Liberating Jesus: What would Jesus say if he returned today?
The premise for Liberating Jesus by Leonard Jacobson is a simple one: what if Jesus were to return to the world today? What would he say? What would he think about how so many lead their lives around the world? How would he feel we are handling our lives? In the book, Jacobson seeks to answer these questions, as well as provide answers to those who think about these important life lessons often.
Originally from Australia, in December of 1981 Leonard Jacobson decided to attend a week-long personal growth retreat near Bellingen in Australia. It was there he had his first awakening, and began his journey with a whole new outlook on his own life, and also how others should lead theirs.
“It was the feeling that I did not fit in, that I did not belong, and that I had lived a life according to other people’s values and expectations. As all the repressed pain surfaced within me, I knew that it was the beginning of a profound healing. Suddenly I knew where I belonged. It is in the present moment and I had the overwhelming feeling that the present moment was my true home.”
Over the next few decades, as Jacobson continued his journey, he went through a number of other awakenings, in which he talked to God and had his own revelations about Jesus. This is the first part of the book. It would take him a number of years before he had the courage and the drive to speak openly. Jacobson’s story began in 2006 with a play that was performed for six weeks in Los Angeles and was well received. After each showing, the author would conduct a question and answer period.
One performance of the play was filmed and is available for viewing on Jacobson’s website: www.leonardjacobson.com/liberatingjesus. However, the author does provide a caveat and perhaps warning that makes it clear this is a story to be experienced by anyone: “This film will either inspire, enlighten, and delight you, or it will disturb you. It is very powerful. If you are a Christian who adheres rigidly to traditional Christian beliefs, you probably should NOT view this movie.”
The second part of the book provides a complete transcript of the play, as we get to hear of the known teachings of Jesus and what lessons can be taken from them and applied in today’s world such as “Most of us live in abandonment of responsibility. We want someone to heals us or fix us. And yet to embrace true responsibility is one of the keys to awakening. The idea that someone can save us, whether it is Jesus or anyone else is a perfect example of our not taking responsibility for ourselves.”
The third and final part of the book is this question and answer period that helps to provide further context and advice after the reading of the play. One of the questions and answers that stuck with me most is this one, which is simple and direct:
“Question: Is there a purpose to our lives?
Answer: Yes, our true purpose in being here is to be here. It is that simple.”
As an atheist, I was certainly skeptical when I began reading this book, but by the end was pleasantly surprised, as in addition to a number questions about Christian beliefs I myself have asked, I found many useful lessons and suggestions that anyone can benefit from, whether they profess to belong to a certain religion or not.
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