Rewriting History – Volume II – “The Universe and its Inhabitants” – Jesus Christ has overcome evil and death / Jesus Christ and Israel

By Stefania Caterina and Tomislav Vlašić

Dearest brothers and sisters, we will continue to reflect on the figure of Jesus Christ who is the key figure to understanding what happens in the whole universe in this time. To introduce you to this reflection I would like to ask you a question: how many people do you thoroughly know? Very few, why? Perhaps it is because you have no time for them, because you are not interested in them, because you have never listened patiently to them to understand them, because you are not open for each other or because you have not made a path together. Perhaps the dearest people to you, such as your fiancé, are the ones you know the least because you might want to possess each other; you might want to seem persons who have nothing against them in a totally generous way. We can get to know Jesus Christ only if we want to thoroughly recognize and accept Him the way He comes from the Father. Let us listen.

Rewriting History – Volume II – “The Universe and its Inhabitants”, page 182:

Jesus Christ has overcome evil and death

From the Gospel and the Christian tradition you know the historical and human events of Jesus as well as his relationship with the people of Israel: once again it was a difficult relationship that culminated in the Holy Week. Nevertheless, a new history began with these apparently tragic events not only for your humanity but for the humanity of the whole universe.

The eternal confrontation between God and Lucifer, which had begun with the rebellion of the latter, reached the peak at the beginning of history with the betrayal of Jude and the crucifixion of Jesus. The Son of God, the Supreme Good, and Lucifer, source of evil, faced each other in a duel without equal in human history. Lucifer had the illusion of having overcome God as he saw Him nailed to the cross; yet, God, the source of life, could not die. Jesus accepted death, which is the most tragic of all consequences of sin, but He went beyond death through His resurrection. He defeated death and regenerated life healing so the enormous wound left by original sin.

By defeating death Jesus defeated Lucifer who had caused death to enter into the universe, and which he makes use of to keep the human beings enslaved. Lucifer is the master of death as God is the master of life. The devil hates every living creature and creation; he communicates death, may it be physical or existential, to those who get close to him. Jesus Christ has annihilated death destroying the power of the devil forever in the whole creation. After Jesus Christ death is no more the last word in the human experience neither in the life cycle of the creatures that are different from man: it is a physical event that will be definitely removed at the end of time. With death your body remains on Earth while soul and spirit detach themselves to wait in the spiritual dimension of afterlife for the ultimate fulfilment of human history. Then, everything that belongs to God will rise again in Christ.

Jesus has opened the way to a new life for all those who receive Him; the new life will fully flourish in the new creation. All the children of God will enter it and the whole creation will be taken beyond the Great Barrier, beyond corruption and death. All that has been created will be transformed and sublimated to the image of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who rose from death and lives gloriously at the right of God the Father. Jesus will take the whole creation to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit so that creation, too, may share His Glory. He is the King of the universe, and the new creation will be His Kingdom. Jesus has traced a path for all of you; it is up to every man and all the people of God in the universe to walk that path.

Lucifer has tried in every way to deny the resurrection of Christ making it appear like a fairy tale in a desperate attempt to deceive humanity by leaving it in despair. His efforts were in vain: Jesus’ resurrection represents an unquestionable historical and spiritual event of inestimable importance for the whole universe and from which the entire creation draws new strength.

Jesus Christ and Israel

Israel was waiting for the Messiah, the Saviour, but did not recognize Him in Jesus Christ and refused Him. In refusing Him, Israel did not respect the alliance that had been stipulated with God through Moses. In doing so it actually denied its history which was interwoven of the expectation of the Messiah, the Saviour. The Israelites, who had been prepared for centuries for the coming of the Messiah, could not recognize Him when He was born.

How could the chosen people go so far? Because the idea of a powerful Messiah had increasingly developed in Israel; He would have given the people power and dominance rewarding them of the sacrifices made while expecting His coming. Even though the prophets had not said anything like that, the Messiah the people were dreaming of was a king able to defeat all enemies of Israel. Especially the powerful and the priestly castes expected a generous reward: the first seats in the messianic kingdom.

When Jesus began His public mission, He immediately clashed against the expectations of the dominant castes. In their eyes He did not match at all the idea they had of the Messiah: Jesus was poor, of a low social level, raised outside of the rabbinical education and far from any logic of power. The kingdom he spoke of did not resemble at all the one they were coveting: Jesus spoke of peace and of love for the enemies at a time when Israel was under the domination of the hated Romans and hoping in the help of the Messiah to be freed. Jesus was surrounded by disciples coming from poor people who had no religious education. He was followed by several women who were certainly not very respected. What is more, in His preaching He did not miss to openly reprimand the work of the priests and all the people. The signs and miracles Jesus performed among the people were of little use. Some considered Jesus a disturbing or false prophet while others thought He was a dreamer or a provocateur, a liar or a subverter of the religion of the forefathers.

The real reason why Jesus was rejected by the people of Israel, though, was another one: Jesus had proclaimed Himself Son of God. This statement shook the Jewish theological thought which was based on absolute monotheism. The Messiah could have been a servant but certainly not a son as Jesus said. He might have been a child of God as all others were but not the Son of God. Therefore, Jesus was considered a blasphemer and as such He was condemned to death.

One of His apostles, Jude Iscariot, betrayed Him and handed Him over to the Sanhedrin, the tribunal of the Jewish.  The governors of Israel condemned Him; the people approved; the Romans carried out the sentence. Betrayal, sentence, execution: the circle closed around Jesus: His blood was shed by the pagans but fell upon the people of Israel according to the request of the people themselves:  “His blood is on us and on our children!” (Mt 27:25)

This is what happens when people believe in God’s promises but still want them to be realized in their own way. Israel crucified God in the name of God. What would then happen to the chosen people? God continuous to love Israel and will not abandon it, but that is not enough: Israel has to reconcile with God and can do so only by welcoming Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour. This is true for Israel and for all other peoples in the universe. Everything will be recapitulated in Christ and only in Him there is salvation. Remember well, men, there is no other name in which you will be saved. (Acts 4:10)

Let us think about these words. The question to everyone today is:  are you seeking God, are you seeking to know Him? To know Him the way He is? It looks like the people who seek God try to find Him within certain ideas, certain people or things they already know; yet, God is God. Seeking God means to be ready to meet God. God is beyond our thoughts and concepts – He is far greater and we cannot contain Him. Having a closed heart because we want to place God within our limits to use Him, prevents us from getting to know Him. Such behaviour comes from Lucifer. So, if we want to seek God, we have to take a basic attitude: believing that God is God, seeking Him and praying that He might reveal Himself to us and guide us step by step towards knowing Him. He will reveal Himself to us.

Earlier we have heard the words, “Jesus has opened the way to a new life for all those who receive Him; the new life will fully flourish in the new creation […] it is up to every man and all the people of God in the universe to walk that path.”  It is not easy to know God. We have seen in the example of Israel how God prepared that people with much love and attention; however, that people wanted something that God did not want. We have also heard these words, “Even though the prophets had not said anything like that, the Messiah the people were dreaming of was a king able to defeat all enemies of Israel. Especially the powerful and the priestly castes expected a generous reward: the first seats in the messianic kingdom.” It is alright to wish good things for the messianic kingdom, but the real good thing is the full realization of each one of us. God cannot satisfy our wishes so that we stay at our human level. Saint Paul said, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1Cor 10:12) Our certainties are a hindrance when standing before God without a humble and docile attitude. Israel is just an example; the real drama is within us, in how each of us seeks God and if we accept God as He is.

In the passage we have just heard it is said that the promise of God was fulfilled by Jesus Christ for everyone: death has been defeated, the way for the transformation and resurrection of the whole humanity and all the children of God is open, and they will reach the new creation. It is necessary to make an inner journey. Jesus gives us the instruments, the means and the graces to make it. Even though the apostles were with Jesus and could contemplate the miracles, they too had not thoroughly understood what the resurrection of the people meant. It was the Risen Christ who reprimanded them. He will do the same with us if we honestly wish to change and let go of our ideas that are actually prejudices as no one has ever seen God. Only the Son of God who is with the Father has seen and revealed Him. This is true for us Christians as has been said for Israel. We too have to let go of our ideas and interpretations and be submissive to God as was the Son of God, Jesus Christ: “Not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39)

I would like to repeat what I have already said: the danger is that we seek God in the things here on Earth. In this manner we remain in a condition of survival making use of God for the things of the world. Saint Paul says that with such a faith we are the poorest men. So, in this time in which the face of God will shine more and more in the souls of those who seek Him, it is very important that we love His face, that we seek God as He is, and in the end He will manifest Himself in His glory. This will change the society because He will overcome death and also corruption as it is part of death. You can see how corrupt man and the society are on Earth. Without lifting our eyes up to God who wins death and corruption in Jesus Christ we will not make it. There are no means, no men, no authorities who can change humanity; they can only make wars and bring destruction.

I bless you;  that the light of God, God’s grace, may be conveyed to you,  and that in this light and by grace you may feel all the impulses of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit sent in the name of Jesus Christ, and understand what you need to do. The Holy Spirit will guide you inwardly into the mystery of life; in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.