How many of you take the biblical Crucifixion story literally?
How many of you see it as symbolic of the greater struggle of each and every one of us?
Personally, I go with the latter explanation, as illustrated in a nice article by W. Albertson called Eastertide — Season of Renewal. Here’s an excerpt:
“As we study the religions of the peoples of earth, we find that each of them attaches great significance to certain symbols and truths. The crucifixion, the entombment, the resurrection, and the Christ glorified are found in one form or another in the traditional teachings or myths from which the Christian religion has descended. We are irresistibly drawn into a worldwide company to whom inspiration and light have come from the universal source of wisdom by means of many teachers of humanity.
“Duality is the first idea we must grasp in the application of these symbols — the duality of spirit and matter; the aim of world-manifestation being to inform the world-matter with spirit, to lift it to knowledge of its divine essence. Everything in the great cycle of experience shares this duality. Each of us is a divine spirit which has chosen to assume body after body of matter in order gradually to awaken in the entities of the body the fire of higher consciousness. Life is an entombment of the spirit in matter until the divinity of the spirit conquers its dark surroundings and finds its way to the light again, bearing the fruit of earthly experience.
“The crucifixion, according to the wisdom-teaching of all time, is not the death agony of only one of humanity’s helpers named Jesus the Christ. It is the struggle for conquest between spirit and matter in all mankind: the age-long striving by which the desires and appetites of the lower nature are gradually purified and directed toward the higher life, to what makes for spiritual mastery. The Christ crucified typifies this; and the penitent thief to whom Christ says “This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise,” represents the part of the lower nature that has welcomed the divine influence and become one with it; while the thief on the other side is the unconquered passion and desire that no longer cling to the soul that has freed itself from the body. The tomb symbolizes the bondage in which the soul imprisoned in bodily desires suffers. The resurrection is the rising of the soul triumphant over the longings of the flesh; it is the symbol of the inner god triumphant over the animal. The crucifixion then applies to every member of the human family, and not only to those elder brothers of the race who come as teachers at certain periods.” — W. Albertson, from Eastertide — Season of Renewal
There’s much more to the article. I recommend it on this Good Friday . . .