Urantia Book 85. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, Joshua ben Joseph, Yeshua, Christ Michael, Sovereign God of Nebadon. Jesus and the apostles arrived at Bethany shortly after four o’clock on Friday afternoon, March 31, AD 30. Lazarus, his sisters and their friends were expecting them; and since so many people came everyday to talk with Lazarus about his resurrection, Jesus was informed that arrangements had been made for him to stay with a neighboring believer, one Simon, the leading citizen of the village since the death of Lazarus’ father. The chief priests were informed that Jesus lodged at Bethany, but they thought best not to attempt to seize him among his friends; they decided to await his coming on into Jerusalem. Jesus knew all about this, but he was majestically calm; his friends had never seen him so composed and congenial; even the apostles were astounded that he was so unconcerned when the Sanhedrin had called upon all Jewry to deliver him into their hands. Six days before the Passover all Bethany and Bethphage joined in celebrating the arrival of Jesus by a public banquet at the home of Simon. This supper was in honor of both Jesus and Lazarus; it was tendered in defiance of the Sanhedrin. The agents of the Sanhedrin were present, but they feared to apprehend Jesus in the midst of his friends. Nothing out of the ordinary happened until Mary, the sister of Lazarus stepped forward from the group of women onlookers and went up to where Jesus reclined as guest of honor. She opened a large alabaster cruse of very rare and costly ointment; and after anointing the Master’s head, she poured it on his feet and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the odor of the ointment and the guests were amazed at what Mary had done. Judas stepped over to Andrew and said,” This is a waste. It should be sold and the money given to the poor. Tell the Master to rebuke her.” The Master was aware of what Judas was saying, and said, “Let her alone, every one of you. You always have the poor with you, but I shall not always be with you. This woman has long saved this ointment for my body at burial, and now that it has seemed good to her to make this anointing in anticipation of my death, she shall not be denied such satisfaction. I say to you that in the ages to come, wherever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of in memory of her.” It was because of this rebuke, which he took as a personal reproof, that Judas Iscariot finally made up his mind to seek revenge for his hurt feelings. Many times had he entertained such ideas subconsciously, but now he dared to think such wicked thoughts in his open and conscious mind. And many others encouraged him in this attitude since the cost of this ointment was a sum equal to the earnings of one man for one year–enough to provide bread for 5,000 persons. But Mary loved Jesus; she had provided this precious ointment with which to embalm his body in death, for she believed his words when he forewarned them that he must die, and it must not be denied her if she changed her mind and chose to bestow this offering on the Master while he was still alive (172.1.1-7). ****************************** Jesus gave his apostles their final instructions before going to Jerusalem. He told them that he would be giving many lessons before returning to the Father, but he advised his apostles to refrain from any public work during the Passover. He instructed them to remain near him and to “watch and pray.” Jesus knew that many of his followers carried swords concealed in their robes, but he didn’t make an issue of it. He also told Lazarus that he was in danger of being killed by the Sanhedrin, so Lazarus and his sisters fled to Philadelphia. Jesus’ followers sensed a looming crisis, but were spared worry by the cheerfulness and exceptional good humor of the Master (172.2.1-5).*********************** Bethany had accepted Jesus and believed in him and he had profound affection for its people. Jesus did not raise Lazarus that the villagers might believe, but rather because they already believed. Jesus thought about his entry into Jerusalem. Now that his death had been decreed by the Sanhedrin, no harm would come from letting his apostles express themselves. He even thought of making a formal and public entry into the city. In thinking of this he thought of the many more or less contradictory so-called Messianic prophecies, but there seemed to be only one which was at all appropriate for him to follow. Most of these prophetic utterances depicted a king, the son and successor of David, a bold and aggressive temporal deliverer of all Israel from the yoke of foreign domination. But there was one Scripture that had sometimes been associated with the Messiah by those who held to the more spiritual concept of his mission, which might be taken as a guide for his entry into Jerusalem. This Scripture was found in Zechariah and it said, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your king comes to you. He is just and he brings salvation. He comes as the lowly one, riding upon an ass, a colt, the foal of an ass.” A warrior king always entered a city riding on a horse; a king on a mission of peace and friendship always entered riding upon an ass. Jesus would not enter Jerusalem as a man on horseback, but he was willing to enter peacefully and with good will as the Son of Man on a donkey. Accordingly, after lunch Jesus sent Peter and John to Bethphage to bring the donkey back. There was a code. The owner asked them why they were taking the donkey and they told him it was for Jesus and he let them go. A huge crowd accompanied Jesus into Jerusalem, singing, “Hosanna to the son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed be the kingdom that comes down from heaven!” Jesus was cheerful and lighthearted until the city and temple towers came into view; there he stopped the procession and there a great silence came over the crowd as they witnessed Jesus weeping. Looking down on the vast multitude coming from the city to greet him, Jesus said in a tearful voice,”O Jerusalem, if you had only known, even you, in this your day, the things which belong to your peace, and which you could so freely have had! But now these glories will be hid from your eyes. You are about to reject the Son of Peace and turn your backs upon the gospel of salvation. The days will soon come upon you in which your enemies will cast a trench around you and lay siege to you on every side; they shall utterly destroy you, so that not one stone shall be left upon another. And all this shall befall you because you did not know the time of your divine visitation. You are about to reject the gift of God, and all men will reject you.”

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