The Savior on the Cross! Crucifixes are erected by the thousands as a symbol that Christ suffered and died for the sake of humanity. From all sides they call out to the faithful: “Remember!” In the lonely meadow, in the bustling city streets, in quiet chambers, in churches, on graves and at wedding celebrations, everywhere they serve to comfort, strengthen and admonish. Remember! It was because of your sins that the Son of God came to earth, to bring you salvation that He suffered and died on the Cross.
Deeply moved the faithful approaches them, in deep veneration and filled with gratitude. With a feeling of gladness he leaves the place, conscious that he also has been released from his sins by the sacrificial death.
You who are earnestly seeking, however, go and stand before the sacred, solemn symbol and strive to understand your Redeemer! Cast aside the soft cloak of convenience that keeps you so pleasantly warm and creates a comfortable feeling of well-being and safety, allowing you to doze on till your last hour on earth, when you will be vigorously aroused from your half-slumber. Freed from your earthly inhibitions, you will suddenly find yourself facing the naked truth. The dream to which you clung so persistently, and in which you surrendered yourself to inertia, will then quickly come to an end.
Therefore awake, your time on earth is precious! Because of our sins the Savior came, that is unassailably and literally true. It is also true that He died because of the guilt of humanity.
But this does not mean that your sins are taken from you! The Savior’s work of redemption was to take up the battle with the Darkness in order to bring Light to mankind, to open the way to forgiveness of all sins. But each one must tread this path alone in accordance with the irrevocable laws of the Creator. Neither did Christ come to overthrow the laws but to fulfill them. Do not misunderstand Him Who should be your best friend! Do not ascribe to the true words an erroneous meaning!
When it is quite rightly said that all of this happened for the sake of man’s sins, then this means that the coming of Jesus became necessary only because mankind could no longer find their way out of their self-created darkness nor release themselves from its clutches on their own. Christ had to pave the way anew and show it to mankind. Had they not entangled themselves so deeply in sin, that is, had they not taken the wrong road, then the coming of Jesus would not have been necessary. He would have been spared His life of struggle and pain. Therefore it is quite right to say that it was only because of mankind’s sins that He had to come, if men, in their pursuit of the wrong road, were not to sink into the abyss, into darkness.
This does not mean, however, that the personal guilt of every individual is therewith forgiven instantly, as soon as he really believes in and lives according to the words of Jesus. But if he does live according to the words of Jesus his sins will be forgiven; only gradually however, at a time when the process of redemption through reciprocal action begins in the counter activity of good volition in accordance to the Words of Jesus. Not otherwise. It is different with those who do not live according to the words of Jesus; for them forgiveness is completely impossible.
This does not imply, however, that only members of the Christian Church can attain to the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus proclaimed the Truth. His words must therefore also comprise all the Truths in other religions. He did not want to found a church, but to show mankind the right path, which can just as well lead through the Truths of other religions. For this reason His words often accorded with the religions already existing. Jesus did not take these Truths from them but, as He brought the Truth, this Truth must necessarily already contain all that was true in the other religions.
Also, he who does not know the actual words of Jesus and seriously strives for the Truth and ennoblement often lives completely in harmony with the sense of these words and will therefore surely attain to pure faith and the forgiveness of his sins. Beware, therefore, of one-sided opinions. They are a devaluation of the work of the Redeemer, debasement of the Divine Spirit.
He who strives earnestly after truth and purity will not be lacking in love. Though sometimes beset with serious doubts and struggles, he will be led upwards spiritually step by step and, regardless of what religion he may belong to, he will either here or later in the Ethereal World meet the Christ-Spirit, which ultimately will lead him on towards the Father. Thus the Word will be fulfilled: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
“Ultimately”, however, does not begin with the last hours on earth, but at a certain stage in the development of spiritual man, for whom the passing from the Gross Material World to the Ethereal World is but a transition.
And now to the events of the great work of Redemption itself: Mankind strayed in spiritual darkness. They had brought this about themselves, by subjecting themselves more and more to the intellect alone, which they had so laboriously cultivated. In so doing they narrowed their perceptive abilities ever more, until, like their brain, they became unconditionally bound to space and time and could no longer recognize the way to what is infinite and eternal. Thus they became completely earthbound, limited to space and time. All connection with the Light, with Purity, with the spiritual, was cut off thereby. The volition of man was only capable of directing itself to earthly things, with the exception of a few who, as prophets, did not have the power to penetrate and make a free path to the Light.
This situation opened all the gates to evil. Spiritual darkness welled up and flooded the earth, bringing disaster. This could lead to only one end: spiritual death. The most terrible fate to befall mankind.
The blame for all this misery lay upon mankind itself! They brought it upon themselves by voluntarily choosing this course. They had wanted it to be so and cultivated it. In their utter blindness they were even proud of their achievement without recognizing the terrible consequences arising from their limited understanding, which they so painstakingly forced upon themselves. From out of this humanity, no path to the Light could be created. The self-imposed limitation was already too great.
If there was still to be any possibility of salvation, help had to come from the Light. Otherwise the downfall of man into darkness was unstoppable.
Darkness itself, through its impurity, has a greater density, which brings about a spiritual heaviness. Because of this heaviness Darkness cannot of itself rise above a certain weight-level, unless from elsewhere some attracting power comes to its aid. Light, however, possesses a lightness corresponding to its purity, which makes it impossible for the Light to descend to this level of Darkness.
Thus there is an unbridgeable gulf between the two parts, in the middle of which stands man and his earth!
Depending on the nature of his volition and wishes, man now has the choice of approaching the Light or the Darkness, of opening the gates and smoothing the way for either the Light or the Darkness to flood the earth. In this process men themselves are the mediators through whose power of volition either Light or Darkness can gain a firm foothold from which to operate more or less powerfully. The more the Light or the Darkness thereby gains in power on earth, the more either one is able to shower on mankind that which it has to give – either good or evil, well-being or disaster, happiness or unhappiness, the peace of Paradise or the torment of hell.
The pure volition of man had become too weak to be able to offer an anchorage for the Light in the heavy, stifling Darkness, which had already gained the upper hand on earth. This anchorage was needed for the Light to hold on to and unite with in such a way that in undimmed purity and consequent undiminished power it could cleave the Darkness and thus deliver mankind, who would then be able to draw strength from the thus tapped wellspring and find their way upward to the Luminous Heights.
It was impossible for the Light Itself to descend so far into the mire unless a firm anchorage was offered to It. Consequently a mediator had to come. Only a messenger from the Luminous Heights could, by becoming human, break through the dark wall which men's volition had built and, in the midst of all the evil, create for the Divine Light that gross material foothold which would stand firm amid the heavy darkness. From this anchorage the pure rays of the Light would then be able to cleave through and disperse the dark layers so that humanity would not completely sink and suffocate in the Darkness.
Thus Jesus came for the sake of mankind and their sins!
This newly-created connection with the Light could not, because of the purity and strength of the Messenger from the Light, be cut off by the Darkness. Thus a new road to the spiritual heights was opened up for mankind. From Jesus, who, through becoming man, had become the earthly foothold of the Light, rays penetrated the Darkness through the Living Word which brought the Truth. He could transmit this Truth in unadulterated form since His connection to the Light was pure through its strength, and could not be tarnished by the Darkness.
People were now aroused from their spiritual lethargy through the miracles that happened at the same time. By following these up, they came upon the Word. Hearing the Truth that Jesus brought, however, and reflecting upon It, there gradually arose in hundreds of thousands the wish to follow this Truth and know more about It. By so doing they slowly strove towards the Light. Their desire loosened the grip of the surrounding Darkness, and ray after ray of Light penetrated victoriously as people thought about these words and found them to be true. It became brighter and brighter around them and the Darkness, being no longer able to retain a firm hold on such people, glanced off them and eventually fell back and lost more and more ground. In this way the Word of Truth worked in the Darkness like a germinating mustard seed, as yeast does in bread.
And this was the work of redemption of the Son of God, Jesus, the Bringer of Light and Truth.
The Darkness, imagining that it was already master of all humanity, rebelled against this in a wild struggle to make the work of the redeemer impossible. It was unable to get close to Jesus Himself, for it glanced off His pure intuition. Thus it naturally made use of its willing tools which it had at its disposal for the battle.
These tools were the people who quite rightly called themselves “materialists” who yielded to the intellect and who, like the intellect, were fast bound to space and time. Consequently they could no longer grasp higher spiritual concepts, which lie far beyond space and time, and it thus became impossible for them to follow the teaching of the Truth. In their own conviction they all stood on too “realistic” a ground, just as so many do today. Realistic ground, however, is a very limited ground. And these very people represented the majority of those in power, i.e. they held positions of authority and power in church and government.
Thus the Darkness, in furious counter-attack, whipped up these people to commit the brutal assaults against Jesus through the earthly power that lay in their hands.
By this the Darkness hoped to make Jesus waver, and thus in the last moment to destroy the work of redemption. That it was at all possible for it to exert this power on earth was solely the fault of humanity which, through their self-chosen wrong attitude, had limited their perceptive ability and thus given the Darkness the upper hand.
This fault alone was the sin of mankind which entailed all other evil.
And because of this sin of humanity Jesus had to suffer! The Darkness continued to fan the flame to the utmost. Jesus would have to suffer death on the Cross if He stood firm in His assertion that He was the Bringer of Truth and Light. It was the final decision. To flee or to completely withdraw from it all could save Him from death on the Cross. But that would have meant victory of the Darkness at the last moment, because all the work of Jesus would have fizzled out once again, and the Darkness would once again have victoriously engulfed everything. Jesus would not have fulfilled His Mission and the work of redemption started by Him would have remained unfinished.
The inner struggle in Gethsemane was severe but brief. Jesus did not shun physical death, but remained steadfast and calmly faced death for the sake of the Truth He brought. With His blood on the Cross He put the seal upon all He had said and lived.
With this deed He vanquished the Darkness completely after it had played its last trump. Jesus won the victory. Out of love for the Father, for the Truth, out of love for mankind, whose way to freedom and the Light thus remained open, because this victory fortified their faith in the Truth of His words.
If He had withdrawn and fled and so given up His work, doubts would inevitably have arisen.
Thus Jesus died for the sake of humanity’s sins! If mankind had not sinned, nor turned away from God by limiting themselves through the intellect, then Jesus could have spared Himself His coming as well as His path of suffering and His death on the cross. Therefore it is quite right to say: On account of our sins Jesus came, suffered and died on the Cross!
But this does not mean that you do not have to redeem your own sins!
Only now it is easy for you, because by bringing the Truth Jesus has shown you the way in His Words. Neither can Jesus’ death on the cross simply wash away your sins. Before such a thing could happen all the laws of the Universe would first have to be overthrown. But that will not happen. Jesus Himself often enough referred to “all that is written”, that is, to the Old. The new Gospel of Love does not intend to overthrow or annul the old one of Justice, but to complement and unite with it.
Therefore do not forget the Justice of the mighty Creator of all things, which cannot be moved by even so much as a hair’s breadth, and which stands inviolable from the very beginning of the world until its end! It could never permit any person to take upon himself the sin of another in order to redeem it.
So Jesus could come, suffer and die, for the sake of or because of the guilt of others, and He could step forth as the warrior of the Truth, but He Himself remained pure and untouched by this guilt. That is why He was unable to take the guilt upon Himself personally.
This does not lessen the work of the Redeemer; indeed it is a sacrifice which could not be greater. Jesus came down from the Luminous Heights into the mire for you. He fought for you, suffered and died for you, in order to bring you Light and to show you the right way upward, so that you will not become lost in the Darkness and perish!
That is how your Redeemer stands before you. That was His tremendous work of Love.
The Justice of God continued to exist, severe and strict, in the Laws of the Universe. For what a man sows that shall he reap, as Jesus Himself said in His Message. Divine Justice does not permit one farthing to be remitted!
Think of this when you stand before this sacred, solemn symbol. Give fervent thanks that with His Word the Redeemer re-opened the way to the forgiveness of your sins, and leave these sites with the earnest intention to walk the way shown to you so that you may receive forgiveness. To walk the path however, does not mean merely to learn the Word and believe in It, but to live the Word! To believe in It, to regard It as right, yet not to act in accordance with It in everything, would not benefit you at all. On the contrary, you would be worse off than those who know nothing of the Word.
Therefore awake, your time on earth is precious!