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The Hero's Journey: Jesus Christ
Transcript of The Hero's Journey: Jesus Christ
The life of Jesus Christ depicts the most self-sacrificing adventure known to literature. Because his whole life is his adventure, Jesus’ call to adventure is signified by his birth. Though, being like God, he may have known his fate before his birth on Earth, his call to adventure notifies the readers that the lives of others will begin to change as he remains faithful to his call. Refusal of the Call: Prayer on the Mount of Olives
33 years have passed since the birth of Jesus Christ. He has not lived those years in vain and has performed many miracles and preached many parables, deeds that would aid the accomplishment of his goal. In addition, he has been faithful to his calling and never once questioned his Heavenly Father about the necessity of his adventure. However, on the night of his Last Supper on Earth, he goes to the Mount of Olives and in anguish lifted up a prayer for his Father to “take this cup from [him]” if “[his Father] is willing” (Luke 22:42). Though this prayer does not show a direct refusal to his calling, Jesus shows hesitation in answering the call and also shows a desire to give up his adventure if his Father allows.
Supernatural Aid: the Angel
When Jesus cries out to God, asking God to lessen his burden, an Angel appears and “strengthen[s] him” (Luke 22: 43). In other hero journeys, the supernatural aid gives wisdom or supernatural strength, but in the story of Jesus, he is only given strength to continue on his journey; no where is he shown single-handedly annihilating a troop of soldiers or showing a god-like strength in some manner. Not only does form of aid show his humility, it shows the determination of both God and Jesus to bring salvation to their peoples.
Crossing the First Threshold: Jesus submits himself
After Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is betrayed to a “large crowd armed with swords and clubs” by the infamous kiss of Judas. After the betrayal, Jesus Christ could have quickly fled in the darkness (signified by the usage of torches in John 18: 3), or “[disposed] more than twelve legions of angels” to fight (Matthew 26: 53); yet, his only reply to the betrayal is a dignified surrender as he tells Judas to “do what [he] came for” (Matthew 26: 50). When Simon Peter, one of his disciples, attempts to resist the soldiers, Jesus commands Peter to “put [his] sword away” because Jesus will “drink the cup the Father has given [him]” (John 18: 11).
Belly of the Whale: Jesus is seized
Jesus’ journey through the belly of the whale is signified when he is finally seized, which is portrayed through his separation from the treatment he received from the former 33 years of his life. The violent and bloodthirsty nature of the crowd depicts a stark contrast with the peaceful crowd that “did not lay a hand on [him]” even though Jesus spent “every day … in the temple courts” (Luke 22: 52 – 3). In addition, Jesus verbally acknowledges that it is the “hour … when darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53), portraying a juxtaposition between his godliness and the connotation of evilness and sinfulness that “darkness” has. This creates a deeper chasm between the holy Jesus and the sinful world.
Initiation Stage Initiation Stage Return Stage Road of Trials: Jesus, Pilate, Herod, and the mass
On the road of trials, Jesus goes through a series of trials that try to prove his crimes against the Jewish law. Though Pilate finds Jesus not guilty of any crimes, the mob of chief priests and teachers of law cries out against his decision and claims Jesus’ guilt of “stir[ring] up the people all over Judea by his teachings” (Luke 23: 4 – 5). Then Pilate realizes that Jesus is under Herod’s jurisdiction of Galilee and sends Jesus to Herod, who is conveniently in Jerusalem at that time. Under Herod, Jesus is ridiculed and mocked as Herod “dress[es] him in an elegant robe,” but he “sen[ds] him back to Pilate” (after he finds Jesus not guilty Luke 23: 11). Despite the two governors’ judgment of “not guilty,” the crowd continues to complain and claim that Jesus has sinned against the Jewish law. Justice does not prevail, and the shouts of the crowd prevail. These series of trials portray the Road of Trials because these events direct his path to the cross and are necessary in order for Jesus to accomplish his goal.
Meeting with the Goddess: Jesus acknowledges himself
Meeting with the Goddess is also the time the hero accepts both aspects of himself and sees himself in a “non-dualistic” way (Hero’s). This “non-dualism” (Hero’s) is depicted when Jesus acknowledges he is God to the council of elders of the people and to Pilate (Luke 23: 3). Jesus had not directly revealed that he was God before, and when Peter guesses Jesus’ holy status, Jesus “warn[s] [his disciples] not to tell anyone about him” (Mark 8: 30). However, the unveiling of his status allows him to continue on his adventure and adds more meaning to his death.
Woman as the Temptress: The crowd ridicules and mocks
As Jesus is crucified, the cross mock his godliness by telling him to “save himself is he is the Christ of God, the Chosen one” (Luke 23: 35). They offer him “wine vinegar” (Luke 23: 36) and write “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Luke 23: 38) over his head, clearly poking fun at his claim of being the “Son of God” (Luke 22: 70). This provides a source of temptations for Jesus Christ, for the books of the Bibles are listed with the countless number of miracles that he performed, but he doesn’t take the bait and continues with the struggle that comes with his salvation.
Atonement with the Father: Jesus dies
The crucifixion of Jesus depicts his atonement with the Father. All his former struggles amass to this one point, as Jesus hangs on the cross and breathes his last breath. This physical death of Jesus follows as Jesus “commit[s] [his] spirit” to his Father (Luke 23: 46), finally reuniting the Father and Son.
Apotheosis: Jesus dies
The physical death of Jesus Christ also portrays the Jesus’ apotheosis. By dying in his human self, Jesus Christ is admitted into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God (Romans 8: 34).
Ultimate Boon: Salvation and the curtain tears
When Jesus dies physically, the purpose of his existence on Earth is accomplished: easily accessible salvation to the people. The death of Jesus Christ represents the “sacrifice of atonement” that justifies all sin committed on Earth (Romans 3: 24 – 5). As a result, the “bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life”(Matthew 27: 50 – 1). In addition, the curtain of the temple is torn in two. This curtain was created in response to God’s mandate commanding the separation of the “Holy Place from the Most Holy Place” (Exodus 26: 34). This “Most Holy Place” (Exodus 26: 34) could only be entered by the highest priest only on one day of every year, the Day of Atonement (Goodseed). The priest needed to be immaculate in preparation for the day, and when he did enter the room, there needed to be burning incense to cover his eyes from a direct view of God (Goodseed). By tearing this curtain, the death of Jesus Christ allows access to God to not just high priests, but to everyday citizens.
Refusal to Return: The three days
Jesus’ “refusal to return” can be depicted through the three days his body remains in the grave (Luke 24: 1 – 8). Though it is not an outright reluctance of return, these three days signify a time that Jesus is no longer on Earth, but enjoying his union with his Father.
Magic Flight: Resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a miracle that allows Jesus to return to Earth. Interestingly, this method of return had been prophesied long ago (Luke 24: 7), but none of the people who grieve for Jesus remembers it. This adds to the miraculous nature of Jesus’ return.
Rescue from without: The Angel
Being the Son of God, Jesus needs no aid to rescue him or even flee from anything. However, the angel can be seen as an aid to Jesus as he turns back the searching faces of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others and comforts them with the reminder of the prophesy of Jesus’ resurrection. Through reassurance and spreading awareness of the situation, the angel’s deed helps Jesus insert himself back into confused society that he had left just three days back.
Crossing the Return Threshold: Jesus makes himself known
Of all the heroes, Jesus has the most humble and intriguing return. He simply re-enters Earth and begins interacting with the visitors, “startl[ing] and frighten[ing]” (Luke 24: 37) his disciples, and responding with a relatively nonchalant response of “’Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?’” (Luke 24: 38). In addition, Jesus makes his return successful by pouring out all his suppressed knowledge of the Heaven and God, and also “open[s] [the minds of his disciples] so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24: 45).
Master of Two Worlds: Jesus returns but promises the Holy Spirit
Jesus masters the two worlds by returning to his righteous place on the right hand of God (Romans 8: 34) and giving the disciples a promise of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to be Jesus’ witnesses in “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8). Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is able to influence life on Earth while maintaining his throne in Heaven.