55. The Crucifixion Of The Son Of God And The Lord's Supper

That at Christ's death the veil of the Temple, which shut out the Holy of Holies from the ordinary man, was rent in twain, was taken, later on, as a symbol, meaning that the separation between God and man ceased at the moment of the Saviour's death and that direct communication was established in its stead. This interpretation is wrong. By crucifying Christ, men rejected the Son of God as their expected Messiah, and this made the separation all the greater. It was because, after this, the Holy of Holies was no longer necessary, that the veil was rent. Exposed to the eyes of the vulgar, open to all impure currents or vibrations, it further expressed that Divinity would no longer set its foot on earth after this deed had been committed — so that the Holy of Holies became superfluous. This is the exact contrary of the explanation hitherto accepted and which here, as elsewhere, shows the presumption of man's mind. Neither was the Crucifixion a
necessary sacrifice, but a murder, a dastardly crime. Every other explanation is a misrepresentation which either has its origin in ignorance or is intended as excuse.

Christ certainly did not come on earth with the intention of letting himself be crucified;
neither does redemption lie in His Crucifixion! Christ was crucified because of his teaching, as being a troublesome Bringer of Truth. It was not his death on the Cross that could or should bring redemption, but the Truth that He gave man in His Word.

The Truth, however, was irksome to the teachers and heads of the Temple, because it shook their influence severely.
It would he just the same today in many places. Mankind has not changed in this respect. The teachers of that time took their standing, it is true, on the old traditions, but these had become but rigid forms, rigid without life. The same we may often observe today. But He, who without rejecting the Scriptures, would have brought life into the Word, naturally also upset their practices and rejected their interpretations. He freed the people from the rigid and empty ceremonies which were compulsory, and this naturally was a great vexation to the false leaders who soon perceived how energetically He was taking the reins of government from their hands. And for this reason, He who brought the Truth, who came to clear away the obstructions their wrong interpretations had heaped up, was maligned, rendered suspect, and pursued. As, in spite of their efforts, they could not succeed in turning Him into ridicule, they sought to discredit what He said: to stamp Him as inferior. Thus incompetent to comprehend, they pointed to His past, His birth as the carpenter's son. He was a layman, the same exactly as today one is called who would strike at and expose doctrines that kill every aspiring thought. His opponents were too cautious to enter into any dissertations or to challenge his interpretations, as they were aware they would be beaten if they hazarded entering into any discussions with him. They contented themselves, therefore, with maligning him maliciously through bribed agents, till, at last, they did not hesitate to avail themselves of a propitious moment, to accuse him publicly and falsely and have Him crucified, to remove Him, and with Him, the danger he represented to their authority and power.

Crucifixion was a form of violent death introduced by the Romans. In it was
no redemption, neither did it bring redemption. It atoned for no sins, it freed from nothing, but only burdened mankind still more by a dastardly murder. If here and there a cult has arisen teaching that a principal or necessary part of Christ's Work of Redemption lies in this murder, it only robs man of the most valuable blessing that redemption alone could bring. It diverts his attention from the true mission of the Saviour, from what in the first place made His coming, from Heaven to Earth, necessary. It was not to suffer death on the Cross but to bring the Light of Truth into the maze of dogmatic rigidity and emptiness that was pressing on and paralysing the mind of man, and to explain the relations between God, Creation, and man as they really exist. For with this knowledge of the real relations of God, Creation, and man, all that man's limited understanding has added (thereby covering up and hiding the real meaning), would fall away of itself. Not till then could man clearly see the way that leads upwards.

Redemption lay in bringing the
truth and freedom from error — in nothing else. Men's vision was obscured, their faith blind. Blindness is the word that most suitably depicts their state.

The Passover that Christ kept with His disciples, before His death, was a farewell supper. When Christ said: "Take, eat, this is My Body. Drink ye all of It. This is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins", He declared that He was willing even to die on the Cross, to embrace that opportunity of testifying to erring man the truth of His teaching, which alone indicated the way to the remission of sins.

He says expressly, "forgiveness for many", not for "all", thus only for those who take His words to heart and live according to His precepts.

His body sacrificed on the Cross, His blood spilt was to emphasize the solemn necessity and the profound gravity of the interpretations His teaching had brought. The celebration of the Holy Communion, in remembrance of the Lord's Supper, recalls and accentuates their urgency.

That the Son of God did not let Himself be deterred by man's malignant enmity which was foreseen as a probable contingency, but continued to proclaim the Truth, speaks for the desperate plight of mankind who could only be saved from destruction by catching at the rope thrown to them.*

When at supper Christ refers to His death on the Cross,
it is to lay solemn and particular stress for the last time on the compelling necessity of the teaching He came to bring.

In partaking of the Holy Communion, each communicant should realise afresh that the Son of God, even in face of death on the Cross, did not shrink from giving His Body and His Blood to open man's eyes and enable him to understand the working of the Divine Laws governing Cosmic Evolution. The knowledge of the profound gravity, the burning necessity of this saving Gospel should give man new strength, new impetus to live and to act according to Christ's teaching, not merely to understand it. In so doing his sins will be forgiven and he will be redeemed. But not directly. He must himself find the path Christ points out in His Message and follow it.

For this reason and to this end the Communion Service must always reanimate, must bring these events to life again, so that the zeal to obey precepts that were given at the cost of so great a sacrifice, should not slacken. Zeal alone insures success. Indolence and mere outward ceremony cause man to lose their hold on the rope thrown out to save them and sink back into error and ruin.

It is a fatal mistake for men to think that the Crucifixion guarantees the remission of their sins. Such a thought does terrible harm: all those who think thus are in truth kept back from Salvation, as Redemption only lies in living according to the Saviour's precepts, teaching given by One who knew all things and could overlook all things. He gives men practical examples of the absolute necessity of image keeping the laws on which Creation rests and shows what results when God's Will is
obeyed and what follows on disobedience.

His work of Redemption made evident the defects and abuses in religious practices of His day and it brought light into the atmosphere of ever increasing darkness surrounding man. Neither the Crucifixion, nor the Lord's Supper, nor the Holy Wafer, can bring remission of sins
unconditionally. Such a notion is antagonistic to all Divine ordinances. And thus it follows that neither has man power to forgive. A man only has the right and the power to forgive that which he has personally suffered at the hands of another, and then only when, of itself, his heart bids him do it.

He who will take thought in his heart (consult his inner voice) will recognise the Truth and thus also the way. Those who are too indolent to think, those who are too lazy carefully to trim and unremittingly keep in order the lamp they have within to give them light, will not have the ability to weigh and consider, and, like the foolish virgins of the parable, may perhaps find, «in such an hour as they think not», that the
Word of Truth has passed them by!

They let themselves fall asleep in their inertia and blind faith, consequently in their slothfulness they will be incapable of recognising the Bringer of Truth, the Bride-groom. Then they will perforce stay behind when the Wakeful enter into the Kingdom of Bliss.

* Lecture No. 48: Cosmic Evolution