*About Calvary, Golgotha, and Easter* by IkeChukwu Unegbe

PARADISE Society

The season comes around, once again, when many desire to join in the commemoration of the succession of events that led to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ; generally known as Easter!  Very unfortunately, those succession of events leading up to Easter are generally misunderstood or misinterpreted. Yet, for the true Easter to be experienced, those preceding events must be understood and placed in proper contexts. This effort seeks to help awaken that contemplation and understanding.

Already, we hear persons exchange so called ‘Calvary greetings’; and glorify the ‘salvation’ which Jesus Christ is thought to have secured for mankind by seeing that in the shedding of his blood at Golgotha. It is believed, preached, and ‘celebrated’ by many in Christendom that without the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary, their sins would not have been washed away. This cliché has been repeated for thousands of years and passed down to many generations of human beings without thinking it over deeply. Yet, sadly, even the passages of the Scriptures, when examined objectively, do not support such heretical dogmatic thoughts. Let us all patiently examine the facts!

Judas Iscariot remains a central character in the unfolding of events that eventually led to the cold-blooded murder of Jesus Christ. In the descriptions of what motivated Judas, various authors captured the following:

“ _…Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being the number of the Twelve….” (Luke 22:3)_

“… _Then Jesus replied, ‘Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!’ (John 6:70-71)_

“ … _Jesus replied, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.” (Matthew 26:23)_

“ _The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24)_

Those are statements captured in black and white in the Scriptures, which many still read till tomorrow; yet, they continue to hold to their own self chosen ‘interpretations’ (read misinterpretations); suggesting that Jesus Christ’s death was a necessary propitiatory sacrifice for their sins. The illogicality of such a conclusion ought to stare everyone in the face if people are allowed the necessary spiritual freedom to examine and interpret the Scriptures personally. Unfortunately, the tradition is to accept and believe what others taught, which the classical definition of ‘blind faith’ is. How could the salvation of mankind come through ‘Satan entering into Judas, and he betraying Jesus Christ’, two evil occurrences?

If Judas Iscariot championed the so-called ‘washing away of the sins through the blood of Jesus Christ shed at Golgotha’, how come Judas is not celebrated today? How come he has not been canonized as a Saint? Why are many of us human beings not thinking deeply about these matters?

Indeed, to further underscore the fact that Judas Iscariot carried out a devilish act and ‘paid dearly for it’, follow me to these few verses of the Bible:

“ _…Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priest and elders…”(Matthew 27:3)_

“ _Judas bought a field with his silver reward and fell ‘headlong’ in it, and ‘all his bowels gushed out.” (Acts 1:18)._

Do not be bothered by the apparent contradictions in some other verses as to the consequences that Judas suffered, the key point was that he realized he had been ‘ *used* ’ by the forces of darkness orchestrated through the elders and leaders of then religious groups (The priests and elders). The sense of the ugly fate that befell Judas Iscariot is further well captured in Matthew 27: 3-5, where it was reported as follows:

“ _(3)…When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders (4) ‘I have sinned’, he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood’…’What is that to us?’, they replied. ‘That’s your responsibility.’ (5) ‘So, Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”_

The idea of this short piece is to induce further reflections by those who confess followership of Jesus Christ, even if initially some may wish to reject the new insights. The core of Christ’s Mission lies in His undergoing enormous sacrifices to bring down, to material creation, the anchorage of the  Word of Truth to a mankind, already straying away from the dictates of the Will of God. Recall His self-proclaimed statement to Pilate as captured in _John 18:37: “….To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.”_

So, if anyone is seriously looking for a direct explanation from Jesus Christ about His Mission, there you have them. Whether you accept them or not does not change the true essence of the mission.

To further give clear hint that Jesus Christ’s death through crucifixion, (a most horrendously painful way to die) was not His wish, recall His last prayer of intercession: “… _Then said Jesus, Father , forgive them, for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34_ KJV). Surely, there would have been no need for such a prayer of intercession if what was done to Christ was willed by God and meant for the salvation of mankind.

One only needs to reflect deeply about these things and determine to intuitively follow the explanations, and it would not be hard to come to the truth and become freed from indoctrinations of many thousands of years. You definitely lose nothing if you abandon the ‘ _blood of Christ’_ mantra and embrace the ‘ _Word of Christ’_ pathway. Always also remember that Jesus Christ Himself placed a curse on Judas Iscariot in condemnation of his act of betrayal. Even the word ‘betrayal’ conveys a lot to one who is free in spirit; it shows that the event was wrong and not willed by God.

Finally, let me also address the usual ‘refrain’; “But it was prophesied’! A prophesy manifests as the ability of a called one to ‘see’ future events, arising as the accumulation of past and present thoughts, actions  and behaviors of mankind; and such outcome can always change if mankind also changes.  If mankind had accepted Jesus Christ as the Word of Truth incarnate and listened to His words, putting them into living deeds, He would not have been killed.

As we commemorate those events, may more emphasis now go to the Words of Jesus Christ, the Admonitions and commandments, as the elixir that are to awaken the human spirit unto personal resurrection of all hidden virtues! It would then be Easter for everyone.

IkeChukwu Unegbe, Esq.

(28/03/2024)

(Reflections series…..

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