I want you to take a good hard look at this picture.
You already know who it is.
I could show this picture to 100 people and 95% of them will know who it is. The five remaining people will take no more than two guesses, no matter their age, or even their religion to correctly guess it is a picture of Jesus.
The reason we know who it is is because when Christ left he sent us his spirit, the Spirit of Truth, so all people would have a truth-detector, his way of offering protection from deception, because he knew life would be full of deception.
Christ chose our world, according to the Urantia Book, out of ten million other worlds where he could have completed his seventh and final bestowal as a mortal being.
He chose our world for a good reason. I do not happen to know what that reason was, but I suspect he desired to make the most of a difficult challenge; he wanted to make sure no one could ever question his commitment in following the Father’s will even in the worst, perhaps the very worst of circumstances.
And boy was he right.
Our world was so wretched and backward we even went so far as to crucify the Prince of Peace, we told him to get lost. We sent the Son of Man and the Son of God packing. Not something I am particularly proud of as a human.
People still do it today. Many die every day because some people hate Christ with such extremism, it borders on insanity.
Because of our actions and his commitment as a bestowal Son, our world is known among the cosmos, among the millions of civilized and enlightened nations throughout our region of space, as the World of the Cross.
But Christ picked us because he believed in us, he saw our potential. He saw the future when his plan would triumph.
When I get really depressed about how bad things are and how badly people behave, I remember again, I think of the picture, and I remind myself that even Christ believed in us. I don’t think he was wrong.
People are starting to realize material realities are dead ends. Plus, new discoveries have prepared people for the unexpected. We are a generation that grew up on Star Trek, Star Wars and Guardians of The Galaxy; our telescopes are detecting abundant evidence for potential life, and tech, despite the pitfalls of social media, bring us closer together through shared knowledge and common experience.
Maybe Christ saw in our hearts, during those days in the flesh getting to know his human fellows, perhaps he saw a longing in our hearts for love and peace; he could see his father in the human soul.
The picture of Jesus is a computerized image created from the actual blood stains and imprint of the Shroud of Turin, the cloth Jesus’ dead body was wrapped in before he was put into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
When the tomb was discovered and the body of Jesus was found to be missing, the cloth was all that was left. I guess you really can’t take it with you, even your clothes.
People debate the shroud, some say it’s a fake. Others believe it is truly authentic as the cloth that wrapped Jesus’ body.
The Urantia Book explains (rather prophetically) what happened to Jesus’ body after the resurrection. It’s a fascinating story worth reading
189:1.2 After the resurrected Jesus emerged from his burial tomb, the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph and his associates on Friday afternoon.
…Mankind is slow to perceive that, in all that is personal, matter is the skeleton of morontia, and that both are the reflected shadow of enduring spirit reality. How long before you will regard time as the moving image of eternity and space as the fleeting shadow of Paradise realities?
189:2.1 At ten minutes past three o’clock, as the resurrected Jesus fraternized with the assembled morontia (angelic) personalities from the seven mansion worlds, the chief of archangels—the angels of the resurrection—approached Gabriel and asked for the mortal body of Jesus. Said the chief of the archangels: “We may not participate in the morontia (angelic) resurrection of the bestowal experience of our sovereign, but we would have his mortal remains put in our custody for immediate dissolution. We do not propose to employ our technique of dematerialization; we merely wish to invoke the process of accelerated time. It is enough that we have seen the Sovereign live and die on Urantia; the hosts of heaven would be spared the memory of enduring the sight of the slow decay of the human form of the Creator and Upholder of a universe. In the name of the celestial intelligences of all Nebadon, I ask for a mandate giving me the custody of the mortal body of Jesus of Nazareth and empowering us to proceed with its immediate dissolution.”
189:2.7 The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the “dust to dust,” without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.
189:2.8 The mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.
So you see, the material body of Jesus was dissolved through a process that accelerated dissolution, like a flash of heat, such as would leave residue from ash absorbed in cloth forming an imprint that happens to look a lot like a man who was just crucified.
Many who have spent decades researching the Shroud do not know the Urantia Book narrative.
If they did it would explain the imprint. I wish someone would tell them. It would serve as an incredibly important revelation.
But to my point about Christ putting his trust in humanity to be able to discern the truth, the big reveal is not so outlandish as it once might have been in former days.
Today’s minds may be prone to accept:
…we live in an orderly universe
…a spiritual force does exist, this force is a force for good; we are endowed with it.
…spiritual beings exist and help us
….the universe is filled with life every where; there is fraternity.
…the journey ahead will take us an eternity to complete, this is the beginning and unites us as fellow human beings.
Today’s minds can embrace cosmology without the theology; let God work out the details.
Jesus believed we could handle the truth, so let’s not be afraid to share it if it can provide comfort to the hopeless.