The Mystery of Yeshua: The Man we call Jesus Christ
- Birth and Death solar mysteries
- Mysteries of the Magi
- Messiah: The Anointed One
- Lessons from his life
- The Mother of God
- Sons of God and the resurrection of the dead
The mystery of the Incarnate Son of God is not something which can be fully covered within one blog post; however, as I am about to begin a blog series which explores the mysteries we can find within the Bible, this post will serve as an introduction to the New Testament portion of that study. In addition, anyone who reads this post alone should still come away with some new insight into the man we call Jesus Christ, Yeshua, and what it means that he is the Messiah.
I encourage you to keep following this blog for more in depth information, and also to study more on your own. Read some texts on Christian Cabbala and Jewish Kabbalah, and compare them to the Gospels. Read about Zoroastrianism, Egyptian and Greek mystery traditions, and other religions of the region and time in which Yeshua was born. Above all, read the Gospels, especially the canonical Gospels, but also the Gospel of Thomas. Remember to pray before you read and seek God’s wisdom. In fact, if you haven’t taken a moment to pray before reading this blog post, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to do so right now, and then click “Continue reading” below.
Birth and Death Solar Mysteries
One of the more common arguments against the validity of Yeshua’s story, is ironically a fact about his life which was meant to prove who he is. That argument is that Yeshua mirrors the classic dying and rising god cults of the region, and the claim is that his story was fabricated using those mystery cults as a basis. So, first we’ll examine how he mirrors some of those traditions.
First, most of the cultures and mystery cults which had a dying and rising god in their mythology based it on the seasons; primarily, it was based on agriculture, following the pattern of the solstices and equinoxes. Winter was seen as a time when the grain god or Sun god (sometimes the same god) died, for obvious reasons. At the Winter Solstice, the Sun would appear to “stand still” (not make any progress in its path back north) for 3 days. The day after it started apparent movement again was celebrated as the “rebirth” of the god, and the promise that Spring would one day come again.
Even though I think the parallels are apparent, I want to draw them out for you so that you get their full impact. See, it’s no accident that Yeshua appears to mirror these beliefs in some way, but rather than Yeshua mirroring them, I will demonstrate how they actually prefigure him.
The Winter Solstice falls around December 21st or 22nd, and if one were to give a definitive date of when the solstice period ends and the rebirth beings, one would pick (on our calendar) December 25th; not coincidentally the birthday of Yeshua. If one only considers that Yeshua is a dying/rising god/God, one might think his birthday was put on that date as a move by the church to supplant the pagan festivals of rebirth on the same day. However, that’s a myopic view of history which doesn’t study the facts behind why that date was deduced by church scholars to be his birthday.
At the time of Yeshua, and the time of the early church following his death and resurrection, the tradition was kept that his conception was on the anniversary of Creation; the anniversary of when God “spoke” and the Word first came into the world. While there were a few different Jewish calendars in use at the time, thanks to the diaspora following Babylon and again following the fall of Jerusalem and the temple at the hands of the Romans, but the one the church recognized put the date of Creation as March 25. If you go 9 months (human gestation) from March 25, you arrive at December 25; the day he would logically be born. Of course, we know human gestation isn’t that exact, but it was inevitable that his birthday would end up on that date.
John: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Remember that the Word came into the world when God Spoke, and Creation started. The Word is the cause of creation, and permeates creation. It makes sense, then, that the very seasons would be in sync with him. There would be no other more logical day for him to be conceived in human form than on the anniversary of Creation, and no more logical day for him to be born than on the day of the symbolic rebirth of the Sun.
We further see the same echo in his death and resurrection, of course. As the Sun “dies” for 3 days at the Solstice, so does Yeshua spend 3 days in the tomb. Just as the Sun is reborn, so is the Son of God.
These signs were placed within the seasons so that when Yeshua would be born, and followed the preordained divine pattern as he set it in nature, it would be confirmed that he is indeed who he said he is. Thus, he is not just the fulfillment of Mosaic Law, but the fulfillment of all old religion. He came to set a new way in the final part of this age, and that new way was ultimately for everyone.
Linked to his death and rebirth is one more sign that he is prefigured by the solar/grain gods; the Holy Eucharist. He chose bread (fruit of the Earth) and wine (fruit of the vine) to represent his sacrifice for a reason. He was showing that he is the answer to all dying and rising gods. His spirit is what these people were seeing within nature, and their myths sometimes even predicted some of what his actual life would be like. God didn’t abandon any human culture, though they understood Him differently. Yeshua was born here to bring them all together, and through the Eucharist he is showing us that his spirit has always been in creation, and in the fruit of the Earth and fruit of the vine used to celebrate him before he was even born.
None of that information changes the magic of the Eucharist, whatever you believe it to be. The Eucharist is uniquely a rite of Yeshua, and all others were prefiguring his rite. If you believe that it literally becomes the body and blood of Yeshua, then none of what I said would disagree with that fact. He is the original from the moment of Creation.
By understanding that Yeshua came to unite all religions, we begin to have a new understanding of what he meant when he said he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father but through him. He was saying that all ways to God are through him. His Truth is the only Truth, no matter what form it’s wrapped in. He is the cause of Life, and dwells in all living beings. The very verses many churches use to prove exclusivity actually are meant to express universality. His Truth is the core of almost all faiths; believe in the Divine, Love one another, be kind and courteous to one another, and take care of one another. Everything else is window dressing.
Now, that’s not to say that Yeshua is the only actual being who manifested as a savior of sorts, who then followed the dying and rising pattern. Of course not. In fact, it has probably happened a half dozen times in the span of our species. However, he is the ultimate manifestation of that pattern, and unites all others.
To be fair to the Catholic church, while they are a rigid dogmatic Christianity, they are rather liberal in accepting other cultures. In North America they taught the Lakota that their god Wakan Tanka was the same as God, and Native Americans still use holy white sage in Catholic ceremonies. Rather than forcing other cultures to adapt, they allowed them to keep aspects of their old beliefs and practices, and still do today. Because they allowed people to keep their culture, they were accused of appropriating those cultures for their religion, but that’s another discussion. So, whatever else you think of the Catholic church, I will give them credit for living up to their name, as “catholic” means universal and all encompassing.
Mysteries of the Magi
Before we can edge into the deeper mysteries of the magi, we must first dispel a few common misconceptions. First, there were probably more than three, and the Bible does not record a number, names, or physical descriptions of them other than “from the East.” Second, they did not likely arrive when Yeshua was a newborn, but definitely sometime before he was 2 years old. They followed a star, on foot or by camel (likely a little of both) from a far away country. The journey would have taken at least a few months, if not longer.
The magi are a key element to understanding Yeshua, because whether they were literal or allegorical (I have good reason to believe they were literal) they represent the link between Judaism and Eastern Mysticism. The Magi were clearly astrologers from a foreign people, who only knew that the stars told them a great king was being born in Judah. At least, that’s what the Bible tells us.
If we look deeper into what the Bible says, we recognize that the gifts the magi brought demonstrated that they knew exactly what kind of king this would be. Through their understanding of their own religion, they were able to determine the universal Truth of Yeshua, as we discussed in the previous section of this post.
There is far more to the mystery of the magi than can be discussed in this blog post, and there’s much you can learn from understanding who they were and what their role is in the story of Yeshua’s birth. The hint I’ll give you is that they were priests living in the East among, and as, the Zoroastrians, but their actual religion was/is more universal and understood mysteries from a broader perspective than most followers of Zoroastrianism. I would also encourage you to explore the links between Zoroastrianism and Judaism, especially Kabbalah. To me, it’s obvious that the author of Matthew was a Jewish mystic, probably a Levite, of some mysticism which predates what we know as the Kabbalah.
Messiah: The Anointed One
Messiah simply means anointed, and it referred to a special anointing received by High Priests (Kohanim) and by Kings in Judea and Israel. All High Priests and Kings were “messiahs” of a sort. So, what then does it mean that Yeshua was/is The Messiah?
Well, that confusion is exactly what led to the ancient Jews having all sorts of ideas about who the Messiah would be. Some thought a purely religious leader, but most, because it’s what they believed they most needed, believed he would be a largely political figure; a king messiah rather than a priest messiah. By the time Yeshua was born, various groups of Jews had followed many different false messiahs. What they failed to grasp, until 12 Jewish men followed by thousands of other Jewish women and men met Yeshua, was that the concept of The Messiah was supposed to be both priest and king.
I’m not going to get heavily into the genealogy argument proving that he was, genetically, both priest and king, because it’s unnecessary. I do believe that the two genealogies listed in Matthew and Luke are intended to convey that he was both Levite and of the Judean line of David, but I tell you it’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is that he was, is, and ever shall be the living Word of God, a part of the Holy Trinity; therefore, his true Father, Our Father in Heaven, is the ultimate Priest.
Further, Yeshua’s priesthood is above Aaron’s priesthood, so it is not claimed through Levitcal lines. In Hebrews 7, it is made clear that Yeshua’s priesthood is like that of Melchizedek, who was both high priest of God Most High (El Elyon) and King of Salem (Genesis 14.)
Thus, we understand that Yeshua is The Messiah because he is both High Priest forever and King forever. As David was a shepherd who became King, so Yeshua is the King who is Shepherd of us all; gathering all his sheep of every fold, and guiding us in paths of righteousness.
Life of Yeshua the Messiah
Aside from his infancy, we first meet Yeshua when he is around 12 years old. 12 years old is the age of manhood in Jewish culture, so it is appropriate that it is where we first hear of him beginning to know who he is. In Luke 2, Mary and Joseph are looking for Yeshua who has wandered off from their company. They find him in the temple astonishing the teachers with his knowledge and wisdom.
The next time we see him, which we will discuss more in the next section, he is with his mother, attending a wedding. We see him as still reluctant to begin his ministry and revealing who he is, but his mother encourages him and he opens up and works his first recorded miracle; turning water into wine.
In Matthew 15, we see another stage in Yeshua’s life. He is aware that he is the Messiah, but having been raised in a Jewish household and culture, he still only has a Jewish interpretation of what it means to be Messiah. Matthew and Mark, both Jewish, mention the incident, but Luke, a student of Paul, omits it from his Gospel. Mark makes it seem more like he will help others after he helps the Jews, whereas Matthew, the Jewish Mystic, emphasizes Yeshua saying that he came only to the lost sheep of Israel.
All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record the penultimate event in Yeshua’s life; the Transfiguration. The topic of the Transfiguration will be covered much more in depth in the upcoming posts exploring the Bible in depth (the goal is to post one Old Testament and one New Testament post per week, so we’ll get to the Transfiguration pretty quickly.) For now, it is enough to understand that it is at this moment that Yeshua fully understood the link to everything.
Shaman of various cultures go through an “initiatory illness” phase, and as they come out of it they receive a vision where they gain a new understanding of everything, and see how everything is connected. Yeshua, being The Messiah, didn’t need to go through any initiatory illness, but he did need to build his following and his ministry so that he could come to a point where he was ready for his ultimate awakening. The Transfiguration, of course, was that awakening for him, but to a level unique to him. It was also necessary that he undergo this transformation before his death, so that he would be able to handle the brutal death, and be ready for his resurrection.
From the moment of his Transfiguration, he had a concrete plan and he knew how everything connected, past, present, and future. He knew when each step would be revealed, and how it would happen before and after his death and resurrection. He always knew who he was, and what he was doing, but it was at that moment which he understood it completely. It was a moment of contentment which carried him through the horror he would face later.
Theotokos: Mary’s relationship with Yeshua
“Theotokos,” comes from Greek, and it literally translates to “God bearer.” It is in this role which we first find Mary. She meets the Archangel Gabriel, who announces to her that she is going to be pregnant with God’s own Son. Thus, as she bore a member of the Holy Trinity within her womb, she is forever known as “Theotokos.” That title is more common in Eastern churches, but not exclusive to them. In the Western Churches, it’s more common to phrase the same idea calling her, “Mother of God,” “Mater Dei” in Latin.
There are various traditions and beliefs regarding Mary’s parents and family, but the only thing we get from the Gospels is that her cousin Elizabeth is a Levite and the mother of John the Baptist. We know she’s a Levite because she’s married to a Temple Priest, and that was a requirement.
What we do know is that Mary and Joseph were incredibly dedicated parents, and that Mary stayed with Yeshua throughout his life. When Yeshua’s life was in danger, they fled all the way to Egypt, which was not exactly a great place to be in that time period if you’re Jewish. When he seemed to be lost, they dutifully searched for him.
Most scholars believe that Joseph died sometime before the wedding where Yeshua worked his first miracle. We only find Mary present with him, and it is her who inaugurates his first miracle. Despite his statement that he isn’t ready and it isn’t time, he listens to his mother and performs his first public miracle.
It is clear from the wedding story that Yeshua and his mother were extremely close, and he revered her. He gave her authority to cause him to work that first miracle, turning the water into fine wine. This is the woman who nursed our Lord Yeshua at her breast, cleaned up after him, taught him to talk, and raised him.
People will refer to Yeshua saying that those who do his Father’s Will are his mother and brothers, and say that it means he wasn’t all that close to his mother. Of course, that ignores Jewish culture, and everything we’ve read about him and Mary before that story. He was using the presence of his family to make the point that we are his family when we walk in his Light and follow as he taught, and that his ministry was at least as important to him as any blood family. He wasn’t going to be distracted by their presence, because his work was important.
We last see his mother mentioned only in the stand alone Gospel, the Gospel of John. He places her at the foot of the cross as Yeshua is about to expire. Yeshua says to one of his disciples (many believe it to be John, but there are other theories) that Mary is now his Mother, and he is now her son. He was saying that his mom was special to him, and he wanted her to be loved and cared for. He knew he would be coming back from the dead, but he also knew that even then he couldn’t stay here.
Sons of God
The first time the Bible uses the term, “Sons of God,” is in Genesis chapter 6, where it says the Sons of God saw the daughters of men and made babies with them (I’m paraphrasing.) The Book of Enoch says that these “Sons of God” (Bene Elohim in Hebrew) were angels who decided to make babies with humans, and whose offspring were giants, “The Nephilim.” I’ve written elsewhere about this topic, but this is not what Yeshua means when he says we will be called children of God.
Yeshua is the Son of God in that he is the Son mystery of the Trinity, and the Bene Elohim were probably angelic echoes of that mystery. We are not given to know through scripture alone, but it really is beside the point. As Angels are echoes of God, though with their own individual personalities, humans are something else.
Human souls are seeds of the Divine, and when those seeds grow we become Children of God. We are God’s offspring, in a sense, though it doesn’t mean we become gods in that sense. “He” created us to be something new, so that “He” could be our Father, but first we have to mature. We have to be “ripe” for the harvest; the next stage in our evolution.
Yeshua took human form partially to demonstrate that death has no hold over God. Through his own death, he conquered death, and demonstrated the resurrection. We are already the Children of God if we love Yeshua and walk in his ways and according to his teachings. It is at the resurrection that those who walk as Children of God in this life will be taken to the next existence to dwell together with God and do great things.
Of course, if you read the rest of this blog post, or this blog in general, I think you probably understand that I don’t mean that you have to be a member of a Christian church to make it. Yeshua established a hierarchy of teachers with the Apostles, and they formed a church to keep his teachings from being corrupted (as much as they could anyway.) However, he didn’t say “my church is the only path,” he said that he is the way. The early Christians actually called themselves, “The Way.” So, you don’t have to be Christian in the traditional, rigid church sense, but walk in the way of Yeshua; the way of compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, and love.
Shalom and all goodness
God bless you and keep you always.