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M-51 Galaxy Feature

 A picture of a now famous cross-shaped feature found by the Hubble Telescope in the M-51 Spiral Galaxy

 

Does the M-51 Galaxy have a lot to say about Jesus?  Is it deeply linked to God's word in the Holy Bible?

 

  Frenchman Charles Messier, born 1730 in Badonviller, France, saw the 'Great 6 Tailed Comet of 1744' as a boy, and fell in love with the heavens for life.  He became an astronomer, but in time he found a problem.  In searching for comets...trying to be the first to locate new comets with your telescope... you would sometimes find certain 'smudges' out there in space that looked like a possible new comet discovery, but would turn out not to be.  They were celestial masses of some sort (telescopes were not that good yet, but it would one day be determined that these were what we now call nebulae) which could always be found in the same locations.  They were relatively stationary.  But people from different areas of the world would independently 'discover' them and think they had found a possible new comet.  Momentarily exciting....but then disappointing!  It wasn't a new comet, it was just one of those smudge things.  So, Messier formed a list for the northern Hemisphere composed mostly of these known solar smudge objects and soon astronomers in many places were using his list, sometimes adding their own 'smudge finds' to it.  It came to be seen as a very useful list.  It was used by many in the astronomical community when encountering objects new to them found in deep space.  The smudges were given 'M' designations.  M-1 was Messier's first listed 'smudge', and would one day become known as the Crab Nebulae, which in my opinion seems to be an extremely God related Nebulae.  The Deeds of God website has an article about it in the 1054 A.D. section of the chronological listing if you're interested.  

  But on to the main topic!  Another of the items on Messier's catalogue came to be the first identified 'spiral galaxy', called Messier 51, or the M-51 Galaxy. 

  The name 'Messier' is a word not too different from the word 'Messiah' in its sound.  That doesn't necessarily mean a thing, of course.  But 'Messiah' is a word meaning 'Annointed One' in Hebrew, and Christians believe that Jesus was the promised 'annointed one' that the ancient Holy Jewish scriptures foretold.  But Messier is actually an old French name, essentially meaning 'Harvest Master' if you research it.  It referred to a person who had authority over the keeping of harvested crops.  He was a 'Lord of the Harvest' in a way, and that is one of many established names used in the Bible when referring to Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God, and the Lord of the Harvest (referring to the great harvest of forgiven human souls accepted for citizenship in Heaven.)  These are the adopted sons and daughters of God, special only through their relationship with God, with Jesus.  The people of God are regular men and women of course, and always have been.  Just forgiven sinners.  Even Adam was formed of lowly dust, so the scripture tells us.  And all humans are but dust, as it tells us in several places within Biblical scripture.  There's no room for pride except in the Lord. 

  Jesus came to Earth in the form of a small child, a Jewish boy-child born to the tribe of Judah in accordance with and in fulfillment of scripture. He was born to Joseph and Mary in the town of Bethlehem, yet Joseph was not Jesus' biological father.  The Spirit of God had 'overshadowed' Mary, and she became 'with child'.  Jesus grew up to became an intersection point of sorts for two great faiths:  the Jewish faith as given through Moses led up to Him, and the Christian faith - which Christians hold to be the true intended continuation of the previous Mosaic Law based faith in Yahweh - proceeded from Jesus onward and through to our own time.  So, if men are dust, Jesus is at the center of these two 'clouds of dust' (Jewish and Christian humans) in a way...clouds that seem oddly in opposition to each other in their beliefs concerning some important points of faith, yet in agreement on other points. 

  So now back to astronomy:  somewhere deep in the midst of the M-51 Galaxy is a feature that is puzzling in its shape and form, remarkable really, and which is currently believed by astronomers to exist because of a black hole.  It is believed to be formed by the intersection of two large separate rings of dust turning at an angle of about about 90 degrees to each other around that black hole.  The feature that is formed looks very much like a Christian cross.....so much so that it has become somewhat famous.  But non-believers obviously might conclude that the resemblance is only a coincidence.  And that is their right.  Yet for those who care, you may be interested to hear that there is a possible connection between the M-51 galaxy, which contains the cross shape that is the great symbol of Christianity, and the Bible, which is one of the powerful and holy foundations upon which the Christian faith relies; Christians believe that the Bible contains the genuine words given from God to mankind.  I completely believe that, myself. 

  So, more about M-51.  That is the name given to this galaxy that contains a feature which so resembles a cross.  Well, now please consider that there is a saying in Christianity:  "Jesus is, in the Old Testament, concealed.  And in the New Testament revealed."  In other words, there are many hints of the coming of a great Messiah figure - still mysterious - hidden in the Old Testament's words.  Some such Old Testament references were pretty veiled, but many were quite particular and proved eerily accurate as well, once it could be seen, when Jesus was born upon the Earth and lived His life here.  So, in a Protestant Bible such as the King James or an NIV or American Standard...a 66 book Bible....what if you were to go to the first book which began with an 'M'?  Where would you be?  It would be the book of the prophet Micah.  Micah begins with an 'M', as does 'M-51 galaxy'.  Does this already sound silly?  I admit, this is only conjecture.  It is just taking a look at the context and circumstance and characteristics of this strange but amazing black hole area in the M-51 galaxy.  But God is very deep, is he not?  Perhaps there is something to notice there.  So we go to Micah, and now we go to chapter 5.  Micah is the only Old Testament book in the 66 book Protestant type Bible which starts with an 'M' and which has a chapter 5.   Now what if we begin reading at verse 1?  It is a Biblical M-51 of a sort, see?  'M' is for Micah.  Chapter 5.  Verse 1.  It's an M-51.

 

Micah 5:1 to Micah 5:4

Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

[a]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

End Quote  from NIV translation via Bible Gateway website

  Is not Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, such a person as this very specific prophecy describes?  This is a prophesy of the coming Messiah, as this hinted-at mysterious 'coming annointed figure' came to be known to the Jews.  And Jesus, in coming to Earth as a human baby born in Bethlehem, fulfilled this prophecy very neatly.  M-51.  Micah 5:1   You can make a connection, though perhaps God meant there to be one and perhaps He did not.

  But what about the New Testament?  Is there an M-51 connection there?  Well, the first 'M' book of the New Testament that has a chapter 5 is Matthew...the Gospel of Matthew.   

  So let's consider this first M-51 (Matthew 5:1) of the New Testament.  It is none other than 'the beatitudes', Jesus' famous speech in which He outlines and teaches people the Christian behaviors that are expected from His followers, and looked upon with great favor by God in Heaven.  It isn't just any passage.  It is one of the most central and undergirding teachings of Jesus' entire ministry.  It has been viewed as fundamental and game changing for nearly 20 centuries and counting.  Here is Matthew 5:1 and a bit more:

 

 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

End quote.  NIV  Bible Gateway website

  So, to summarize concerning all of this:  this galactic feature so evocative of Christ, this feature shaped so much like the most central Christian image, a cross, was named M-51 after Charles Messier.  The M stands for Messier.  Charles means 'MAN', and Jesus was God in the flesh of a MAN.  And Messier sounds somewhat like Messiah, and means 'Master of the Harvest' or similar, in Old French.  Jesus is the Messiah and Savior according to Christian belief, and He is specifically referred to as the 'Master of the Harvest' in some scriptural passages of the Bible.  The name 'M-51' can also be related, though it is only my conjecturing, to the Old Testament.  It can relate to Micah 5:1, to a prophecy of the then future Messiah.  And, again conjecturally, it can relate to the New Testament (Matthew 5:1) to Jesus delivering an oration that was world changing from the moment He uttered the words.  It is a section of scripture where He delivers one of His most central teachings to His gathered followers.  Again, the shape of the cross in the M-51 galaxy is thought to be made from 2 swirling rings of dust, rotating somewhat counter to each other.  The Jews and the Christians have moved somewhat counter to each other, yet in my Christian view it has taken both groups to show Christ for what and who He really was. 

  In short, there is a great deal to think about here.  God made the heavens and the Earth.  He formed it all with Jesus by His side, as it says in the first few lines of the Gospel of John.  And in the beginning of Genesis we are told that the stars in heaven are for signs and wonders, among other things.  Here is the symbol of Jesus, the cross, embedded in the heavens, yet quite possibly linked solidly to the Word of God.  And yet another one of Jesus' great names according to scripture is 'the Word'!  Pretty amazing really!     

 

 

 

 

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website