It’s Easter and so my thoughts turn to Jesus. The Course’s perspective on Easter is a little different than some Christian religions, for the emphasis is not on sacrifice but on redemption. “ For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain. A slain Christ has no meaning. But a risen Christ becomes the symbol of the Son of God’s forgiveness on himself; the sign he looks upon himself as healed and whole.”
The point was never to make us feel like such miserable sinners that God had to sacrifice His only Son to wash away our sins. The point was to show us that’s not who we are. We are not our bodies. We can’t die. The Course says, “T-6.I.13. The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear:
The Course is not here to teach us that Jesus died for our sins, but rather if we want to save the world, we need to wake up as He did. We are constantly teaching you we are by how it is that we interact with one another.
“3 Whenever you consent to suffer pain, to be deprived, unfairly treated or in need of anything, you but accuse your brother of attack upon God’s Son. You hold a picture of your crucifixion before his eyes, that he may see his sins are writ in Heaven in your blood and death, and go before him, closing off the gate and damning him to hell. Yet this is writ in hell and not in Heaven, where you are beyond attack and prove his innocence. The picture of yourself you offer him you show yourself, and give it all your faith. The Holy Spirit offers you, to give to him, a picture of yourself in which there is no pain and no reproach at all. And what was martyred to his guilt becomes the perfect witness to his innocence.”
Going back to what Jesus tells us about the misinterpretations in the New Testament:
T-6.I.14. If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. 2 The Apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. 3 Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the “wrath of God” as His retaliatory weapon. 4 Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry.
T-6.I.15. These are some of the examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, although its gospel is really only the message of love. 2 If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” 3 This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. 4 Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did, if they had really understood me. 5 I could not have said, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” unless I believed in betrayal. 6 The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. 7 The “punishment” I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. 8 Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. 9 Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?
T-6.I.16. As you read the teachings of the Apostles, remember that I told them myself that there was much they would understand later, because they were not wholly ready to follow me at the time. 2 I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you. 3 I do not call for martyrs but for teachers. 4 No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. 5 Any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified. 6 The result is a lesson in blame, for all behavior teaches the beliefs that motivate it. 7 The crucifixion was the result of clearly opposed thought systems; the perfect symbol of the “conflict” between the ego and the Son of God. 8 This conflict seems just as real now, and its lessons must be learned now as well as then.
So as I contemplate Christ on this Holy day, I am grateful to have ACIM as my guide. “Forgiveness is the answer to attack of any kind. So is attack deprived of its effects, and hate is answered in the name of love.” I am not here to tell anyone what their path should be, I am here to learn who I am. I am here to wake up. And it just so happens that God rigged the game so that to learn it, I must teach it, which means I have to accept the Atonement for myself and see everyone though Christ’s vision.
Because God didn’t call for martyrs, He called for teachers, and I have answered the call.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.