“Thus it is written that the Anointed of God will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. And that the change of heart leading to the release from sin would be preached on his behalf to all peoples, starting from Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46-47)

Why does the Devotional Translation use the phrase, "Anointed of God" rather than "Christ" or "Messiah" as most sectarian translations use?

Not that "Christ" or "Messiah" are wrong. But because "Anointed of God" most closely captures the meaning of the Greek and Aramaic terms. You can find the explanation of this translation here. This phrase basically means God's representative.

Jesus is speaking to his disciples after his has suffered and risen "from the dead." What does this mean, "risen from the dead"?

"The dead" is being translated from the Greek word, νεκρός (nekros). According to the lexicon, this word means, "one that has breathed his last, lifeless; deceased, departed, destitute of life, without life, inanimate."

This is obviously referring to the physical body - which dies. What is destitute of life? Was Jesus ever "destitute of life?" No. But his physical body became destitute of life. His physical body became lifeless. His physical body became deceased.

This is confirmed by this verse in Luke:
Then Jesus cried out loudly and said, “LORD, into Your Hands I commit my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
"Breathed his last" means his physical body died. The death of Jesus' physical body was also confirmed by the fact that they wrapped the body in linens and put it in a tomb. People don't put living bodies in tombs. They only put dead bodies in tombs.

So we know from the fact that Jesus committed his spirit - his spirit-person - to the Supreme Being - that he left his physical body at the time of death. His body became lifeless because he left that body.

But the gross physical eyes do not see this. This is because the gross physical eyes do not see the spirit-person. The spirit-person dwells on another dimension than the physical body.

This has been confirmed by thousands of clinical death experiences. Here a person's body will die in the hospital or somewhere else and the person will leave the body and then look down upon it and watch the events unfolding around it after it is dead. No one else sees the spirit-person rise up and float over the body.

In clinical death situations, the body is later revived. The spirit-person returns to the body and reanimates the body. To the gross physical eyes, the body comes back to life.

In many of these accounts of clinical death, the person whose body died describes how they floated above the body and watched everything happening around their dead body. They will describe events that corroborate with what the doctors and nurses say happened: Things they could not have seen when their body was clinically dead with eyes closed and no brain waves.

From this we can conclude that the spirit-person is not visible by the gross physical eyes. Yet we have clear evidence that the spirit-person can exist outside the physical body. The spirit-person can leave the physical body and move on after the body dies.

Because the physical eyes can only see the physical body, what is described about Jesus relates to the death of the physical body. Therefore, for Jesus to appear to his disciples after the death of his physical body is therefore described as "rising from the dead." Because Jesus appeared before their physical eyes after his physical body died.

This means the spirit-person of Jesus never died. He lived on after the death of his physical body. He simply left the physical body. He existed before being born into the baby Jesus body, and he existed after the body of the adult Jesus body was murdered on the cross. Other Gospels describe this:
After Jesus called out again with a loud voice, his spirit departed. (Matthew 27:50)
Then Jesus cried out loudly, and his spirit passed. (Mark 15:37)
Then when Jesus had received the vinegar he said, “It has been accomplished!” And he bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:30)
So we find in all three descriptions, that Jesus' spirit left his physical body. Then he appeared before his disciples three days later, effectively "rising" or returning from the realm of the unseen - by appearing before their physical eyes.

So why did he appear before them after his body died? Was it to prove how great he was? This is the interpretation of sectarian institutions: That Jesus needed to show his disciples that he was truly great.

Yet Jesus' disciples were already convinced he was great. They had witnessed miracle after miracle. They knew Jesus was extraordinary.

The point Jesus was making was that he - and all of us - are not these physical bodies. We live on after the physical body dies. He wanted us to know this clearly so that we would plan our lives accordingly. He wanted us to plan for the next destination - and return to the spiritual realm after the death of the body. This is why the next thing he discussed was having a change of heart, and a release from sin.


A change of heart


Next Jesus speaks of what is translated as the "change of heart." This phrase comes from the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), which is translated to "that repentance" in most sectarian translations. So why does the Devotional Translation use "change of heart?"

According to the lexicon, this Greek term means, "a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done."

Given this definition, simply "repentance" would be wholly inadequate, yes? It is one thing to repent, but it is another to have a change of purpose. Or, as the lexicon puts it, a "change of mind."

Having a "change of heart" is more accurate than "change of mind." Why? Because someone can have a "change of mind" without a making a change in their purpose in life. Changing ones purpose in life is a much more real and deep change.

One can, for example, have a "change of mind" on a theoretical basis - without that change affecting their purpose in life. A person can change how they think about something. But a real change - a change of purpose in life - comes from what is referred to in modern language as a change of heart.

One problem with the word repentance is that many sectarian teachings have interpreted this word to mean joining a particular group and going to a particular institution or church every week.

This is not what Jesus is speaking of. He is speaking of changing ones course in life. He is speaking of living our life for God rather than living our life for ourselves.

Note that Jesus states that this "change of heart" leads to something else: "leading to the release from sin."

What does the "release from sin" mean? It means that having such a change of heart - living for God instead of for ourselves - leads us to giving up those things that are considered sinful.

What is "sin" anyway? Sins are acts that conflict with the purpose of the Supreme Being. And the central purpose of the Supreme Being is that He wants us to return to Him. He wants us to fall in love with Him and come live with Him again.

So doing things that conflict with this purpose of the Supreme Being would be considered sinful. This would include those things done with a purpose of rejecting our relationship with God. Those things that would perpetuate our ignoring God during our lives. Those things that would continue a life of loneliness and self-indulgence - a life of emptiness - for ourselves and others.

Yes, this definition of "sin" departs from the sectarian definition of sin. The sectarian definition is built around rules and regulations promulgated by men who have put themselves in seats of honor and authority, who in many cases do the very things they call upon others not to do.

Yet the word "sin" is translated from the Greek word ἁμαρτία (hamartia), which means, "to be without a share in - to miss the mark - to err, be mistaken - to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong - to wander from the law of God, violate God's law."

Consider this carefully. When we "wander from" our relationship with the Supreme Being, we in fact miss our mark. We err. Why? Because our relationship with the Supreme Being is our basic innate nature. We are created by the Supreme Being for the purpose of exchanging a loving service relationship with Him. When we stray (or wander) from that relationship, we err.

And to err or wander from our relationship with God does not "send us to hell." We are in hell when we wander from our relationship with God.

So it is living outside of our relationship with God that brings sin (and hell) upon us. It is living outside the context of our constitutional position.

And what is our constitutional position?

Most of us think that our constitutional position is to enjoy ourselves.

Yet as we look around us, we see that so many of us are doing so many things to try to enjoy ourselves. Yet these activities of so-called enjoyment are not bringing us joy. They do not bring us fulfillment.

For example, we find rich and powerful people who have so many billions of dollars. They are in positions of power and prestige. They are able to control people. They are able to facilitate so many ways of physical enjoyment. Yet they are not fulfilled. They are not happy. They continue to search for happiness. They are frustrated with what they have, and only want more. They think the next deal, or the next billion, or the next yacht, or the next mansion, or the next girl, or the next whatever will make them happy. Yet even though they get these things, they remain frustrated and want more.

We can see this in our lives even if we aren't rich or powerful. When we get some material thing - or some fame or money we were looking forward to - it doesn't fulfill us. We simply want more. We look forward to the next thing. Why?

Because we - the spirit-person - is not the physical body. Physical and material things cannot fulfill us. It would be like a car driver satisfying his hunger by filling up the gas tank of the car. The car's tank might get full, but the driver would still be hungry. This is because the car driver is not the car. The car driver can be in the car - but can never become the car.

In the same way, we are in these physical bodies, but we are not these bodies. So physical and material things cannot satisfy us.

So what does satisfy the real person within?

Love. We are each hungry for love. We need love. We gotta have love or we feel empty.

And what passes for love within the physical world is not the love that fulfills our real person within. Here in this physical world, our form of love is usually based upon the physical body. We confuse love with a likening of our physical body with related physical bodies of our family members, or fans or whatever social communities are bodies dwell in.

Because these emotions are based upon the physical body - they do not satisfy our need for real love. Why?

Because they are conditional - they are conditional upon the physical body. The object of this type of love is another physical body.

What our inner person - our spirit-person - seeks is unconditional love. This type of love comes from the Supreme Being. Unconditional love has no conditions.

No conditions means no requirements. One doesn't need a particular type of body to receive God's love. One doesn't need to belong to a particular group or sect. One doesn't need to do a certain thing.

The Supreme Being and His representative love us without condition. No matter what we do or say. Not matter whether we ignore them or not. They continue to love us and care for us.

Now we can either enter into such an unconditional loving relationship or choose not to. It is our choice.

If we want to enter into an unconditional loving relationship with the Supreme Being and His representative then this is the first step: To want to. To ask. To knock. To beg to be let in.

Then gradually, according to the proportion of our desire, the Supreme Being and His representative will begin to open the door to let us in. He gives us a glimpse of Himself and His eternal love for us. As this happens, we can continue to embrace Him (by serving Him) or we can choose to ignore Him. It continues to be our choice.

And to whatever degree we continue to embrace our loving relationship with the Supreme Being, we become fulfilled to that degree. To that degree we also begin to truly love others. Not based upon whether they are part of our family or club or sect. But because they are fellow children of God.

This is the element that Jesus wants for his disciples. He wants them to embrace their loving service relationship with God, and then help pass this on to others.

Jesus is describing loving service: The primary teaching of Jesus being "preached on his behalf to all peoples:"
" 'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is related: 'Love others as yourself.' (Matt. 22:37-38)


The Gospel verses above were quoted from the Gospels of Jesus: The Devotional Translations.