Overcoming Jesus' Crucifixion

Long after I had accepted the ideas in A Course in Miracles I still had a lingering fear that if I totally gave my life to God I would eventually be asked to suffer through something horrible, like Jesus’ crucifixion. Even though I was not raised in any religion, the idea that God asks horrible sacrifice of those who serve Him best is so imbedded in our culture – and so reinforced by ego -- that it was not until fairly recently that I was able to overcome a superstitious feeling that I would be called upon to suffer. After many years of listening to and following the Holy Spirit and learning that the Holy Spirit always gives me so much more than I am asked to give, I have finally accepted that God does not need me to suffer at all.

If it has taken so long for me, who had no formal religious training, to accept this, how much harder is it for students who come from a religious background? Still some students tell me they are grateful that “Jesus died for my sins” when the Course makes it clear that both death and sin are not real. These are ideas that need to be pulled out of us by the roots or they bloom again and again.

The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. (T-4.in.3)

The ego uses the crucifixion of Jesus to prove that God is so cruel he had his own Son tortured and murdered. It also uses it to make you feel guilty -- Jesus suffered and died for you. The Holy Spirit uses the extreme nature of Jesus’ crucifixion to teach you how even something so horrible can be forgiven because it is not real. The crucifixion was overcome – it was forgiven. What can you not forgive?

Even if you do not believe that these things ever really happened, it is a very powerful symbolic story from either point of view that demonstrates the core lessons of the Holy Spirit or the ego. The Holy Spirit emphasizes the forgiving resurrection; the ego emphasizes the guilt-inducing crucifixion. It is important to look not just to your mind but to your feelings when you examine what it is you really believe. Ideas may bring you some relief from fear, but it is only through experiences that teach you that you are only asked to accept love, not to sacrifice for it, that you will really be released.

The journey to the cross should be the last "useless journey." Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection. (T-4.in.3)

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Brooke said…
Thank you for making this so clear. I just love the voice that comes through your articles, so clear, simple, and sane. Thank you for guiding me toward peace every time I read your articles.

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