What comes to mind when you hear this word. If you’re a christian, you automatically think of Jesus and his sacrifice to redeem mankind from sin. If you’re a humanist, you may think that it is humanity awakening to a truth that causes us to avert destruction.
What if I told you it has nothing to do with either?
Christianity, as a religion, is built around the premise that Jesus came into the world to save it from the destruction brought about by the original sin of Adam. It further stratifies this by guaranteeing this salvation only to those who believe.
As Christians, we are taught that this was Jesus’ purpose. And to hammer the point home, we are taught this was clearly revealed in Jesus’ agonizing moment in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Not my will, but yours, Dad.
Jesus came to die for us. Or did he?
The savior premise is sustained by the belief that mankind is inherently bad. That “original sin” made the heart of man depraved in every way. We are taught that the thoughts and the tongue of man are wicked and that in our human flesh, no good thing dwells.
Being the heretic that I am, I will steer this ship through rough seas among rocky shores.
Jesus, we’re taught, came to earth on a rescue mission. I used to believe this, too; I no longer do.
Jesus came to show us three things and, without so much as a single scriptural reference, I will show them to you.
He came to show us the Father.
The first and foremost thing Jesus came to show humanity was that its understanding of God was all messed-up. For first-century Jews, God was this omnipotent, omniscient judge.
When Jesus said he only did what he saw the Father doing, he was saying that the only thing that the Father has ever done is what you are seeing him do. Jesus exercised empathy and compassion. He demonstrated love in all he did.
There are many folks who take issue with the “Father” reference. After all, the bible has been proven to be patriarchal and subjugating to women, right?
Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
When Jesus used the illustration of “Father,” he was speaking to people at their level of understanding. This means he took into account the culture and customs of his audience. So, no, Jesus was not codifying chauvinism or patriarchy.
He came to show us our Identity.
Perhaps the most important thing humanity misses is a sense of identity. People were led to believe they were wretched and unworthy. They were taught that, without blood sacrifice, they were forever yoked to their sins. Again, humanity was led to believe that original sin made mankind inherently sinful.
Jesus showed us that it was the will of the Father to dwell in us. Indeed, he clearly said the Kingdom of God is within us and that it was “at hand;” this means the Kingdom is as close as your brain — if you choose to use it to properly discern what he’s saying
He came to show us our Divinity.
Jesus said some bold things about himself — nothing bolder than “I and the Father are one.” In this, Jesus was proclaiming his divinity. But, as any good heretic, Jesus took this and raised the ante by decreeing humanity’s equality with him. In one fell swoop, Jesus went from being the only begotten son of God to bestowing this crown upon all humanity.
Here’s the thing: When God made humanity — at least, according to the bible — he made it in his image and likeness. Then, she called this creation VERY GOOD! Then she gave this creation the same kind of authority in the earth as he had multi-dimensionally.
See, religion teaches you that you’re bad, broken, and besmirched. Jesus showed us that we we are beloved and betrothed. We were only separated from God in our own minds. We cannot be separated from God because in her we live and have our being. In creation, it was said that God breathed the breath of life into humanity.
That breath persists in all humanity until this day.
That said, Jesus didn’t come to save us from anything; he came to show us everything we need to know to live a fully-formed, divinely human life.
Jesus came to show that God cannot be found in religion because love cannot be found in religion. Better yet, Jesus showed us the end of religion and the fullness of love!