A Course in Miracles uses crucifixion as a symbol of the separation which occurs routinely in our living as the sense of being unfairly attacked. It’s an abstraction with consequences to which we can respond with love.
Crucifixion symbolizes the attempt to combine attack and innocence (T-27.I.1:1). There is the one who does the crucifying – the attacker, the victimizer, the evil one, i.e. you – and there is the innocent one being crucified, being victimized, i.e., me.
You’re the Roman soldier with a hammer, and I’m Jesus laying down on splintered wood.
The thing is, the desire to be crucified – to suffer and sacrifice – is not separate from the desire to crucify. You can’t have the one without the other. When I feel victimized – misunderstood, neglected, wronged, whatever – then by definition I have brought forth the one who victimizes. I make my brother an enemy, a crucifier which – wait for it – means I have crucified him.
There is – thank Christ there is – another way.
The suggestion the Course makes – the healing it offers – is that this view of crucifixion reflects a deep confusion about what we are in truth, what our brothers and sisters are in truth and, critically, what God is.
You cannot sacrifice yourself alone. For sacrifice is total. If it would occur at all it would entail the whole of God’s creation, and the Father with the sacrifice of His beloved Son (T-27.I.1:7-8).
When I perceive myself as victimized I am actually victimizing you. I feel righteous in this – how could I not? I am the Christ and you are the murderer of Christ. In this way, I make myself the sign that you have lost your innocence; you need only look at me to be reminded of your condemnation (T-27.I.2:3).
Do we really believe God thinks that way? Or would condone behavior that reflects thinking that way?
When we realize the answer is “no,” and then commit to thinking differently – to thinking as God thinks, which is to consent to be reminded that our will and God’s Will are not separate but perfectly aligned – then healing begins. We remember our shared innocence.
Wish not to make yourself a living symbol of [your brother or sister’s] guilt, for you will not escape the death you made for him. But in his innocence you find your own (T-27.I.1.2:6-7).
When I free you from responsibility for my suffering, then I naturally witness to your innocence. And here is the thing: when I witness unto yours, I also witness unto mine. Just as sacrifice is total, so is salvation. Only innocence recognizes innocence. We are liberated as one because we are one.
The world cannot be saved by attack. You and I cannot be saved by attack. Our innocence can only be remembered – brought to mind – when we lay down our weapons, release our ideas about just war and righteous conflict, and meet one another in the space which arises when attack is no longer viable.
This is hard to do. It requires that we be intentionally vulnerable; it requires that we be radical; it requires that we accept, literally, that our only function is to “love in a loveless place” (T-14.IV.4:10).
It requires that we enter into a sustained committed – indeed, a monogamous – relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God, and for your function as He knows it. So will He teach you to remove the awful burden you have laid upon yourself by loving not the Son of God, and trying to teach him guilt instead of love. Give up this frantic and insane attempt that cheats you of the joy of living with your God and Father, and of waking gladly to His Love and Holiness that join together as the truth in you, making you one with Him (T-14.IV.5:4-6).
Today, let us be neither the one with the hammer nor the one on the cross. Let us walk away from Golgotha together, hand-in-hand, to remind our brothers and sisters of our freedom and our peace. What other function could possibly be worthy of us?