“And now, thou filthy and stinking prince of hell, open thy gates, that the King of Glory may enter in; for he is the Lord of heaven and earth.” ( Gospel of Nicodemus 16:17 )
Between his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday, Jesus did not just take a nap. In fact, during these “three days” Jesus performed one of his mightiest deeds. The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles’ Creed and the Athanasian Creed that states that Jesus Christ “descended into Hell”. (Details in the Ersjdamoos’s Blog entry of December 16, 2012)
Johnny Cash also “descended into Hell.” In 1968, Johnny Cash descended into the Nickajack Cave. He was attempting to commit suicide while under the heavy influence of drugs. He descended deeper into the cave, trying to lose himself and “just die”, when he passed out on the floor. He reported to be exhausted and feeling at the end of his rope when he felt God’s presence in his heart and managed to struggle out of the cave by following a faint light and slight breeze. To him, it was his own rebirth.
Johnny Cash had entered the realm of the “Men In Black.” Until the ridiculous “Men In Black” movies appeared, the MIBs “were esoteric lore known only to UFO geeks,” writes Linda S. Godfrey in a book review at amazon.com. The real Men In Black “are far more sinister…”
Johnny Cash, “The Man in Black,” emerged alive from his descent into Hell. Johnny Cash, a great American hero, somewhat emulated Jesus, who had also descended into Hell. To those who think they have it all figured out, hear these words: You cannot possibly know.
Johnny Cash emerged from his severe temptation combats, in 1968. On the mend, in 1972 Cash defied President Richard Nixon in the White House. He would not play the trite songs Nixon requested. Richard Nixon was hoping for a light-hearted, impromptu concert at the White House, but the Man in Black delivered a full-frontal musical attack on the president’s ideology and policies. Among the songs Johnny Cash played for Richard Nixon was, “What Is Truth?”
The Johnny Cash song, “What Is Truth?”, is “apocryphal” and is not included in “the canon” of Greatest Hits compilations.
“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asks Jesus in the “canonical” Gospel of John, 18:38. There, the profound question seems to have been evaded by Jesus. However in the “apocryphal” Gospel of Nicodemus, Jesus is forthcoming as to the question:
Pilate saith to him, What is truth?
Jesus said, Truth is from heaven.
Pilate said, Therefore truth is not on earth.
Jesus said to Pilate, Believe that truth is on earth among those, who when they have the power of judgment, are governed by truth, and form right judgment. (Gospel of Nicodemus 3: 11-14)