May We Crucify Our False Beliefs
Nancy B. Detweiler
On this day of Crucifixion, may we crucify our false beliefs.
As we saw in Maundy Thursday’s Lent Devotional, the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke depict Jesus growing depressed over his coming ordeal … asking God that the cup be taken from him … and so much in dread that he sweats drops of blood. On the day of his crucifixion, Jesus is portrayed as so weak he needs help carrying his cross. We hear sermons and allow the entertainment media to describe in gory detail the suffering of Jesus. We weep with guilt because we think a vengeful God requires a blood sacrifice in order to forgive us our sins.
On the other hand, we can read stories of Christian martyrs who sang hymns while being torn apart by lions or on the rack … who face their coming death with calmness … whose inner strength was so visible to the thousands who attended these arena events that they wondered, “who are these people?” We have seen (or read accounts) of men calmly—and with confidence in their own ability—swallow a sword or fire … we have seen people calmly walk on fire with bare feet … we have seen men chop a log in half with their bare hands. And, all done with no blood shed … no pain … no dread before the act.
There’s something terribly wrong with Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s account. In contrast, when we turn to the gospel of John, we find a Jesus who stood tall in his power. John 19:35 reveals the story is told by an eye witness: “And he who saw it testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows well that what he said is true, that you also may believe.”
In John’s account, Jesus stands before Pilate while the crowd yells, “Crucify him” and calmly tells Pilate: “You would have no authority whatever over me if it had not been given to you from above; for this reason the sin of him who delivered me to you is greater than yours.” (John 19:11)
In John 19:16-17, we find Jesus – “Then he delivered him to them to crucify him. So they took Jesus and brought him forth, carrying his cross, to the place which is called The Skull, but in Hebrew it is called Golgotha.” Everything is energy … Jesus would have known how to become one with the wooden cross and easily carry it.
As Jesus was nailed to the cross, he once more knew how not to resist … to, instead, become one with the nails and feel no pain. Because Jesus was one with his higher mind, he could intuit the need for scars to prove his identity to his doubting disciples. He also knew how to leave his body and feel no pain when the cross was lifted and dropped into its hole.
While hanging on the cross, Jesus talked with those around him, making sure his mother was cared for. He watched as the Roman soldiers recognized that his robe was an expensive one and agreed to cast lots for it. A seamless robe was a sign of wealth – “his robe was without seam, woven from the top throughout.” (John 19:23)
“After these things Jesus knew that everything was now accomplished…. When Jesus drank the vinegar, he said, ‘It is fulfilled’; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19: 28-30) Jesus knew how to give up his spirit, i.e. allow his soul to leave the body in what we call “death.” He did it according to his own timing.
John’s account of Jesus’ arrest, his trial, and his crucifixion reveals a man who stood tall in his inner power, who knew exactly what was happening and how to calmly approach each event. He knew the metaphysical truth: Everything is energy. Because Jesus knew Truth, he had no reason to be depressed or filled with dread. He knew his destiny when he incarnated … he talked about it with the people throughout his ministry … he had no desire to avoid fulfilling his destiny.
Jesus knew he was setting an example for us to follow. During his ministry, he had repeatedly rebuked his disciples for their fear and lack of faith. He wept for those who can not see the universal truth behind his works and can not hear his words of truth regarding our real identity - “you are do all the things that I do and greater things than these.” He commanded us to pick up our cross and follow him. He would not have allowed himself to falter and require help in carrying his own cross.
Jesus, through his completion of his own destiny, showed each of us how to accomplish our destiny—our role within the Divine Plan, for we all have an integral role to play. Our Way Shower is One of towering strength, great inner peace and wisdom, and possessing the courage to be tested and fulfill his destiny regardless of the challenges.
“Now there was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no man was yet laid. So they laid Jesus there, because the Sabbath was approaching and because the tomb was near.” (John 19:41-42)
Researchers are not sure where the garden tomb was located. They do know that Joseph of Arimathea—Jesus’ great uncle—maintained a large home in or near Jerusalem. Joseph of Arimathea played a large role in Jesus’ life and would have naturally cared for his body. Joseph was also very wealthy and at home in both the Roman courts in Rome and in the religious community in Jerusalem. It would have been his contacts with both governing bodies that allowed him to remove Jesus from the cross. The religious officials feared Jesus’ disciples would hide his body and falsely claim his resurrection. Anyone following Jesus was in grave danger.
On this day of crucifixion, let us pledge to crucify our false beliefs. In order to assist in fulfilling this pledge, I am recommending the following books.
The Kingdom Within: The Inner Meaning of Jesus’ Sayings, John A. Sanford
It is only as we crucify our lower self’s ego and our false beliefs about ourselves, God, Jesus, and the whole of creation that we prepare for our own resurrection into