabriel to give to her son was “Joshua,” which means savior. And, although Jesus didn’t precisely fit the worldly rabbinical mold of a nationalistic deliver, for those with ears to hear, throughout Palestine and beyond, he is truly The Savior. The whole world was longing for a savior.
In his scholarly video series The Secrets of Jesus Christ, producer, Robert Behzad Sarmast, methodically traces these, and many of the other individual threads Our Sovereign Lord has seen fit to use, as he has woven the tapestry of our time. Mr. Sarmast made this observation:
The pagans believed that the savior would sacrifice his heavenly life in order to live among and teach men. He would have a miraculous conception (by a divine father and a virgin mother) and be born in a rock cave, during Winter Solstice on December 25th. His arrival was supposed to be signaled by unusual astronomical phenomena, and he was supposed to be visited by wise shepherds bearing gifts at the time of his birth. From the very beginning of his life, powerful forces sought to stop his mission by killing the child, but miraculously he survived.
He was of a dual nature, both god and man, and was extremely wise, with a mission to help suffering humanity. He had the power to cure diseases, to heal the blind, cast out devils and even bring the dead back to life. His followers, both men and women, had to prove themselves through rigorous testing, at times even dying for his sake. As a fertility god, the pagan savior hero was expected to multiply food and wine, while teaching humanity about heaven and its laws, and revealing the secrets of salvation.
This Messiah figure was supposed to be at war with demons of the underworld throughout his life as they sought to stop his divine mission, but he was ultimately triumphant, destroying the devils on a sacred mountain. Before ending his mission and voluntarily going to his bloody death, he held a communal meal or last supper with his associates, complete with a bread and wine or blood ritual to commemorate him. After his arrest, the pagan fertility god was beaten, tortured and pierced, dying in order to redeem humanity through his sacred blood. His execution always happened during the spring equinox, on Black Friday, around the third week of March, causing the skies to darken.
His gruesome death was mourned by women, including the Mother Goddess who found him gored and bleeding to death. After the death of the sun god, he was wrapped in cloth and placed in a rock tomb which was later found to be empty because he had triumphantly resurrected on the third day, which was always on Sun-day, causing light and fertility to return to the world. After the resurrection, he ascended to heaven and was deified by the highest god, crowned with total authority as the intercessor between man and God. And of course, he was expected to return to earth on a periodical basis until the day of final judgment.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, so the “words of the prophets may be fulfilled,” he was clearly satisfying one Hebrew expectation. But he was also drawing from deep within the Dionysian Mysteries to reach other flocks. Jesus said: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” With this statement he was inspiring future generations while also reaching out to worshipers of Osiris who, thousands of years before Jesus was born, said that a dying man is like a grain of “wheat which falls into the earth in order to draw from its bosom a new life.”
The Parables of the Sower, The Vine and the Branches, The Wheat and the Tares, The Fig Tree, and The Mustard Seed all resonated with a far flung humanity. These people had much more than a fleeting familiarity with what was at the heart of the growth parables. They survived by means of experiential learning, and now Jesus was raising the stakes. He was using the lessons, derived from certain traditions associated with nature, to illuminate the way of spiritual salvation for all who would follow. For those responsive to Divine leading, it was clearly time for the ancient sun gods to bow towards the Son of Man — The Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The Author and Finisher of our faith was inspiring the masses long before he walked the earth in physical form. He was exposing the sophistries of the arch deceiver. He was highlighting certain gems of Truth within any evolving, though serviceable, religion that had existed prior to his sojourn. And, he was conditioning the soil upon which his abiding seeds of Truth would fall. By the time of the incarnation, the world was tee’d up to receive the new Gospel that proclaims “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” — Robert H. Kalk
(This post is an except from the Ascension University course titled Challenging Your World View)
Consider the First Source!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word choreographed an assembly of amino acids into an exquisite array of specific proteins. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” In so doing God demonstrated a penchant for genomic writing, preceeded by an amazing series of prebiotic events, in a highly orchestrated presentation of evolutionary overcontrol.