3 Jesus Returns as a Giant
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Most of us have seen enough church to know the story of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. He's buried in a tomb, which is kind of like a cave with a big rock in front of it. Three days after his death, there's a great commotion, and one or two angels come down from heaven to roll away the stone blocking the tomb. Jesus emerges and proceeds to rock history with his message.
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Complete with a 20-minute guitar solo.
But when fragments of The Gospel of Peter were found buried in Egypt in 1886, the details of the resurrection story were a little different. The first to get on the scene on Easter Sunday see this:
... they saw again three men come out of the sepulchre, and two of them sustaining the other, and a cross following, after them. And of the two they saw that their heads reached unto heaven, but of him that was led by them that it overpassed the heavens. And they heard a voice out of the heavens saying: "Hast thou (or Thou hast) preached unto them that sleep?" And an answer was heard from the cross, saying: "Yea."
"Would you mind taking him down? He's starting to get a little heavy."
When the angels and Jesus get out of the tomb where Jesus used to be dead, they turn into giants. The angels' heads reach up to the clouds and Jesus' noggin went up even further so that he can have some one-on-one time with God. Then God says,
"DID YOU GO TALK TO THE UNDEAD YET?"
"YEAH," said the cross.
"Yes," the cross answered. We don't even know if the cross was walking along on its own legs or bouncing behind them like a pogo stick. Maybe it had a mouth. The writer didn't specify. Honestly, if you've got a choice between staring at giant Jesus and an anthropomorphic cross, where are you going to look? It's no wonder he didn't get all the details down.
2 Jesus is a Talking Star
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The Revelation of the Magi is a newly translated tale of the Christmas story from the perspective of the wise men (Magi) who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. It starts off as most Christmas stories do, with a tight-fisted old grump learning the meaning of the season and Santa secretly being real all along. Also, the birth of baby Jesus triggers an astronomical anomaly that lures curious well-wishers.
Sadly, the only record is text since it happened before the invention of Russia and dash cams.
Now, in the version you know, the star was just a bright spot in the night sky, gently guiding the Magi to a stable in Bethlehem. In this apocryphal version, the star descends from the desert sky, hangs out in a "Cave of Treasures of Hidden Mysteries" and has baby arms that beckon the wise men to him.
And (something) like the hand of a small person drew near in our eyes from the pillar and the star â�¦ and we saw the star enter the Cave of Treasures and Hidden Mysteries and the cave shone beyond measure.
"And within the cave we found a blue genie who would not shut the hell up."
So the star is a little person. That person is Jesus the Pre-Born Star Child. Star Jesus tells the Wise Men his whole future -- all of it. Starting with how he's going to get born at any second now.
I will be born like a human being. And again, worship me there: Even now, as I am speaking with you, I am also there.
So even as Mary is pushing through her contractions, Star Child Jesus is off in the desert in a cave, chilling with some exotic foreigners. And can you blame him? If you were all-knowing while getting birthed, wouldn't you want to get the hell out of town?
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"Call me when you're ready for the circumcision!"
Jesus goes on to explain, like, how he's going to eventually die on a cross and tells them to take all the treasures in the cave and bring them to come meet ... himself ... again, presumably so they can to turn them over to baby Jesus when they get to Bethlehem. In this version of the Nativity, Jesus is both a star and a hustler.
The Magi then set off on their journey as the Jesustar leads them, but the star doesn't just stay in the sky in the direction that the Magi should follow. The star is literally leading them along. The star gives them food and makes it so they don't tire out. They can walk day and night because the star outshines even the sun. The star levels mountains, allows the Magi to walk on water, and ...
when we crossed into the places [of beasts and vicious snakes], we trampled them with our feet.
... walk on animals, before finally reaching their destination.