By Ernest O’Neill
For two thousand years we human beings lived in frustration. The frustration arose from the fact that we found we could not live lives that were free from anxiety. We had anxiety about our food, our clothes, our homes, our security, our reputations, the earth and even the stars. We didn’t know where this spaceship earth was going. We didn’t know who or what kept it flying. But worst of all, we didn’t know why we were ever put on it in the first place. All we did know was that we somehow had to keep ourselves alive by getting the food and shelter that sustains physical life; besides that, we had to get the peer recognition and self-esteem that sustain mental life. After two thousand years of this kind of strain at trying to live as self-created, self-dependent creatures (when we were neither), the human personality had become utterly perverted. It was designed to exist in peaceful dependence on the Maker of the universe: but in fact, it was living in anxious dependence on the earth. This radical eccentricity produced in us angst–fear of the future, fear of the past, fear of the present: over the centuries these phobias produced impaired minds, unbalanced emotions, and weakened bodies. The result was that we human beings found that we were unable to live the way we sensed we should.
At this point in our history — around the year 6 B.C. a remarkable baby was born. He lived an ordinary, unremarkable life for the first thirty years, but the next three years he lived a public life that was called perfect and sinless even by those who observed him day after day. He talked as if he were the son of the Creator of the universe and he lived the way we would expect such a person to live. He was different from other religious leaders in that his ethical teachings were the highest that humans have ever heard, but his greatest contrast with people like Buddha and Mohammed was in his daily behavior which was a perfect expression of his teachings. He is the one human being whose claim to be God’s son seems reasonable in the light of the balanced integrity of his character.
But what sets him apart from all the other religious seers the world has seen was the manner of his death. According to the contemporary accounts of eye-witnesses like John and historians like Tertullian and Tacitus, this man Jesus was executed very efficiently by the Roman authorities, but on the third day after his death he got up out of the tomb and travelled around Galilee for the next month. Though the open wounds were still obvious, he seemed to be able to counter the normal symptoms of death and maintain life through a kind of superhuman energy. He explained that he must return to his father, the creator, with whom he lived before the world was created. He then lifted off the earth and his body has not been found since.
The only explanations of this unique human being are that he was a liar, a lunatic, a legend or the son of the Maker of the universe. To call the world’s greatest ethical teacher and example a liar about his own identity makes fun of human logic and terminology. To call one of the most balanced human personalities insane suggests we ourselves are more insane. To call him a legend is impossible because written, corroborated accounts of his life were circulating long before the original eye-witnesses died. The only explanation that is left is that this Jesus of Nazareth was and is — the actual son of the Maker of the world.
Why Did The Creator Wait So Long?
But why did the Creator wait so long before sending his son to earth to express the ethical and biological qualities of superhuman life? Because we humans had used our free wills to reject this kind of existence when we were first made. Our maker knew we would not dream of making a different decision until we were utterly convinced by centuries of defeat that such life was the only way to live in this universe. This superhuman life is his own life — the very life and energy that constitutes his nature. When he imparts it to one of his creatures, he actualizes his own attributes of wisdom and eternity in them. But he can make this transfer only to beings who want him intensely and who can be trusted with the superhuman powers of his own life. The Creator therefore can give this life only to beings who have thoroughly tried running the world without him. Only thus is there the possibility of the wholehearted commitment of a free will.
Two Thousand Years of Impotence and Guilt
So, for two thousand years, we human beings were permitted to try living in the world without the superhuman life that God had planned for us. During that time, we developed pseudo-religions to try to satisfy the yearning we had for the infinite. We perverted God’s revelations into ethical systems by which we tried to meet his standards while getting our own way. And we tried to develop the world according to his plans while we lived independent of him and dependent on the world itself. The result was a world full of human beings who had again reached the frustration point of yet another of their many civilizations. At this point, our Creator inserted into history himself in the person of his Son. He then began to show us what had to be done to deliver us from our predicament. Let’s talk about this in the next article.