the central-figure in human history
The name "Jesus" is the Greek translation of the anglicized Hebrew name "Y'hosu'a", which is a contraction of the Hebrew words "JEHOVAH ["Yah" + "Weh" = "I AM"] SAVES", or "Jehovah is salvation", whence, the name "Jesus" means "I AM salvation".
It was also the teaching from the very beginning that Jesus was God-incarnate. Like "past", "present", and "future" are three manifestations of time; whereas God exists simultaneously in the "past", "present", and "future", all at once, in the dimension of the so-called Eternal "NOW". The "Trinity" is not three gods but three manifestations of the ONE true God. The "Father" is invisible except as He has embodied Himself and made Himself visible in the "Son". The "Son", Jesus, the visible human-incarnate of the "Father", who said He and the "Father" are "one", reveals the "Father" hitherto invisible. The "Father" is logically first, but not chronologically so; for , the "Son" exists as long as the "Father" exists, according to the Bible (Jn 1:1,2). The "Father" acts and reveals Himself through the "Son". It is through the "Son" that the "Father" enters human life and fellowships with the human-race. As the "Son" came from the "Father", so the "Holy Spirit" in turn proceeds from the "Son". Jesus, the "Son", said just before His accession that in ten days He shall send His spirit, however, the "New Testament" says that the Spirit that came ten days hence was the "Holy Spirit", who "filled" the 120 people in the "Upper Room" when The Church was born at "Pentecost", thus, His [Jesus'] Spirit is the "Holy Spirit". The invisible "Father" issuing into the visible "Son", proceeds from the "Son" into the "Holy Spirit" and becomes invisible again.
The Jews knew Jesus after Josephís death by the style "Son of David" (Mt 21:9) by which He accepted His royal heritage as the "royal Davidic heir"; for, His foster-father Joseph [who adopted Him] was the "royal Davidic heir" of his generation (Mt 1:20). Jesus was the only one in His time who had the "title" in conformity with Jewish practice, and there was a vacancy in the Babylonian Exilarchate [the monarchical office held by another branch of the Jewish Royal House which remained in exile], hence, Jesus had no dynastic rivals. The heir to the throne was always known, no matter what his station in life was, for the Jews were very careful to keep accurate records especially of the genealogy of their old royal house. Therefore, since Jesus was known as Josephís son He was also known as the "Son of David" after Josephís death and thus was the heir to the throne! The knowledge that Jesus was the rightful heir to the throne is not unbelievable. The tradition of Jesusí Davidic descent was early known (Rom 1:3); and we know from Hegesippus that Jesusí relatives were known to be of royal Davidic descent. The validity of Joseph's claim to the throne was never challenged by the Jewish authorities of that generation, for it appears that the genealogy of Joseph had been publicly verified by the records in the nationís archives; however, the Jewish authorities, who were cozy with the occupying Romans, appear to have challenged Jesus' claim to the throne on the basis of some early rumors that He was illegitimate and not really Josephís son. There were rumors that circulated that Mary had conceived Jesus out of harlotry from a Roman soldier on her visit to her aunt, Elizabeth. This allegation later became the official Jewish view of Jesusí birth. It is true that Joseph was not Jesusí father, but it is false that He was begotten out of harlotry, for He was virgin-born.
The Jews saw Jesus as just another "Son of David" [the royal Davidic heir] in succession from King Davidís son, Solomon, and the Judahite kings, then, of course, the (so-called) "brothers" of Jesus claimed the succession to the throne after Him, and they then expected not Jesus but one of themselves or a descendant of theirs to restore the "kingdom" and monarchy with the Davidic Dynasty on the throne. But, to Christians, Jesus was more than a successor to King Davidís throne, but the "eschatological-heir" to the throne. As the eschatological-heir, Jesus fulfills all of the covenants God has made with man. The first covenant God made with the human race was the "Edenic-Covenant", which was made by God with Adam and Eve (Gen 3:15), which was illustrated to them by the blood and slaughter of a lamb to make their "coats of skin" [animal-hide], which was to picture the blood sacrifice of a sin-bearer. The "blood sacrifice" was the only way for sinful man to approach God, who is holy. Adam and Eve taught this to their children, for we see that Abel approached God by a "blood-sacrifice", which God accepted, but God rejected the "sacrifice of works" offered upon the altar by Cain [which, essentially, is the difference between Judeo-Christianity, representing Abel's "blood-sacrifice", and Islam, representing Cain's "works-sacrifice"]. The second covenant God made with man was the "Noahic-Covenant"; the third was the "Abrahamic-Covenant"; another was the "Mosaic-Covenant" [Judaism], by which the nation of Israel was created; another was the "Davidic-Covenant" [Zionism], by which the Davidic Dynasty was given a divine mandate of world-rule; which all are fulfilled in the "New Covenant" made between God and Jesus, which is today called "Christianity", the fulfillment of Judaism.
Too, the Jews regarded the series of "patriarchs" of the "Nazarene-Sanhedrin", what Christians called the successive "bishops"/or "apostles" of the Church, "the [original] papacy", that is, the "n'tzarim" as "the successors of Jesus, through St. James", as though Jesus was Himself just one more successor to the Palestinian "Nasiíim", that is, the successors of the ancient Judahite kings, who could be succeeded by the next in line of succession.
The rabbis, scribes, and other religious leaders, rejected Jesus for what they thought were His blasphemous and exorbitant claims to be God-Incarnate. The penalty for blasphemy was death; for which they thought Jesus was guilty, but they were wrong! The miracles that Jesus performed testified to who He was, and energized the Jewish population with messianic hope. The Jewish authorities, fearful that the growing popularity of Jesus would cause an uprising, and that "the Romans would come and take their nation away", conspired to kill Jesus, to stop the movement for the restoration of the Davidic Dynasty and the revival of the Jewish Kingdom, for, indeed, Jesus was leading to a confrontation with the Romans, and the Temple priests paid "thirty pieces of silver" to Judas Iscariot, one of His twelve disciples, who betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
The perfection of divine rule was revealed by Jesus, who was called both the "Son of Man" and the "Son of God", whose kingship He taught would be marked by service to His people. He would serve them as their shepherd, so that they would be a well-cared for flock, and His people would in return attend upon Him as His servants and give Him worship. The ministry of Jesus included feeding the people, healing the people, and defending the people, which were the basic duties of the ancient Hebrew kings. [That would translate today as government assistance to the public for food, clothes, and housing, as well as free medicine and health care services.]
The climax of manís rejection of Godís rule was when Pilate presented Jesus to the people as their king, to which the people shouted back, saying: "we will not have this man to reign over us" (Lk 19:14b). It reminds one of the 1649 trial and execution of King Charles I of Britain by the kangaroo "rump-parliament"; as well as the 1689 "convention-parliament" which deposed King James II of Britain; and, a paraphrase of those very words are the essence of the "Declaration of Independence" in reference to King George III by the 1776 American "continental-congress", regardless that these particular three kings were each "The Lord's Anointed" with a divine mandate to rule, which were the three great rebellions against the British Crown. Jesus' mockery as king during His trials sounds remarkably like the Carabas incident reported by Philo in "Against Flaccus" [again, Crossan notes this], which also echoes the Barabbas episode. The crowd or riotous mob forced Pilate to condemn Jesus by threatening to report his delinquency to Caesar. Jesus was executed as a claimant to the throne according to the sign posted on the cross above His head which read: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (Mk 15:26).The crucifixion of Jesus as "King of the Jews" was described to have been as brutal as the execution of the later Jewish King Simon Bar-Gjora outside Rome following the 1st Jewish War (AD 66-73).
The Jews did NOT kill Jesus! For Jesus Himself said that "no man taketh my life; I can lay it down and I can take it up again", which He did proving that He was the Old Testament God Jehovah come incarnate in the New Testament as Jesus. The same God that appeared in the "burning-bush" to Moses and again later on Mount Sinai where He authorized the religion of "Judaism" and gave Moses the "Ten Commandments", came incarnate to fulfill Judaism and give birth to Christianity.
There are many instances in the synoptic gospels in which the messianic status of Jesus is affirmed through supernatural means: (a) on the occasion of Jesus' baptism when a heavenly voice believed to be the voice of God-Almighty declares, "Thou art My beloved Son" (Mt 3:17; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22; compare Jn 1:34); (b) on the occasion of Jesusí transfiguration into a surrealistic-being when a heavenly voice declares, "This is My beloved Son; hear ye Him!" (Mt 17:5; Mk 9:7; Lk 9:35); (c) "Peterís Confession" that Jesus was Messiah/Christ (Mt 16:16; Mk 8:29; Lk 9:20) which also exhibits a divine oracle [The Holy Spirit] (Mt 16:17). Jesus said He would build His Church on "Peter's Confession". It was this Bible verse that gave rise to the fourth-century heresy that Jesus was referring not to "Peterís Confession" but to Peter himself as the foundation-stone of the Church, though Jesus is clearly called "the foundation-stone" of the Church in scripture. Too, a series of angelic disclosures and prophetic utterances revealed the messianic status of Jesus.
Jesus, whom Christians revere as "Godís Christ", or the Jewish Messiah, the very incarnation of the Hebrew God Yahweh/Jehovah, who, virgin-born as His own "Son" of a mortal-woman, "The Virgin Mary", a scion of the ancient Jewish Davidic royal house, is the focus of Christianity as "The Holy One" who was slain by crucifixion as a human-sacrifice for the sins of the human-race on a cross on Skull Hill [Calvary] outside of Jerusalem at the time of the Jewish Feast of Passover when the paschal-lamb is slain, which lamb and sacrifice was a picture of Jesus, our "paschal-lamb", and His passion; which tradition was begun by Moses [who prophesied of Jesus, as "that prophet"] to illustrate to the Jewish people the [then, future] "Sacrifice of Jesus", the 14th of Nissan (circa AD29/33). The "Passover" fell on a Friday on (a) 15 April AD 29; (b) 7 April AD 30; (c) 3 April AD33; and, for the Wednesday-Theorists, "Passover" fell on a Wednesday on 9 April AD 31. There is a verse in the Bible which has the phrase "Jesus, our Passover", speaking what the prophet John "The Baptist" meant when he called Jesus "The Lamb of God"; for when the Hebrew patriarch Isaac asked his father Abraham where the lamb was for the sacrifice that Abraham replied saying God Himself would provide "The Lamb". And, by the "Sacrifice of Jesus", God could reclaim His lost creation. For, by His sacrifice, the price was paid by Jesus for the sins of the human-race. This is the "New Covenant" instituted by Jesus at The "Last Supper" with the sacraments of the bread, repressing His body "broken" in sacrifice, and, the wine, representing His blood shed in sacrifice, which essentially was the same ritual recorded in Genesis 14:18, in which a pre-incarnation of Jehovah-Jesus, Melchizedek, makes a covenant with Abraham with the bread and wine sacraments.
The body of Jesus was claimed on St. Mary's behalf by her next-of-kin, her uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, and, as the authorities were then arguing about how to dispose of Jesus' body, either by burying it in "the potterís field" or by burning it in the trash heaps outside the cityís gates, they had to give Jesus' body over to Joseph of Arimathea, who had Pilate's orders. The body of Jesus was taken down from The Cross by Joseph of Arimathea assisted by the Pharisee Nicodemus as well as by the three Marys; and laid the body in a garden tomb, cause it was nigh and it was fast approaching sunset.
The sins of the human-race took Jesus to Hell, but Death and Hell could not hold Him, because they were not His sins. Jesus was the first human-being [the human-side of Jesus in contrast to His divine side] to be "born-again" [as He says we all must be]. Indeed, in the torments of Hell is where Jesus was "born again". He burst out of Hell, defeated Satan and all his forces of evil spirits, and put Satan on public display before his defeated forces in the spirit-world which is another dimension. The Bible compared it to a Roman "triumph" with Jesus as "The Mighty Conqueror" and victor over Satan and his demonic kingdom, "since He rent the veil in two".
Then, Jesus re-entered His body, which had lain in a tomb for three days, which underwent a metamorphosis, and rose from the dead in a glorified-immortal human form, the 17th of Nissan, to the shock and horror of the guards posted at His tomb. The initial radiation-flash that began the metamorphosis left a photocopy of Jesus' battered dead corpse on the "Shroud of Turin", Jesusí burial cloth [called The "Mandylion" in ancient times], which is a witness to the world that Jesus is alive!
Then, Jesus collected His Holy Blood [which could not corrupt] into a cup, called "The Holy Chalice", the celestial-version of the terrestrial-model of the "Holy Grail", which He sat on the "mercy-seat" of the celestial-prototype of the "ark-of-the-covenant" in "The-Holy-of-Holies", in the celestial-prototype of the tabernacle and temple, Heavenís Temple, "built without hands" upon His ascension. The "Holy Grail" is the symbol of the "New Covenant" announced by Jesus, just like the "ark-of-the-covenant" is the symbol of the "Old Covenant".
"Paradise" [called "Abrahamís Bosom"], deep in the bowels of the earth, was emptied by Jesus of all the Old Testament believers, that is, from Adam and Eve to the repentant thief crucified next to Jesus on the Cross; either Dismas or Gestas, the two thieves crucified on His either side; and, the Old Testament believers were witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem and Judea for forty-days following the resurrection (Mt 27:52-53); after which Jesus gathered His disciples on the Mount-of-Olives and ascended up into the sky to Heaven. He took with Him all the Old Testament spirits whom He had liberated from the "Terrestrial-Paradise" in a "triumphal procession" on the main-street of Heaven, the "Celestial-Paradise", to the cheers of all of God's angels. And, Jesus, "The Mighty Conqueror", the victorious savior of the souls of the former-occupants of the earth's bowels, presented them as trophies to God-Almighty on His universal-throne in Heaven. [The reference to a mineral "Eden" [Paradise] in Ezekiel 28:13 contrasts to the vegetable "Eden" [Paradise] in Genesis 2:8, hence, we have more than one place called "Paradise" in scripture.]
Today, Jesus sits on Godís throne in Heaven, attended to by millions of angels, but He promised before His ascension to return to earth ["Second-Advent"] in great glory and establish a one-world government and reign as world-king from His palace in Jerusalem, Israel, on Mount Zion [one of the five hills upon which Jerusalem is built] and restore the human-race back to "Paradise" by bringing Heaven to earth.
Meantime, the Holy-Spirit is operating now in the earth collecting a body-of-people from the earth's population to be Christís "Bride". The Church Universal is Jesus' future wife. For, as the "first" Adam had a bride, Eve; so, the "last" [sometimes "second"] Adam, i.e., Christ, will also have a bride. The harem of King Solomon's 1000 wives is a proto-type of the 1000x1000 wives Jesus will have in His future kingdom on this earth. Jesus never married during His human experience, despite the opinions of the authors of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", "Da Vinci Code", "Jesus Dynasty", and other books like these, that He surely did not break the "Nazarite Vow" He was obliged to keep [see "Unger's Bible Dictionary", pages 779-780, for the provisions of the "Nazarite Vow"] and remained celibate during His human experience, for it was not a part of His mission during His incarnation to marry; but, waited then and still waits today for his future bride, the Church Universal, His 1000x1000 wives.
Jesus said His "Second Advent" would occur during the "Apocalypse" to save Israel and establish the "promised kingdom" with Himself as "world-king", and reign in peace, prosperity, and plenty with great glory forever as Israel's eternal-king, with Jerusalem as the world's capital-city. From that time onwards Israel is called the "chief" of the world's nations, meaning that Israel's Messiah will possess a greater technology or power than the human-race possesses to enforce His worldwide rule.
David Hughes, 2005, RdavidH218@AOL.com