Christendom has commonly made the mistake of regarding...

The Christian Science Monitor

Christendom has commonly made the mistake of regarding the cross of Christ as relating exclusively to the experience of Christ Jesus, just as it has erred in worshiping his personality rather than the divine Principle which he represented. It is easier for the human mind to reverence the sacrificial act of a benefactor than it is for it to emulate that act. Worship of a person requires a negligible sacrifice of self; but to worship divine Principle, as Jesus did, demands the same victory over the senses which he achieved. Death of the material self on the cross as the only means of winning the "crown of life," in Christian figurative language, has for centuries been preached, though it has not been practiced. Misinterpretation of the meaning of the cross has therefore frequently resulted in perpetuating the materiality which Jesus' life and teaching, if understood, would destroy.

The crime of Jesus which, in the eyes of a material priesthood, merited the ignominious death of a malefactor, was that he called himself the Son of God. Material sense, hating the spirituality which rebuked it, attempted to slay the spiritual idea which it could not perceive. It was for the purpose of proving material sense powerless, mortal life unreal, and the spiritual sense of life the only real sense, that Jesus the Christ submitted to the worst that hate could do.

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