Did Jesus Suffer During His Crucifixion?
Nancy B. Detweiler
For over 1,700 years, Christians have been taught that God required Jesus to suffer and die on the cross so he could forgive us our sins. Many churches teach that unless humanity accepts Jesus as their Saviour, God will punish them for eternity in the hot fires of hell. As a 14 year old, I dedicated my life to be a missionary --- not out of love for God, but to protect the people from such a cruel God.
Fear of a vengeful God who punishes for eternity has enslaved millions---enslaved them from seeking the Truth that Jesus taught would set them free. How often I have heard the statement, “I can’t listen to that … I might lose my faith.”
Another sinister technique for enslaving Christians is the teaching that we are all sinners. Because we are all sinners, Jesus had to suffer great pain and be nailed to a cross to die. We allow the entertainment media to show us a horrible crucifixion, filling us with remorse. Movies like The Passion, musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, and the famous outdoor Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany---all depict the great pain heaped upon Jesus because we are sinners and God requires a blood sacrifice as a means of being able to forgive us. We are taught to worship Jesus out of gratitude for saving us from our sins.
During this Lenten Season, let’s “fast” from the old stories of such a horrible God and “feast” on a search for Truth.
The ancient mystery religions of Egypt and elsewhere offered religious training in the temples to a select group of students. The people at large were taught a surface level religion, just like Jesus taught in parables and Paul fed the people the “milk of truth” instead of the “meat of Truth.” The students who were taught in secret were considered “candidates for initiation.” After years of training in how to control their mind and body, they were hopefully ready for the final major test or initiation. The candidate was placed in a stone coffin (sarcophagus) and the lid placed over it. His body remained in the closed coffin for 3 days, while the candidate kept his body alive and likely stayed out-of-body most of the time. By leaving the body, no pain is experienced. (The thousands of near-death experiences that have now been recorded by professional researchers verify this fact of being out-of-body and feeling no pain.) At the end of 3 days, the priest/priestess removed the coffin lid. If the candidate had succeeded in keeping his body alive, he became an Initiate and was given an ankh cross, signifying initiation, resurrection, and immortality. Some candidates died. We know of these ancient initiations because Egyptians were thorough in recording their history.
Jesus incarnated to show us the Way to walk the “narrow path”—the Path of Initiation into Higher Consciousness. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) The difference was that Jesus taught everyone who was ready to listen and understand. The teachings were no longer limited to a select few. For those not ready to comprehend the spoken word, Jesus demonstrated with his physical body in a very public arena.
Jesus told the people in John 2:19, 21 --- “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…. He was speaking of the temple of his body.” Like the Egyptian Initiates, he would raise up his body after 3 days.
Jesus willing performed his crucifixion initiation in public so all could witness it. We know that he had the ability to simply disappear had he not consented to be crucified. He disappeared from the crowd in Nazareth that intended to throw him off the cliff. (Luke 4:28-30) As he states in John 10:17-18 in reference to his future crucifixion, “I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again.” The crucifixion, read with the knowledge of the ancient Egyptian initiations, takes on new meaning. Jesus demonstrated to the public: there is no death.
When we ask whether or not Jesus suffered pain, we have to take into consideration what physics teaches us: Everything is energy moving at varying rates of speed. Nothing is solid, including our physical bodies. Prior to 2000 B.C.E., some people in India had developed sufficient control over their mind to successfully swallow a sword. Swallowing a sword continues to this day throughout the world. People walk on fire without burning their feet. Karate students learn to chop bricks and wood with their hands without injury. Because our bodies are energy, we can learn such mind control that we can open our energy field to receiving a sword and fire without resistance. Resistance creates a barrier and injury does occur. Because nothing is solid, we can learn to chop wood with one hand and experience no injury.
Jesus would have been capable of doing the same thing … receiving the nails and spear into his body without pain. He may have allowed the physical evidence of some blood, as well as scars—due to the nails and spear—as physical means of verification for those who were solely dependent upon their 5 senses to discern truth. However, that would have been his choice---not because he actually suffered an injury.
Why is whether or not Jesus suffered pain an important question? First, Christians have been enslaved by thinking in terms of how much Jesus suffered for them because they are such terrible sinners. Second, when Jesus planned a public crucifixion with “the Father,” both knew there need be no pain. The plan was not a bloody sacrifice in order for God to forgive us our sins. A God of absolute love agreed with Jesus that he would lay down his life as a demonstration to the people that there is no death---resurrection is Truth. Eternal life is Truth. That God required no pain is Truth.
Can you feel the difference? … the freedom? ... in thinking of the crucifixion as a painless demonstration FOR YOU instead of a horrible, painful death because OF YOU.
If we insist of thinking of the crucifixion as painful, then we are rating Jesus as less advanced than those who can swallow a sword, walk on fire, or chop wood with their hands.
Let’s release the horror we have been taught concerning Jesus’ crucifixion … let us release the horror of being taught a vengeful God who requires a blood sacrifice in order to forgive us for being such sinful people … let us release the horror of being taught that God is capable of punishing us for eternity … let us release the pain of being taught that we are born sinful human beings. Instead, we make mistakes and God allows us all the time we need to learn from them and to choose differently next time. A God of Absolute Love gave us freewill and the freedom to learn from our mistakes.
As Jesus taught: “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) AMEN AND SO IT IS!