What is blood? What requirements were there in Jewish traditions for a blood sacrifice? What does it mean that Christ’s blood was shed? Where did this blood go? What did Joseph of Arimathea collect in the Grail? How does this affect us today?
To begin this study, we’ll go to Leviticus 16 where we read “Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8 He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. 9 Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to theLord and sacrifice it for a sin offering.10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before theLord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.” [comment: John the Baptist says of himself I am a voice crying in the wilderness and after the baptism, Christ goes out into the wilderness to be tempted. The wilderness is the uncivilized part of our soul, the untransformed part where animalistic desires exist].
Now back to the theme of sacrifice and again to Hebrews, now in 13:12 we read: 11″The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.”
So if Christ becomes the slaughtered goat, who is the scapegoat? According to Berenson Maclean, “although Hebrews does not mention the pair of goats, the implication is that Christ’s blood corresponds to that of the immolated goat.” She goes on to conclude that “Jesus’ death must have been modeled on the goat’s sacrifice in the purgation ritual.” [Berenson Maclean, “Barabbas, the Scapegoat Ritual, and the Development of the Passion Narrative,” pg. 319] Christ clearly is the sacrifice. This was first mentioned at the raising of Lazarus [John 11] when some present went and told the high priests what had happened [that an initiation had taken place in public].
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
The scene with Pontius Pilate and Barabbas is, in my mind, when the high priest, enacted by Pilate, brings forth the two goats and reverses the cult by having the (unclean) people select. Thus Barabbas becomes the scapegoat and Christ the sacrifice. Both are named Jesus – making them alike. I wonder if Pilate was a lower initiate. Just as one goat would be sacrificed and one let go, so this cult was enacted by Pontius Pilate! The two goats? Jesus Christ and Jesus Barabbas. The crowd decides which to release. [For more on this see Andrei Orlov’s paper Jesus as the Scapegoat]. So Jesus Christ becomes the sacrifice which takes place on Golgotha. What once took place within the Holy of the Holies now is enacted in public. Here His blood is sprinkled not in front of and onto the atonement cover but onto the earth and into the Grail. That which the Heavenly Hierarchies could not know, Death, was to be overcome by this sacrifice. Humanity now could become free of the Temporal where death rules and enter the Eternal with a purified, transformed soul and body.
With the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the Most Holy Place, the Holy of the Holies, was gone from the physical world. Without this physical temple, it was impossible to perform a blood sacrifice. When we consider Christ’s words “destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it” we come to realize the mystical depth of His act on Golgotha. The rebuilt body is the Third Temple. Christ was (and is) the last blood sacrifice. And the blood entered the Earth. What can this mean? We can look at this in a future blog. And the blood was caught in the Grail. What can this mean? The greatness of this act is that each of us can reenact it within our soul.
The “camp” or “tabernacle” refers to the temporal body. The spirit is, of course, the eternal. The human being consists of body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma). Within our soul we have our lower ego. When we can allow this lower ego to go through “the disgrace” and the stages of the cross, we experience the Rosicrucian saying “In Christos Morimor” [in Christ we die]. Through this death process our soul becomes part of the soul of Christ whose ego becomes our higher ego. Now one can say as Paul did, “No longer I but Christ in me [Galatians 2:20]!”
Ages ago people could be initiated into a Mystery whereby they could experience the spiritual world. To develop Freedom, the spiritual world withdrew. The experience of spiritual beings outside of one, dimmed to darkness as the place for the experience entered within the individual. We can have spiritual experiences once again today. Through them we can lift our consciousness to higher levels in the Spiritual Hierarchies. But only through him can we come to experience the Father [John 14:6]. Note the reverse direction is found in John’s prologue [1:3] where it says “Through Him [Christ] all things became.” The things of the physical world belong to the Temporal and succumb to Death. Through Him, we can come to our Eternal. To do this, we must go outside of our body, our camp/tabernacle in the physical world. This is the goal of meditation. We must learn how to experience without (or beyond) the senses and without (or beyond) our normal thinking, our normal mental picturing. Only through Him can we today come to the experience of the Father.