I. The Message of the Crucifixion 14-19
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. The apostles often misunderstood it, and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. 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. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their sense of guilt had made them angry.
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. If the apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” This is clearly the opposite of everything I taught. Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did if they had really understood me. I could not have said, “Betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss?” unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The “punishment” I was said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar mistake. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?
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. I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system towards which I am guiding you. I do not call for martyrs but for teachers. No one is punished for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners. any concept of punishment involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame is justified. The result is a lesson in blame, for all behavior teaches the beliefs that motivate it. The crucifixion was the result of clearly opposed thought systems, the perfect symbol of the conflict between the ego and the Son of God. This conflict seems just as real now, and its lessons must be learned now as well as then.
17. I do not need gratitude, but you need to develop your weakened ability to be grateful, or you cannot appreciate God. He does not need your appreciation, but you do. You cannot love what you do not appreciate, for fear makes appreciation impossible. When you are afraid of what you are you do not appreciate it and will therefore reject it. As a result, you will teach rejection.
18. The power of the Sons of God is present all the time, because they were created as creators. Their influence on each other is without limit and must be used for their joint salvation. Each one must learn to teach that all forms of rejection are meaningless. The separation is the notion of rejection. As long as you teach this you will believe it. This is not as God thinks, and you must think as He thinks if you are to know Him again.
19. Remember that the Holy Spirit is the communication link between God the Father and His separated Sons. If you will listen to His voice you know that you cannot either hurt or be hurt, and that many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves. When you perceive only this need in them and do not respond to any other, you will have learned of me and will be as eager to share your learning as I am. 
Today as we finish the first section of The Lessons of Love, let us ask Holy Spirit to cleanse our mind of all misunderstanding of the crucifixion. Our only lesson that we should take from the suffering of Christ in the flesh is the call for peace for which it was intended. He suffered horrendously and did not curse, did not blame, but only reflected the love and mercy and perfect understanding of God. If we take any other message from the cross we will respond and teach others to respond as if God was the one Who demanded blood and the suffering of His most beloved. We must always remember God is a God of love and devotion and would never demand blood and sacrifice, nor does He have favorites and a most “beloved.” We must never hold the people who betrayed Jesus, who misunderstood or misinterpreted His life and message, or who have, in their imperfect love for Him twisted the message to one of God’s wrath and need for retaliation.
When we truly understand the message of the cross, we will not be inflamed against the Jewish religion, we will not justify any attacks upon the religious institutions which promoted suffering and torments in the name of Christ, nor hold those who engaged in war and promoted conflict instead of love and peace in His name. Visiting the “Holy Lands” and walking where Christ walked does not give us any deeper understanding of His message. The apostles themselves did not entirely get it and for the same reason few of us in this hellish realm are able to get it. The ego’s hold upon us is a death grip – its only recourse is to pervert and weaponize the teachings of love. We should get no more worked up over the crucifixion of Christ than we get worked up over any Son of God suffering needlessly in the flesh. We are freed of guilt; we are freed of the need to suffer; we have nothing to project upon others when we have the love and devotion of God. This is the message of the cross.
In paragraph 15, Jesus corrects some of the ways in which He is quoted in the New Testament. Jesus never said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword. This would have contradicted everything He stood for, for Jesus is our Prince of Peace and invites us to the Sonship only in peace and never a sword. He came to unite us, not to divide us.
Jesus did not chastise Judas for his so-called betrayal. Jesus calls Judas brother and equal. Jesus could not be betrayed anymore than any Son of God can betray or be betrayed. Remember, we are not the flesh and we do not respond to the destructible as if it were anything more than what it is – nothing. Jesus would not condemn Judas – His message was one of mercy, forgiveness, and harmlessness. It is plain that Jesus is not the author of the Bible – nor did He authorize others to mythologize Him in their attempts to deify His message. Nobody, including the disciples, do Jesus any favors by writing the gospels in a spirit of retaliation, guilt, sorrow, or specialness.
When we read or hear any teachings of Christ, we must always remember that we are perceiving the words of people – just like you and just like me. We have faulty listening devices. We often hear two voices – one of Holy Spirit which is quiet, merciful, and loving. The Voice for God within us must be welcomed in a state of devotion, meditation, and peace while the voice of ego pushes to the front, and is always chattering and clamoring, distracting and judgmental. Jesus states very bluntly that there is no fear in the thought system in which He is teaching us. Jesus says that He does not call for us to be martyrs but teachers. There is no condemnation or punishment for sins because Sons of God are not sinners, they cannot be sinners because they are of God. Our mistakes are canceled out by simply recognizing the error and asking Holy Spirit to undo any works of the ego in our lives and mind.
The cross is the perfect symbol of the conflict between the ego and the Son of God. This conflict seems just as real now as it ever did simply because it was not understood fully, and the misunderstanding was projected forward into our religions, traditions, rites, and rituals. The cross has no magic power to save us from our sins. It is a message of the Son of God’s love, mercy, and peace under the most harrowing conditions of the flesh. It is a message of who and what we really are – not the destructible, but the indestructible. We belong to God and to God we return when we have learned the lessons of love.
Jesus says that He does not need our gratitude for what He has done for us, but until we realize the gift He has given to us, we can never appreciate God. We cannot love what we do not appreciate. We cannot truly devote ourselves to loving God, when we fear Him, and when we fear Him, we teach others to do the same. Until we know ourselves as beloved Sons of God, we will teach others a gospel of rejection, a gospel of having to sacrifice to be worthy of God, of having to “get saved,” instead of accepting our salvation as a given, of having to “get the Holy Ghost,” instead of accepting that the still quiet inner Voice for God has been with us all along, quietly guiding and keeping us for His Kingdom. A gospel of rejection keeps us always on our toes, pleading Jesus blood, struggling with our flesh, and seeing persecution where there is none.
There is no belief system that needs to be adopted, although one does need to be given up! For we can only know God when we think the way God does. We meet God through the story of the Prodigal. He is the Father who watches His Son go down the path of separation and patiently awaits for His return. He does not send the other son to die on the cross to shed blood to satiate His need for payment for the wastrel’s sins. He does not prepare a dungeon of torments for the wastrel’s punishment. He does not make His Son kill baby animals and offer them on the altar. He does not demand that His Son take a bath and put on clean garments. He does not say the hell with Him and give Him over to the devil. He does not demand special prayers, fasting, or pleading. With patience and undying devotion, He waited for His Son to come to His senses, to awaken from the fascination with fear, sin, shame, guilt, and sorrow. He awaits with only love, joy, and peace to welcome Him home. This is the gospel of Christ untainted by rejection, purified of all guilt and punishment.
God loves us! His devotion to us has been misrepresented by our holy books, by our religions, and the myths which have designed ego-like deities that exclude and reject rather than include and accept.
The Holy Spirit connects us to God. When we listen to the Voice for God, we will know the real gospel of Christ – we can bypass the lies, the perverted gospel, the misinterpretations and purposeful misleading. There is no punishment, no revenge, no spite or wrath for God is our Loving Father, not a fearful one. Our identity in Christ as God’s Son gives us perfect immunity to which maims, robs, and devours only in this realm. The message of love, of harmlessness, of acceptance and welcome is sorely needed for all who have been hurt, dismayed, and bewildered by the mixed messages of love and hate, acceptance and rejection, equality and inequality, heaven and hell taught from our pulpits, written in our sacred texts, and envisioned by our prophets. Holy Spirit judges for us and not against us. We are blameless in the eyes of God. He does not care what we have done in the flesh and never will – He just awaits our awakening to His Love.
The last sentence of this section tells us that when we bless everybody we meet as part of the Sonship of God and help them to recognize this for themselves we will have learned of Christ. Christ endured the cross to teach us the harmlessness, mercy, and love of God toward those who have succumbed to a lower life form. He knew who and what He was, even as He calls us to know who and what we really are. We are not here to sit about and rant about the works of the flesh, to get involved in political battles, to decide what sins are beyond forgiveness and which ones are not so bad! We are to learn as Christ learned and love Creation, sharing God’s love and acceptance with everyone we meet. It matters not who ego has labeled straight or gay, liberal or conservative, pro-choice or pro-life. It matters not how good or bad, tall or short, morbidly obese or skinny as a rail the ego has made us out to be – God knows us as His Son. He loves us, brothers, in spite of ourselves. And we return to Him when we recognize and share His love. When Holy Spirit enlightens our minds with the light of God’s Love, convincing us beyond doubt of God’s devotion toward His creation, we are free of the lies and deceptions of all that would tell us otherwise. We no longer believe in the punishing god of ego; we know God Who is compassionate and kind! Jesus modeled this by offering forgiveness and love from His human death on the cross; we are to learn from Him and share His teachings with all.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter Six The lessons of love I. The message of the Crucifixion 14-19. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992).
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