The following lecture from the Grail Message is unabridged and explains completely the meaning and purpose of Christ's mission.
The Saviour on the Cross! These crucifixes are erected by the thousands as a token that Christ suffered and died for the sake of humanity. On all sides they call out to the faithful: “Remember it!”
In the lonely meadow, in the bustling city streets, in the private sanctuary, in churches, on graves and at wedding celebrations – everywhere they serve to comfort, strengthen and admonish. Remember it! Because of your sins the Son of God, Who came to earth to bring you salvation, suffered and died on the Cross!
The faithful Christian tremulously approaches them, in deep veneration and full of gratitude. With a glad feeling he leaves the place, conscious that he also has been released from his sins by the sacrificial death.
But you who are earnest seekers go and stand before the sacred, solemn token and strive to understand your Redeemer! Cast aside the soft cloak of ease 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! Then you will be vigorously aroused from your half-slumber and, freed from your earthly fetters, 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 your sins the Saviour 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 have been taken from you! The Saviour’s work of redemption was to take up the battle with Darkness in order to bring Light to mankind, to open the way to the forgiveness of all sins.
But each one must tread this path alone in accordance with the irrevocable laws of the Creator. Christ did not come to overthrow the laws but to fulfil them. Do not fail to recognise Him Who should be your best friend! Do not attach a wrong meaning to such true words!
When it is quite rightly said that for the sake of man’s sins all this happened, it means that the coming of Jesus became necessary only because mankind could no longer find their way alone out of their self-created darkness, nor release themselves from its clutches.
Christ had to show mankind the way. 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 He was obliged to come for the sake of men’s sins, if the latter 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 remitted at a moment’s notice, 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 him. Of course only gradually, as soon as redemption sets in through the reciprocal action ensuing from the counter-activity of his good volition. Not otherwise! It is different with those who do not live according to the words of Jesus; for them forgiveness is absolutely impossible.
This does not imply, however, that only members of the Christian religion can attain to the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus proclaimed the Truth! His words must therefore also embrace all the truths in other religions. He did not want to found a church, but to show mankind the right path, which can equally 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 out of them but, as He brought the Truth, It must necessarily contain all that was true in the other religions.
He who does not know the words of Jesus personally, but who seriously strives for the Truth and for ennoblement, often lives completely in harmony with the sense of these words, and will surely attain to pure faith and the forgiveness of his sins. Beware, therefore, of a one-sided outlook! It would be debasing the work of the Redeemer.
He who strives earnestly after truth and purity will also 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 in the final end will lead him on towards recognition of God the Father. Thus the Word will be fulfilled: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me!”
“The final end”, however, does not begin with your 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 turn to the great work of Redemption itself. Mankind was erring in spiritual darkness. They had created this themselves by subjecting themselves more and more to the intellect, which they had so assiduously cultivated. In so doing they limited their perceptive ability more and more until, like their brain, they became unconditionally bound to space and time, and could no longer grasp 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. Darkness welled up and flooded the earth, bringing disaster. This could only have one end – spiritual death! The most terrible fate to befall mankind!
The guilt for all this misery lay upon mankind. 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 recognising the terrible consequences arising from their limited understanding, which they so painstakingly forced upon themselves. To open a path to the Light from a humanity in such a state was impossible. The self-imposed limitation was already too great.
If there was still to be any possibility of salvation help must come from the Light. Otherwise the downfall of man into darkness was inevitable.
Darkness itself, through its impurity, has a greater density, which brings about a heaviness. Because of this heaviness Darkness cannot of itself rise above a certain weight-level, unless from the other side 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 the level of Darkness.
Thus there is an unbridgeable gulf between both parts, in the middle of which stands man and his earth.
According to the nature of his volition and wishes, man now possesses the choice of approaching the Light or of approaching the Darkness, of opening the gates and smoothing the way so that either Light or Darkness can 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 there, from which it can operate more or less powerfully.
The more Light or Darkness thereby gains in power on earth, the more each can pour over mankind what 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 its undimmed purity and consequent unimpaired power could cleave the Darkness and thus deliver mankind. They would then be able to draw strength by tapping this source 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 incarnating, 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 sink completely 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 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 unblemished as He Himself was the Word and the Truth.
People were aroused from their spiritual lethargy through the miracles that happened simultaneously. In following these up they came upon the Word. Hearing the Truth that Jesus brought and reflecting upon It, there gradually awakened in hundreds of thousands the wish to follow this Truth and know more about It. By so doing they slowly strove upwards towards the Light.
Through this wish the Darkness surrounding them had to loosen its grip, and ray after ray of Light victoriously penetrated 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 persons, finally fell back and thus 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, which imagined it was already master of all humanity, rebelled against this in a wild struggle to make the work of redemption impossible. It could get no hold on Jesus Himself, for it fell back before His pure intuition. Thus it naturally made use of the willing tools at its disposal for the battle.
These were the people who quite rightly called themselves “intellectuals”, who yielded to the intellect and who, like the intellect, were fast bound to space and time. Consequently they could no longer grasp the higher spiritual concepts, which lie far beyond space and time, and it thus became impossible for them to follow the teaching of the Truth.
All these had the conviction that they stood on too “realistic” a ground, just as so many do today. Realistic ground, however, really means a very limited ground. The majority of these people represented power, being in positions of authority in government and church.
Thus the Darkness, in furious self-defence, 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 destroy the work of redemption. That it was at all possible for it to exert this power on earth was due solely to the guilt of humanity which, through their self-chosen wrong attitude, limited their perceptive ability and thus gave the Darkness the upper hand.
And because of this sin of humanity Jesus had to suffer! The Darkness continued to fan the flame to the uttermost! 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 withdraw from it all could save Him from death on the Cross. But that would have meant victory to the Darkness at the last moment, because all the work of Jesus would then gradually have run to sand, and the Darkness would 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 sharp but short! Jesus did not shun physical death, but calmly faced it 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, which had then played its last trump. Jesus won the victory – out of love for mankind, whose way to freedom and Light thus remained open, because His death 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 assailed them.
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 crucifixion. 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 yourselves!
It is only that now it is easy for you, because by bringing the Truth Jesus has shown you the way in His Words.
Neither can the crucifixion of Jesus 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 Covenant. The new Gospel of Love does not intend to overthrow or annul the old Gospel of Justice, but to supplement 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 another’s guilt upon his shoulders in order to redeem it.
So for the sake of the guilt of others, or because of the guilt of others, Jesus could come, suffer and die – could step forth as the Warrior for the Truth, but He Himself remained pure and untouched by this guilt. That is why He was unable to take it upon Himself personally.
This does not lessen the work of redemption; instead it is a sacrifice that could not be greater. Jesus came down for you out of the Luminous Heights into the mire. 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 sink!
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 token! Give fervent thanks that with His Word the Redeemer re-opened the way to the forgiveness of your sins, and leave the spot with the earnest intention to go the way shown to you so that forgiveness may really be yours!
To go that way does not mean just to learn the Word and believe It, but to live the Word! To believe It, to regard It as right, and yet not to act according to 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!
(Grail Message, Volume 2, Lecture 9: The Redeemer)
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