The Nazarene Way of Essenic
- What is Holy Week? In the Christian calendar Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. During this week we are reminded to reflect upon the meaning of Jesus' death on the cross, an event that took place nearly two millennia ago at a place which still remains the epicenter of religious and political violence today.
- From Fasting to Feasting; The Days of Holy Week Holy Week is a long journey through various stages. All these steps are meant for study and understanding of the events that led to the execution of Jesus, and each stage bears a symbolic meaning with a certain phase of the life of Christ.
- Ostara Sabbat / Spring Equinox "Here Comes the Son" The point in the yearly cycle when balance exists between light and dark. The day of Spring Equinox has equal times of daylight and darkness
- Introductory Understandings on Initiation We are in process of passing from one religious age into another. The spiritual trends of today are steadily becoming more defined. The hearts of men have never been more open to spiritual impression than they are at this time, and the door into the very center of reality stands open wide.
- The Difficulty of the Simplest Rule The sense of responsibility for one's actions grows as one progresses from stage to stage upon the Path of Evolution. In the early stages there is little or no responsibility. There is little or no knowledge, no sense of relationship to God, and very little sense of relationship to humanity.
- The Tragedy of Christ In turning our attention to Holy Week and the story of the Crucifixion, it is obvious that there is need to recount the details of it, and yet, it is so well known and so familiar that the words in which it is couched are apt to mean little and often go unrealized.
- Christianity; The Restatement of Ancient Doctrine Christianity is the restatement of a very old doctrine. It is not new. The Gospel narratives are dependable only because they are integrated with the spiritual revelation of the past, and are being reinterpreted today in the terms of 'Christ.'
Palm Sunday: Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem. Crowd proclaims him "King"
- Palm Sunday Jesus Rides into Jerusalem as a King. A week later, he would suffer a Humiliating Death. The last week of Jesus' life was filled with many events as we follow him from his glorious entry into Jerusalem on Sunday until his death on Friday. In the days in between, he preached, taught, presided over the Passover supper, stood trial, and was condemned to death. This week is known as 'Holy Week.'
- The Entry Into Jerusalem Now on the first day of the week when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you, and as soon as you be entered into it, ye shalt find an ass tied, whereon never man sat, loose him and bring him.
Holy Monday: The cleansing of the temple. Jesus frees the animals to be slaughtered.
- The Cleansing Of The Temple And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up again from Bethany into Jerusalem. And he found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made a scourge of seven cords, he drove them all out of the temple and loosed the sheep and the oxen, and the doves, and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables.
- The Money Changers and the Sellers of Animals The prominent feature of all four Gospel readings is that Jesus becomes enraged and throws out of the temple those who were buying and selling animals and those who were exchanging currency. But who were these people and what were they doing in the Temple?
- Christ's Assault on Blood Sacrifice Undergirding the theory that it was the cheating moneychangers whom Jesus targeted as the culprits in the system of animal sacrifice, is the claim that the whole process had become "too commercial." This is akin to claiming that the institution of slavery had to be dismantled because it had became too commercial. It was the inherent immorality of those systems that brought together the historical forces which finally led to their collapse.
- The Man From the Desert on the Money Changers "Men and women fled from before His face, and He moved amongst them as the whirling wind moves on the sad-hills. All this came to pass in but a moment, and then the court of the Temple was emptied of the money-changers."
Holy Tuesday: Outraged Pharisees plot to eliminate Jesus/ Mt. of Olives sermon.
- Holy Tuesday / Mount of Olives So called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed, is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7; Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the valley of Kidron
Spy Wednesday: Judas agrees to betray Jesus / tells how to easily capture him.
- Why Did Judas Betray Jesus? Maybe the most vivid example of tragic misinterpretation of prophecy occurred in the life of Judas Iscariot. His misconception about the coming of the Messiah resulted in the betrayal and death of Jesus and his own death by suicide.
- The Teachings of Spy Wednesday How often do we deny or betray Jesus in our daily lives? The Gospel reading of John recounts the dramatic way in which Jesus unmasked both Judas and Peter with the truth, and that Jesus was in control and knew what would happen as He chose to follow the Way that led to His death.
Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper / Agony in the garden / Jesus is arrested.
- Maundy Thursday The Evangelists and critics generally agree that the Last Supper was on a Thursday, that Christ suffered and died on Friday, and that He arose from the dead on Sunday. As to the day of the month there seems a difference between the record of the synoptic Gospels and that of St. John. In consequence some critics have rejected the authenticity of either account or of both. Since Christians, accepting the inspiration of the Scriptures, cannot admit contradictions in the sacred writers, various attempts have been made to reconcile the statements.
- The Last Paschal Supper "Verily I say unto you, for this end have I come into the world, that I may put away all blood offerings and the eating of the flesh of the beasts and the birds that are slain by men."
The Agony In The Garden "And Iesus went away and prayed, saying, O my Father-Mother, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.
- Why was Jesus Arrested? The Political and Economic Reasons for Dealing with Jesus. The "conspiracy" against Jesus had been building for at least 3 years, and sources record seven instances of official plotting against him, two efforts at arrest, and three assassination attempts before this time. This intrigue was no spur of the moment idea.
Good Friday: The trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus.
Good Friday The Friday before Easter is called "Good" Friday. It is a somber observance which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus the Nazarene. Marked with prayers, fasts and penance, Good Friday is a day of contrition, repentance and reflection. It is not a day of celebration but a day of mourning, both for the death of Jesus, and for the sins of a world that his death represents.
The Inherited Idea of Blood Sacrifice Christ, the sacrifice for sin, and the Cross of Christ as the instrument of His death, have absorbed men's attention, whilst Christ the perfect man and Christ the Son of God have been less emphasized until entirely forgotten in the West.
The Fourth Initiation - The Crucifixion Christ did not die in order that you and I might go to heaven. He died as the result of the very nature of the service which He rendered, of the note which He struck, and because He inaugurated a new age and told men how to live as sons of God.
The Physical Suffering of Jesus The word "excruciating" comes from the Latin, excruciatus, or "out of the cross.
Details and History of Crucifixion Crucifixion was never performed for ritual or symbolic reasons; it is an ancient method of execution in which the victim was tied or nailed to a large wooden cross (Latin: crux) and left to hang until dead.
Lection 79 The Hebrew Trial Before Caiaphas "And they gave forth their sentence against Iesus, that he was worthy of death, and that he should be bound and carried away, and delivered unto Pilate."
Lection 81 The Roman Trial Before Pilate "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person."
Lection 82 The Crucifixion "When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him and crucify him."
Lection 83 The Burial Of Jesus "And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead, and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus."
Why hast thou forsaken me? Aramaic Bible researchers claim that the traditional "forsaken" interpretation is a mistake in the Aramaic scribing that was transferred to later transcriptions. According to modern translations, that rather than a "loss of faith" Christ meant, to say "so this is my destiny."
INRI: The Inscription Explained Pilate had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.
Simon the Cyrene; He Who Carried the Cross "His burden stopped Him many a time, for His body was exhausted. Then a Roman soldier approached me, saying, "Come, you are strong and firm built; carry the cross of this man."
Barabbas: The Last Words of Jesus "They released me and chose Him. Then He rose and I fell down. And they held Him a victim and a sacrifice for the Passover. I was freed from my chains, and walked with the throng behind Him, but I was a living man going to my own grave."
"It Is Finished" We can no longer accept the appalling theological doctrine that for some mystic reason a propitiatory sacrifice is necessary. It outrages either our conception of God as almighty or else our conception of Him as all-loving.
Holy Saturday / Black Sabbath: The Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the tomb.
- Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil Saturday is the seventh day of the week, the day Jesus rested in the tomb. In the first three synoptic Gospel accounts this was the Jewish Sabbath which provided appropriate symbolism of the seventh day of rest. Holy Saturday is also a day of solemn vigil, meditation and prayer.
Easter Sunday: The 'Resurrection' of Jesus.
- Lection 84 The Resurrection Of Jesus "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her, and commanded her to announce his resurrection from the dead."
- The Apostle Mary Magdalene Referred to in early Christian writings as "the apostle to the apostles," she was the constant companion of Jesus and his disciples. She was present throughout his early ministry, she was at his crucifixion and burial, and went to the tomb to anoint his body. She was the first to see the risen Christ and first to announce his resurrection to the apostles.
- Why Does Easter's Date Wander? The date of Easter Sunday, a so-called movable feast day in the Christian Church year, may seem mysterious to many who celebrate it. There are 35 possible dates in the spring season (northern hemisphere) for celebrating a one-time event. Why this wandering? The answer comes from decisions made several centuries after Christianity's inception.
- Resurrection and Ascension The crucial initiation for humanity to understand at this time is that only when we have mastered the significance of service and sacrifice can the fact of immortality and its true meaning be revealed to us.
- The Key to Overcoming Death The key to the overcoming of death and to the processes of realizing the meaning and nature of eternity and the continuity of life can with safety be revealed only when love holds sway over the human consciousness, and where the good of the whole, and not the selfish good of the individual, comes to be the supreme regard.
- The Founding of the Kingdom When we are ready to make the needed sacrifices and renunciations, then will there be the manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth.
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