Teaching Indifference and Love
In A Course in Miracles, Jesus explains the importance of the crucifixion:
I elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter. As the world judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. It was clear that this was only because of the projection of others onto me, since I had not harmed anyone and had healed many.
—A Course in Miracles, T-6.I.9:1-3
In other words, Jesus did not consider himself to be a body, so the attack on his body did not matter. We cannot find peace in this world unless we are indifferent about what happens to the body. If we worry that we will be attacked, that we will get sick, or that we will die, then we immediately lose our peace. When we worry about our bodies, we attempt to protect them by building walls between ourselves and other potential attackers, by putting special foods or substances into them to try to ward off disease, and by preemptively attacking anything that might be a threat to our body.
However, as Jesus explains, when we think of ourselves as a body we are thinking insanely. What is real cannot be destroyed, and the body, by virtue of being destructible, cannot also be real. What are we really? We are an extension of the love of our Creator, an extension of the thought of union. Instead of believing that we are spiritual love, we often believe that we are fragile bodies, and thus we feel a continual fear that we will be destroyed along with our bodies. We cannot feel peace or experience our true nature of love while we are afraid of the death of our bodies.
Thus, we need to be indifferent about our bodies in order to accept perfect love into our mind. Jesus gave us an extreme example of indifference. He endured many assaults on his body without fighting back, thus showing us how we could overcome our fear of death and have faith in eternal life. Jesus doesn’t ask us to be martyrs but to be teachers. We continually teach others our beliefs, because our beliefs directly influence our actions and our words. When we react in a fearful manner, we are teaching others that we are a fragile body. However, when we respond to assaults with love, we are teaching that it doesn’t matter what happens to our body, that we are indestructible spirit, and that no one can become sinful by attacking us.
The belief that the body is real, and that reality can be destroyed, lead to the belief that sin is real and that guilt and fear are justified. On the other hand, if we believe that we are God’s eternal and indestructible creation, then we can overlook all attacks on our body, we can teach others that only love is real, and we can regain our peace.