"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;" (New King James Bible Version; Isaiah 1:18 & 19).
"The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." (New King James Bible Version; Jeremiah 31:3).
In many writings of the Old Testament Bible, we have been taught to view ourselves in the negative, ancient-world style of 'miserable sinners'. Thankfully, this negative self-image begins to disappear in the New Testament, after the rise of Christianity. The ancient, negative view and our relationship to God, were based, no doubt, upon the story of Adam and Eve (said to have been the first humans) who were disobedient to God, causing their descendants to inherit their original sin—the result of which caused mankind to be thrown out of paradise and live, instead, in a hostile environment of materiality and finite bodies of flesh and blood.
Furthermore (this scenario goes on) all humanity is born into this finite condition and is cursed to 'till the soil' for supply, then eventually die by some illness, accident, or old age. Now, according to many religious teachings, it is said that Christ Jesus came along to break this curse upon humanity, by sacrificing himself. This was said to be so because God was supposed to have been really angry with us, due to the fact that we were descendants of those first sinners.
Now, since we can't go back in time and tell Adam and Eve not to disobey God, we are taught that we are doomed to suffer from the behavior of these two, ancient individuals. Even in today's world, this state of affairs is still believed by many, even two thousand years after Christ Jesus paid the 'price' which humanity believed was required by God to save us all.
So, what went wrong? Why are we suffering from all sorts of lacks in this human experience such as lack of supply, lack of health, lack of peace on earth, lack of universal love and brotherhood, when Jesus paid the price for our salvation from all the ills, and sins, of the flesh? Where might our thinking have taken a wrong turn, so to speak?
I lived with the old version of events for many years. Yet, something was out of kilter for me. First of all, it was really old-testament, ancient belief stuff, rather than new testament teachings (by Jesus) that God is Love. It was still that old-world version of where a vengeful god had to have the murder of His own son, as a sacrifice, in order to be appeased. So, as I said, from my earliest childhood, this had never made any sense to me. It made God a humanly-vengeful spirit, rather than a loving God that would never harm or punish his off-spring in such a manner, much less punish his children for the bad behavior of Adam and Eve, whom we've never even met.
So, for many years I tried to discover what really had occurred in the divine Intelligence and Love, that I knew God to be. In my quest, I studied the new testament books of the Bible, for quite a few years, to discover what the crucifixion of Jesus was all about. Why did even one man have to die, in order for everyone else to live? And, even though Jesus did his part, no one has ever cheated physical death in the years since his crucifixion that I could see—even though Jesus was to have 'paid' for the sins of all of us who came after him in this human experience. And why would anyone (particularly, God, who is Love) want any human sacrifice, and punishment to fall upon his own offspring?
Well, I'm wiser now. In one way, I believe things happened, as described, with the death of Jesus as a sacrifice, BUT I no longer believe that such a sacrifice was something God required. Rather, it is something that humanity required, in order for us to believe that we were, in fact, forgiven for anything and everything we've done wrong in our material existence, on this human, dualistic (believing we are both physical and spiritual) level of thought.
So, maybe there's another way to see what Christ Jesus' death on the cross was all about. Maybe the sacrifice of Jesus wasn't to appease an angry, ancient-belief type god, but rather to point us to our ever-lasting, loving God and the spiritual reality of our own identities. Maybe the sacrifice Jesus endured for humanity was to wipe out the beliefs of the ancients, who believed that they couldn't be loved unconditionally. Maybe we are to lose the image of 'miserable sinner' and realize we are the children of the most-high God—not born to sin, die, or lose our heavenly home, which is still invisibly here with us, but hidden from our fleshly perception.
So, perhaps Jesus' death on the cross was symbolic of the debt humanity believed we owed to our erroneous-concept of God, as an angry deity; and, maybe, humanity needed a sacrificial symbol, at the time, in order to believe we could then be returned to our harmonious, eternal lives in Spirit. Perhaps Jesus was the divinely-chosen symbol of repayment for the universally-believed debt, and his spiritual mission, here in this earthly experience, was basically this:
First: to convince us that we are NEVER, in reality, the miserable sinners, nor the individuals cut off from our God-Source, whom we erroneously believe ourselves to be. Rather, each of us is like him; (as our way-shower); for each of us is also a beloved, spiritual child of God, who is always at one with our God-Source and, thus, never lacking in any good thing, spiritually or humanly. Jesus' death on the cross was symbolic of the collective belief of humanity that God required a human sacrifice (which was common in the thinking of the ancients in many religions, at that time in Earth's history). The 'resident wisdom' of the times was that, in order for all humanity to be free of this inherited sin, as well as any individual wrong-doings piled on behind it, the life of someone human had to be sacrificed to pay the price to a vengeful god. Jesus volunteered.
Second: The mission of Christ Jesus was also meant to demonstrate that no one can kill God's spiritual children, who live an eternal, spiritual, life, despite the illusion of physical death in the human experience. This fact was demonstrated in Jesus' resurrection after he passed through the physical death process. As our way-shower, he was showing us that the mind, soul, and spiritual body of God's children survive the physical-seeming end of our lives. We always were, and still are, God's eternal off-spring, whatever happens to the flesh. Our true, spiritual lives are deathless, despite the physical death process; for we survive in the everlasting Substance of Spirit.
Third: Christ Jesus was also symbolic in yet another way: See what the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter recorded in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 16 of the King James Bible: "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more."
This statement shows that it is our own Christ identity—our spiritual identity—that survives the physical death process. Jesus was his material-body identity. The Master's earthly name was not Jesus Christ (like John Smith); rather, he was called, Jesus the Christ. The Christ signifies the universal spiritual identity for each of us. That's what it means to be one-in-Christ. Humanly, we have an Adam or Eve identity; spiritually we have a Christ identity. But whatever our spiritual name is, we will remember it, one day, when we, individually, awaken more to spiritual reality. (Notice in Genesis, Chapter 32: 24-28; King James Bible that Jacob was given the spiritual name of Israel, after he 'wrestled' with the angel of God and became more spiritually enlightened.)
When fully awake to who we really are, and the spiritual nature of our forever existence (despite a seemingly material-form identity) we naturally do only harmonious, loving things. Our innate, divine goodness begins to flow out from within us. When our deeper, spiritual sense of reality prevails in our thoughts, we also begin to perceive the spiritual truths we need in order to overcome whatever we materially need to overcome. Thus, past wrong-doing (sin) was never necessary for our mental and physical survival, under God, (Spirit's) eternal care and control. We only have to mentally awaken to this fact, to realize its effect in our human experiences.
While we are under the false, physical delusion of being, however, and the physical circumstance convince us of our aloneness with the evils of this human situation, in that sense, we are spiritually innocent from the wrong-doing we have done, while remaining under this delusion of material existence—where we feel we are 'on our own' and, thus, abandoned by God. While believing only in what appears to be the physical laws that claim to govern our lives, (and we fail to learn the spiritual laws of eternal life and love under God) we will continue in our delusion of materiality and ourselves as physical mortals rather than spiritual beings. We simply won't perceive the presence of Spirit, because the evidence is not physical.
Yet, although the kingdom of Spirit, God, is invisible to the material senses, it IS known to our deeper, spiritual sense. This innate, spiritual sense of reality, which resides within each and every one of us, is in our deeper, spiritual consciousness (sometimes referred to as the Christ Consciousness). This spiritual sense within us awaits to be called forth into this material-seeming universe of finite form.
When listening to the spiritual voice and intuition from within our higher consciousness, however, we begin to learn that, as God's own spiritual off-spring, we are each whole, abundant, and eternal, despite the illusion of the physical death process, and all the evils leading up to it.
Without the sacrifice that Christ Jesus provided us, we wouldn't have been shown God's tender love for us. We wouldn't learn that Spirit is with us for eternity. We would still be worshipping a vengeful God, or stay out of the realm of religion altogether, because we would never accept God's forgiveness of anything we've done. And the reason we don't accept a loving, forgiving God is simply because we still believe we are related to those ancient ancestors who left a curse upon us, due to their own wrong doing.
A large part of humanity still believes that fictional version of creation (found in the 2nd Chapter of Genesis—where the Adam dream fell upon man, and God's spiritual creation became a finite, material one. Yet, in the purely spiritual version of creation, (Genesis, Chapter 1) there is no other reality but the spiritual kingdom of God, where all is pronounced 'very good'. In this first account of God's creation, everyone was AWAKE mentally of who they are, and where they are. In this first creation account, no one is mentally dreaming of another reality; not even Adam.
Actually, the choice of what to believe is still with us: Who do we think we really are? Are we God's, spiritual children, or, are we the cursed, fleshly, sinners of the Adam dream who are never forgiven, born into all forms of evil, abandoned by God, and cast out of Spirit's realm?
Does this not suggest why the Creator and loving God had to send a messenger to Planet Earth? Can we see why the Infinite Intelligence of the universe of Spirit 'sent' an awakened, spiritual son into the material-seeming 'condition' to take away the need to believe we are all miserable sinners and doomed? It is my belief that the answers to ALL these questions are the reason Christ Jesus came into the human experience, took on all forms of evil here that were afflicting humanity, and healed everything destructive and unloving that he could find—before his ultimate task of showing physical death to be powerless in trying to kill God's own spiritually-immortal children.
Because we (as ancient humanity) didn't forgive ourselves for the things we do wrong in this material existence, Jesus went through the physical death process, on the cross, dying for us, so we didn't have to die for ourselves. He was making himself the needed symbol for all of us. He was a symbol of the debt-to-God we believed had to be paid for our souls; when, in fact, our souls have never been out of Spirit's loving hands, or creation.
It's my belief that there was no real debt that God required. God already knew that this human, material condition is a delusion over consciousness, and that sleeping, suffering humanity isn't yet awake to our true being, safe in Spirit's hands. Just as someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs doesn't know what he or she is doing, neither do we (as seemingly fleshly beings) know what we're doing, most of the time. God doesn't punish us—it is our own wrongful beliefs and behavior that punish us. It is our beliefs, and how we act upon them that bring about logical, negative results.
So, in one way, it doesn't matter that while we are still under the delusion that we are material mortals and evil from birth, God doesn't require us to die for our wrong-doings. Nor does the Almighty punish us for any other false beliefs—such as the notion that we deserve our plight, due to those two, ancient ancestors who were said to have started it all.
Yet, when we're still identifying ourselves as fleshly beings, rather than God's spiritual children, (and, thus, still accepting ourselves as miserable sinners), how can we not, logically, continue to live as though we have been abandoned by God—despite the sacrifice that Christ Jesus made on our behalf, showing just the opposite reality?
We still struggle under the physical environment because we can't detect, physically, the presence of divine Spirit, nor the spiritual laws that operate on our behalf. Consequently, we don't mentally turn to, or expect, the spiritual power that lies beneath the material facade, needing only our invitation of God's deliverance, to come forth into the material scene.
The positive thing to remember is this: Just as soon as we begin to spiritually awaken to the presence of God-with-us, we each become, mentally, a new creature. For the love from God, for all of creation, has never been taken from us, at all. Our remedies against all the lacks, trials and tribulations of this human existence have been invisibly with us, in this human experience, all along; and, when turning to God and proving this, we finally begin to perceive the truth of our fullness of life in Spirit.
Several metaphysical doctrines today, such as Christian Science, Unity, and even many television ministries, continue to show that God is Love. Jesus didn't die to appease an angry god; rather, he submitted to his spiritual mission on the cross to show us that, whatever we believe about ourselves, God loves us so much that He allowed a faithful son to be the symbol of that Love. It is the message that God has never stopped loving us, nor ceases to forgive us, for our human foibles.
The divine Intelligence knows that whatever mistakes we make, while under the delusion of material being, will wash away from us, naturally, when we begin our spiritual, awakening process. Then we begin to prove, to ourselves, that the kingdom of God is still present with us, no matter where we seem to be dwelling, at the time, and no matter what earthly situations threaten us.
This divine Presence is ever with us, and It exists for all of us. Maybe, in our near future, when we can let ourselves off the ancient hook and trust the Almighty more with our human experience, we shall more easily rise above any mistakes we believe still belong to us.
In this human experience (where we seem to be made of both spirit and matter) we don't even know what is right, and what is wrong, most of the time. We merely try to survive this often-hostile environment by blaming it for all the wrong-doings we engage in.
In this dualistic experience (again, where we believe ourselves to be physical beings with a spirit inside a finite form and where we seem to have a mortal, physical life-span, full of as much evil as good) we continue to miss the point that Christ Jesus went through his mission to show us—that we are not, and never were in truth, miserable sinners. We are God's own beloved, spiritual children, who are under the influence of the carnal mentality, because we have not yet spiritually awakened to the fullness of Truth—God's Truth, which is the only reality that exists, on any level of thought.
Jesus' death on the cross was a demonstration for all time and civilizations: We are to accept Jesus as a sacrifice, but not to a fierce god whom the ancients believed in; for God is not a vengeful deity. Instead, we are to recognize the Almighty as our divine Parent, Source and Origin, who lovingly cares for all creation, forever. In addition, Jesus' sacrifice was to show humanity that life in matter isn't the end for any of God's own children—not just for Christ Jesus, who was our Way-Shower back to our own heavenly (harmonious) existence.
Our freedom from all human condemnation is in recognition of our own Christ-identity (spiritual, rather than fleshly identity) which, when fully awakened spiritually, has neither the desire, will, nor necessity for any wrong doing. Our innocency before God resides within us, in this greater, awakened Christ Consciousness, where it has existed forever. Our loving Father/Mother God is only awaiting our individual, awakening moment, when we rediscover our own divine innocency, free of any carnal-minded guilt that tried to fasten upon us, before we began to see the light.