Is the Second Coming of Christ a myth or a misunderstood allegory?
Many people have tried to time the Second Coming of Christ. Some early Christian scholars predicted 500 A.D., and Pope Sylvester foretold 1,000 A.D. – maybe because it’s such a nice, round number. Disappointed by an eventless millennia change, Sylvester adjusted the date to 1,033 A.D. – 1,000 years counting from Jesus’ death – but again nothing happened.
And so the list goes on: Sandro Botticelliwas wrong to place it three and a half years after 1500, and so was the Astrologer Johannes Stöffler, who assumed that a planetary alignment in Pisces in 1524 would do the job.
Emanuel Swedenborg, who claimed that he had mystical visions of Christ almost on a daily basis, couldn’t resist either and singled out 1757. Noteworthy, Emanuel postulated that Christ’s Second Coming wouldn’t repeat history, meaning he wouldn’t return as Jesus, but instead clothed in the Holy Spirit.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, anticipated 1836,Joseph Smith and the Mormons advocated 1891, the Catholic Apostolic Church picked 1901, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1914, and Rudolf Steiner estimated that it would happen sometime between 1930 and 1939, assuming that Hitler was the Anti-Christ.
However, in his Essay The True Nature of the Second Coming Rudolf argued against another incarnation of Jesus.His reasoning: He came once in a physical body of flesh because human faculties were dependent upon His presence in such a body only at that one point in time. But now, with higher faculties, people will be able to perceive the etheric body of Christ as an even greater reality. Instead, the Second Coming of Christ would take place in the etheric world, or rather people will become aware of Christ’s eternal presence in the astral universe. In our book the etheric Christ is the Second Adam. Rudolf Steiner: This is essential: the faculties by which men will be able, between death and rebirth, to behold the Christ Event, cannot be acquired in that world; they must be acquired on the physical plane and carried from there into the life between death and a new birth. There are faculties which must be acquired on the earth, for we haven’t been placed on the physical plane for nothing.
Kinda disappointing, isn’t it? Since Christ hasn’t returned for such a long time despite great anticipation, there’s either something wrong with him or with the prediction. Is he too busy somewhere else, was it a vain promise, or did it promise something different than wise church men thought?
What other interpretations are possible? Well, Jesus could show up as a different person with a different name. Or he could return in secret, which would kinda defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it? He could also visit each one of us in private.
What do you think?
What Does the Bible Say About the Second Coming?
More than 2,000 years of silence – something doesn’t make sense.
Maybe, before we can understand the Second Coming of Christ, we should have a closer look at his first appearance. Jesus Christ was a complex person: God, a man, and a liberator or spiritual revolutionist.The question is: which one will return – the person, God, the Messiah, or all three? In case you’d like to read more about this, check out our post Who Was Jesus Really?
Let’s have a look at Biblical facts:
Mathew 24.29 to 31: Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall cease to glow. The stars shall fall from heaven and heavenly powers shall vibrate strongly. And in Heaven shall appear the sign of the Son of Mankind. All earthy tribes shall moan as they see the Son of Mankind coming with power and great glory, wrapped up in heavenly clouds. And he shall send his angels accompanied by the sounding of loud trumpets, and they shall gather his chosen ones in all four compass directions/four winds – from one end of heaven to the other.
Remark: We changed the title Son of Manto Son of Human, since the common translation Son of Man is misleading. The original Greek term υιος του ανθρωπος, huios tou anthropos, means son of a human, not son of man. The human also got lost in translation in the Genesis, where Adam is wrongly translated asman. Just like anthropos, Adam meanshuman. You can find more details in the post Who Was Jesus Really?
Acts 1.11 is also worth mentioning: ‘The same Jesus, who left you and was taken up into heaven, will return – the same way you have seen him ascend to heaven.’
Although both verses somewhat agree in what will happen, they seem to disagree about how Jesus Christ will return. In Mathews, it’s the Son of Mankind (that’s Christ), but in Acts 1.11, it’s Jesus – a person. Having said that, Acts 1.11 refers to Jesus after the resurrection. At that time, Jesus wasn’t a normal person anymore, since he already had hismiracle body, which he could assemble and de-assemble at will.
Having a closer look at Mathew’s verses, it becomes obvious that the Second Coming of Christ can’t be a planetary event. The Second Coming of Christ is supposed to be heralded by a solar and lunar eclipse happening at the same time – that’s impossible. That the stars will collapse on planet earth is also quite unlikely. True, the universe could indeed contract eventually, although it is still debated among scientists whether it will expand forever or return to its source. But planet earth is not where the Big Bang took place; therefore, it’s very unlikely that the universe will implode on our poor little planet. Also, the end of the universe is still googolplexes of years away – kinda late for the Second Coming of Christ.
So, if it’s not a planetary event, what is it then? Maybe the term heaven can give us a clue. Right – what and where is heavenactually? Don’t look up, because the sky can’t be it. If heaven would be above and hell below, what about the people on the other side of the planet? Damn … these Medieval scholastic misconceptions are still haunting our minds!
Where is Heaven?
People failed to find paradise on planet earth; so, maybe it’s on another planet. If that’s true, how can we get there – in a spacecraft? Don’t laugh, this string of thoughts inspired Marshall Applewhite, the founder of the Heaven’s Gate sect. He believed that aliens were planning to recycle Planet Earth in 1997 and reasoned that the only chance of survival was leaving the planet as a ghost in a space ship. In 1997, he and the members of his sect committed mass suicide in order to reach an alien spacecraft that was, supposedly, following the comet Hale-Bopp.
Fun aside! Maybe we don’t need a spaceship. Couldn’t we migrate as souls to another planet’s paradise after we dropped our bodies? But then, what can we do there without bodies? Haunt Planet Paradise as ghosts?
Come on, fun aside! If heaven is for real, it must reside in another dimension or universe. Heaven could be even here and now, just on another vibrational level so to say. Access to Heaven could be close at hand if we only knew how to change our mind’s vibrational rate. Also, when we drop our bodies, our souls could automatically ascend vibrationally to the Heavenly Floor. In this case, the Second Coming of Christ would also be straight forward: he would just need to lower his vibes – that’s where the miracle body comes in.
Let’s have a quick look at Jesus’ ascension: And after he had spoken these words, they beheld how he was elevated. A cloud received him and he was out of sight. As they continued to stare at heaven where Jesus ascended, suddenly two men in white garments appeared. The two addressed them: “You, men of Galilee, why are you standing here, staring at heaven? This same Jesus, who left you and was taken up into heaven, will return – the same way you have seen him ascending to heaven.” (Act 1.9-11)
Maybe the phrase ‘received by a cloud’ implies that Jesus’ body, while ascending, became foggy and immaterial. This process seems to be reversible since we are reminded of Jesus’ claim that he was able to tear down and rebuild the temple within three days. And that wasn’t a temple-temple, but rather his miracle body which he re-animated three days after the crucifixion (Joh 2:19-21 Jesus answered: “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again within three days.” The Jews responded: “This temple has been in the making forty-six years and you want to build it in three days?” But he spoke of the temple of his body.).
Mind that Jesus’ miracle body was physical. Jesus showed his resurrected body to his disciples and ate and drank with it to prove that he wasn’t a ghost.And with this body he roamed the planet for another forty days before he ascended to heaven. In this context, it seems probable that not the crucifixion, but showing off this miracle body started the Christianity frenzy that spread like a bushfire through the Roman Empire.
It seems as if this miracle body may also be in our reach as 1Co 3.16 put it: Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives inside you?
What Does the Revelation Say About the Second Coming of Christ?
Another important source from which the idea of the Second Coming of Christ was distilled is Revelation 19.11-12: And I saw heaven opening up and beheld a white horse, on which sat the one who was called ‘faithful and true’, the one who judges and battles in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame and on his head were many crowns. A secret name was written that only he knew. He was dressed in a garment soaked in blood and his name was ‘God’s Word’. And the heavenly armies, upon white horses, clothed in fine linen – white and clean – were following him.
Hmm … does anyone recognize Jesus? I don’t! If not for the title God’s Word, I wouldn’t believe that this is our loving, gentle, down to earth Jesus.
Something else is startling too: if we can believe John, he already witnessed the Second Coming of Christ – 2,000 years ago! He reiterated that he has seen these revelations, not anticipated. If John already witnessed the Second Coming of Christ, have we missed it? That would be a pity and a bit unfair – why should Christ return already after a couple of decades, a long time before Christianity was established as a religion, at a time hardly anyone knew him? What a waste!
Or does this confirm our hunch that the Second Coming of Christ is an individual experience that has been happening over and over during since Jesus’ resurrection?
Is Doomsday Nonsense?
If true, what a glorious event the Second Coming of Christ would be: God Father would forgive us all our failures and weaknesses, all people would turn into angelic brothers and sisters, no more suffering, neither adversity, labor, nor injustice. Even Satan would be redeemed and turned into an angel of light as it is asserted in the Bible. We would unconditionally love one another, Jesus right in the middle of it, we’ll be singing, dancing, and radiating love – eternal party time!
Wait a minute! Happiness and bliss absolute isn’t what people anticipate for Christ’s Reoccurrence. Doomsday and gnawing of teeth will be the order of the day. Hmm … that doesn’t sound like good news, does it? True, the Bible mentions that people will be redeemed, but it does so more on a side note and excels in lengthy illustrations of a horrifying doomsday.
What on earth? Why does mankind’s greatest day have to be so somber? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Poor planet earth – does it deserve to be turned into dust the day mankind’s happy ending arrives? This leaves such a bitter taste in our mouth.
Doomsday just doesn’t ring with truth. Could it be that those disasters illustrated in the Revelation don’t describe the end of Planet Earth? But who or what is being plagued then? Maybe the Revelation describes the implosion of our personal world, our youniverse, the end of common sense and selfishness – the latter being plagued by Christ’s messengers. This rings a bell: many people who saw the light hit rock bottom first. Christ consciousness usually emerges from a shattered life or personality.
But then, if all these bizarre events in the Revelation are psychological and supposed to happen inside, what do they mean? A personal eschatology – does that make sense?
Is the Second Coming of Christ a Personal Affair?
If the Second Coming of Christ is a personal experience, it’s likely that it has already occurred many times. And indeed: a quick googling reveals that there are hundreds if not thousands of people, who claimed to have met Christ face to face.
In this respect, the Second Coming of Christ is imminent for each one of us. If we would work hard on our spiritual career, the chances should be high that we can experience Christ firsthand in this very incarnation. In fact, it can happen anytime, like an accident. The Rapture is supposed to occur suddenly, in ‘the twinkling of an eye’ (1Co 15:51) The author of 1Th 5:2 even says that Jesus will sneak up on us like a thief, at a dark moment in our lives – uninvited and unexpected.
And this is how the Revelation puts it (22.20): He who testifies these things says: “Surely I come swiftly. Amen. Even so, comes Lord Jesus.” The term fast is a translation of the Greek tachu, ταχυ, and means quickly, lightly, speedily, without delay – not soon.
Hmm … rapture sounds a bit likeabduction … maybe people weren’t abducted by aliens, but rather by Christ? Some claim they were tortured during the abduction – that reminds of the plagues mentioned in the Revelation.
Fun aside, really! We have handpicked a few lesser known examples of a personalvisit:
There was no fire and no light in the room; nevertheless it appeared as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me that it was wholly a mental state; it seemed that I saw him as I would see any other man. He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet. I have always since regarded this as a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him. I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance. I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed to recollect anything I said. But I know, as soon as my mind became calm, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire, that I had made of large wood, was nearly burned out. But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know, but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.” I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;” yet I had no fear of death. How long I continued in this state I do not know. But it was late in the evening when a member of my choir came to see me. He was a member of the church. He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said, “Mr. Finney, what ails you?” I could make him no answer for some time. He then said, “Are you in pain?” I gathered myself up and replied, “No, but so happy that I cannot live.” – Charles G. Finney, excerpt from the book The Varieties of Religious Experience by James Williams
Hmm … I’m kinda jealous now. Why do such things never happen to me?! Here is another impressive experience:
In the month of February, 1890, just following my thirty-seventh birthday, Rev. J. E. L., of Canada, came to assist me in a series of special meetings in my church. My affection for him gained during his stay. He had been gone three days when, thinking of him far through the night—the gray of the morning was already in the heavens—the conviction came to me that in him I had met an incarnation of Christ. I stood a moment transfixed with the thought. Was that which I had held as a theory to be realized as a fact? My friend was forgotten in the vision of Christ, who had come to me, not from without, but through the gates which open inwardly. I knew him, was conscious of him in my own spirit, soul and body. Then with that unfolding consciousness there came a suffusion, as of a delicate cloud or haze, which searched the entire body, was more invasive than light, more penetrating than heat, more in reaching than electricity. It was as if I had been plunged into a bath of fluid more subtle and permeating than ether. Against the inflow and outflow of that enswathing essence the body was not as resistant as the air to a bird’s wing or a morning mist to the sunbeam. The rapture, the exaltation, the divinity of that moment passes knowledge. Then swiftly came the awe of the mysterious presence that filled me, and the consciousness of the whole creation, universe, went thrilling through me, not as a thought, a sensation, an emotion, but as the vital breath of God. This grew until I found myself rising and expanding into the Infinite, being diffused and lost therein, and the mind and body reeled. Feeling myself falling, I exclaimed: “The vision is too much! I cannot look upon the face of God and live! Father in heaven, it is enough!” And the voice answered. I sank on my bed and slept like a child. – Cosmic Consciousness, Richard Maurice Bucke, The Case of M. C. L. in His Own Words.
And another one:
I wound up first with a Catholic aunt in Austria who ran her own little farm. She was so pious that she received regular visits from St. Joseph and St. Jude Thaddeus, her favorite saints. I could hear her talking to them on some dark nights. She once encountered Christ in full daylight on the Reichsbruecke, the large bridge spanning the Danube near Vienna. She pretended to stumble and fall in order to adore him. She did not dare do so openly for fear that people might consider her crazy and drag her off into the asylum. She reproached herself for the rest of her life for not having openly acknowledged him. – Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions, page 286.
The experience of Christ is not limited to Christians, Rene Turner (a Jewish woman) faced the Messiah during a NDE:
“I became aware that I must be dead … I arrived in an explosion of glorious light into a room with insubstantial walls, standing before a man in his thirties, about six feet tall, with reddish-brown, shoulder-length hair and an incredibly neat, short beard and mustache. He wore a simple white robe. Light seemed to emanate from him and I felt he was ancient and wise. He welcomed me with indescribable love, tranquility, and peace – no words. I felt, ‘I can sit at your feet forever and be content,’ which struck me as a strange thing to think, say, or feel. I became fascinated by the fabric of his robe, trying to figure out how light could be woven!”
And now the rather funny account of Jeanie Dicus – another Jewish woman, also during a NDE:
“I felt a wonderful feeling washing over me – a sense of peace and power. I felt love and a sense of wonder as I realized that any question I could come up with would be answered. There was Jesus. I was stunned and said, ‘I don’t believe in you.’ He smiled and said the etheric equivalent of ‘Tough shit, here I am.’ Looking into his eyes, I asked, ‘You mean, you’ve been with me the whole time and I didn’t know?’ And his reply was, ‘Lo, I am with thee, always, even beyond the end of the world.’ … He asked me whether I want to reincarnate.”
We reserved the most unexpected account for the last. The mold of man is the Second Adam, molded from the ground’s dust (read Who Was Jesus Really?). If he is already that overwhelming, what about the First Adam, made in Elohim’s image and likeness? Anyways, bridges seem to bring out the Christ in people:
“…I came to a bridge, and right there, as if it had been waiting for me, I saw the mold of man as a resplendent, warm, amber light. I fell on my knees, not so much out of piety, but as physical reaction to awe. The sight of the mold of man was more astounding than ever…The mold of man was superimposed on the bridge at first, then I refocused my eyes and saw that the mold of man extended up and down into infinity; the bridge was but a meagre shell, a tiny sketch superimposed on the eternal. And so were the minute figures of people who moved around me, looking at me with unabashed curiosity. But I was so beyond their touch, although at that moment I was as vulnerable as I could be. The mold of man had no power to protect me or spare me, yet I loved it with a passion that knew no limits.” – Carlos Castaneda, The Fire from Within, page 268.
Esoteric Christianity and the Second Coming of Christ
What does the esoteric Christian tradition say about the Second Coming of Christ?
The difference between exoteric and esoteric Christianity (Gnosis, Tarot, Hermetic Qabalah, Alchemy, etc.) can be summed up in one sentence: Jesus Christ was the great example, not thegreat exception. We can be like Jesus Christ? No way! Yes way and it’s stated in the Bible: The faithful who experience Christ’s Return will be transformed into his likeness (1Co 15:51) and …who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body… (Phi 3:21)
Accordingly, we aren’t supposed to wait until the death of our physical body to be either sentenced to heaven or hell, but rather to evolve body and mind here and now, during this very life (remember Rudolf Steiner?), to a point where we can receive the Sacred Spirit and become like Jesus Christ. In the esoteric Christian tradition this is called the great work. Noteworthy, the great work is supposed to culminate in the mystical resurrection of Christ within us – that sounds like the Second Coming of Christ, doesn’t it?
In a nutshell: the great work advances through twelve phases during which we meet three milestones. The first milestone is the discovery of the universal energy substance from which everything is made (the First Matter). This goes hand in hand with a vision of the Sacred Spirit, the secret life-power within the universal substance. Jesus met this milestone when he was baptized. The mystical experience of M. C. L. illustrates this beautifully:
Then with that unfolding consciousness there came a suffusion, as of a delicate cloud or haze, which searched the entire body, was more invasive than light, more penetrating than heat, more in reaching than electricity. It was as if I had been plunged into a bath of fluid more subtle and permeating than ether. Against the inflow and outflow of that enswathing essence the body was not as resistant as the air to a bird’s wing or a morning mist to the sunbeam. The rapture, the exaltation, the divinity of that moment passes knowledge. Then swiftly came the awe of the mysterious presence that filled me, and the consciousness of the whole creation, universe, went thrilling through me, not as a thought, a sensation, an emotion, but as the vital breath of God. This grew until I found myself rising and expanding into the Infinite, being diffused and lost therein, and the mind and body reeled.
Mind that he described this experience as a rapture. Interesting is also that he used the term vital breath of God, the life-breath that God blew into Adam’s nose to bring him to life – the Sacred Spirit.
The Sacred Spirit descended onto Jesus, the Nazarene, during his baptism. Soon after, the Sacred Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to meditate there for forty days (the wilderness is not a desert-desert, but a blind of the otherworld, today know as the astral universe and 40 is a symbol for spiritual visions – see Tarot Card 12, The Hanged Man). There, Jesus was enlightened and discovered the Cosmic Christ or God Child. That’s the second milestone of the great work that turned Jesus, the Nazarene into Jesus Christ (the Anointed).
Esoterically, the Second Coming of Christ isn’t a one time event. It comes in flashes and slowly grows into a full blown realization. The Christ-consciousness starts as a baby and isn’t even hosted among people, but in a stable instead. Always threatened by our selfish ego (Herod), it has to hide until it grows strong enough to revolutionize our materialistic state of mind.
In this context, it appears that the Second Coming of Christ is strictly speaking asurrection. Christ is already present in our being right here and now, we’re just oblivious of his presence. He is buried deep down in our being and we just need to find the secret door to his tomb, unlock it, and unearthed him.
Also, we are already using the Sacred Spirit here and now. Romans 8.11: God’s Spirit, who raised Jesus from death is alive – inside you. As God raised Jesus Christ from death He will give life to your mortal body by this very spirit that is alive inside you. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but everything you need in order to become another great example is available right here and now – inside you – and nobody can take it away from you.
Jesus wasn’t the first to surrect God Child. People have known the Cosmic Christ and Its redeeming power since ancient times. Prophets of all religions have born witness to it (Horus in Egyptian mysticism, Chrishna in Hinduism,Quetzocoatle in Aztec mysticism,Prometheus, Perseus, Hercules, and in a way also Dionysos in Greek paganism,Baldr in Germanic paganism, and many more). The most advanced person before Jesus had probably been Buddha. Jesus went beyond enlightenment and took mankind to a whole new level. Buddha still died, but Jesus achieved immortality – meaning he managed to build the miracle body.
There’s an ancient warning for those who perform the great work: God Child is so grandiose, magnificent, and overwhelming that it’s often mistaken for God Himself. Jesus overcame that illusion. After reaching the second milestone (God Child’s surrection) united his consciousness also with God Father. This was the other accomplishment with which Jesus Christ surprised the world: I and God Father are one. As a result, he could wield God Father’s divine power on earth, something even God Father couldn’t do – how cool is that?
And with the Sacred Spirit at his disposal, he built the miracle body with which he could ascend and descend at will. Noteworthy, he accomplished the great work on the cross, by completing the adytum of his bodily temple. When he said: “It’s accomplished!”, the veil of theHoly of Holies ripped apart giving way to Shekinah, God’s presence glowing inside his heart.
Christ is our True Self, mankind’s Single Self. We share one Higher Self. At the end of the day there is only one human, in other words, Christianity is not only a monotheism, but also a monohumanism. Like Jesus we are God Child, souls, and people.
A child was born today … and yesterday,
Out of the depth of time.
Day after day through eons past
Love’s essence comes,
Its Light to cast.
A child is born!
Who was the Babe of Galilee? That Child is you …
That Child is me … That Child is all Humanity,
Fruit of the Womb of God.
– Ann Davies
Please put yourself in God’s shoes for a moment: you create a grandiose universe. Then, you sit there and watch your beautiful world and … you’re bored. Galaxies spiral graciously, solar systems tick like a clockwork, the universe expands calmly, but there are no adventures and no buzz.
Worst of all, you have no access to your universe. You can’t touch it, since you’re a consuming fire and the world would go up in flames in the split of a second. How you wish to have some escapades in your spectacular universe and experience your unlimited possibilities of being and acting.
You ponder deeply, as deep as only God can ponder, and then you come up with a plan. Yes, that’s it, you need a vehicle – a spacesuit with which you can experience planetary life.
And so, you initiate the great work: first, you create an image of yourself that can encase your fiery spirit, preventing it from getting in touch with the physical universe. Next, you mold Your image a form from stardust (Adam). This is God Child’s universal soul that can give birth to individual souls and evolve them over many incarnations. Next, you provide God Child’s form a mind (Aisha or Eve), a self-conscious ego (Aysh) and link the two with the life-power that will tempt them to incarnate and evolve (the serpent). Last but not least, you provide a physical body by fabricating a tunic of skin.
But you still face a final challenge: God Child’s bodily awareness is innocent and pure, like a clean slate. It starts from nothing. What makes matters worse is that mind and memory (Aisha or Eve) are reset at the beginning of each incarnation. You solve that by infusing a yearning into the soul: the curiosity of the soul’s identity. And so, souls live, strive, and evolve, driven by their curiosity about the world and who they truly are.
Our Inevitable Happy End
Listen closely! I am telling you a secret: none of us shall die, all of us will be changed, in an instance, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet calls. When this trumpet sounds, all mortals will become immortal, and all of us will be changed. – 1Cor 15.51/52
Mankind’s happy end – our happy endings – are inevitable. And why shouldn’t it be so? We are God Child and God’s children. God Father loves us and only wants the best for us. And He rules. Nothing can oppose Him and nothing can stand in our way forever, success can only be delayed (by our ignorance).
Remember that Jacob got a new name after he wrestled with an angelic man? That man was Christ. And Jacob hold onto Christ with all his might and didn’t let him go before Christ agreed to bless him.
Christ asked him: “Who are you?”
Jacob said: “It’s me, Jacob.”
Christ replied: “From now on you shall be called Israel!”
Israel means literally He-who-shall-rule-as-God-rules. The title Israel is a promise – God’s promise! It’s a renewal of the covenant (the Hebrew for covenant, beriyth, BRYTh (612), means exactly this:promise). It’s God’s pledge to give us,Israel’s descendant, a happy ending through the rediscovery of our True Identity – Christ’s Second Coming. This is an inevitable promise and nobody will be left behind!
Let’s close with the words of Meister Eckhart, a man to which both religious and spiritual people can relate. Eckhart believed that Christ wasn’t born just once, but is eternally begotten in Heaven. He reasoned that it was God’s intention to become human in Jesus Christ so that he would be born in all people. Christ isn’t the lonely endpoint of the history of redemption, but rather the universal broker of salvation, who passes his unity with the Father onto all people.
In his famous Christmas sermon, he makes a great point: We celebrate Christmas, so that this birth takes place inside us too. If it doesn’t happen in me, how can it be useful to me? That it happens in me is all that matters.
For those who are interested: he had borrowed this idea from Origenes, a scholar and early Christian theologian:What use is it to me, when Christ is born from the Sacred Virgin, but not inside me?Homilie to Jeremias 9,1.
Since Eckhart believed that Christ is born in people all the time, the Second Coming of Christ was a non-subject for him. But he mentioned in one of his sermons a mysterious time that will come and is already present.
Picture attribution: copyright/ soren007 / 123RF Stock Photo