It isn’t that we don’t know the stories. But the important thing is that the great stories are always teaching us. There are many great stories. Within them, at every moment, the great beings choose to live completely—not to settle for a mediocre, unconscious life that depends on emotion for its heights. The stories teach us the great lessons of life. They teach us how to live and what to work toward. They are not personal, and the characters always know it is never about them. The greater good is always working.
We listen to the Passion narrative again and again. The results remain the same. The Passover story, too, is repeated every year—the same story. The results remain the same.
Jesus played his part fully, as did the other actors in the Passion play. Jesus could have left Jerusalem; the story would have been very different, and we would not be listening. So what happened? At Gethsemane, Jesus faced what was to come. If he had said “no” and had not surrendered to God, then we would not be looking to the Passion for how to model our lives. He lived each moment fully; he did not run away. And yes, he questioned: he asked if some other outcome was possible. But God was clear: this was the way it was going to be played, and Jesus was to fulfill his role.
Jesus surrendered to God’s will and did the unthinkable: he submitted to the cross and attained the highest. He is Christ. And Christ does not die; only Jesus did. The story reveals that true life comes through surrender to God’s will. Even in the horror of being killed on the cross, he revealed the greatness of character, strength, and will all in alignment with God. That is how we are to live, no matter what actions we perform. We are to surrender and live fully in God.
The Passover story brings us to the same place: exalted awareness of God’s play and our roles as actors who are only here to express His greatness. One part of the story that has always been important for me is God’s direction of Pharaoh. When the plagues and pestilences get to be too much for Pharaoh, he agrees to let Moses and the Israelites go. But each time, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. It is as if God is saying, “No, Pharaoh, you have forgotten your lines. It is not the time yet, and I will decide, not you.” God directs all: it makes no difference whether we believe or not.
Moses surrendered to God, and as Jesus did, he questioned. God used Moses as the example for all to see: if we obey in every fiber of our souls, all will be fine. Moses is also used as a negative example when he disobeys and takes credit for what God has done. As a consequence, Moses is barred from entering the Promised Land. Isn’t this also God using Moses to teach us that if we are prideful and disobey God, we will not attain what we think we are entitled to?
The stories of Jesus and Moses teach us that we must overcome our flawed character and surrender to God’s will. It was not personal for them, and it is not personal for us. The way we relate with the world is based on how clearly we see this truth. Jesus and Moses both lived fully through their commitment to God. We are called to do the same.
So as we listen to these stories, do not assume that they are just stories. Every person who hears them is being exhorted to live fully with the love and awareness that God is the director of our play. Surrender to His script, and you will be with God at all times, in all places. We are to Love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. Then our lives, no matter what mistakes we make, are not for naught.
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