The Mission of Jesus
CAUSE & EFFECT
One of the most important concepts in ACIM is that of cause and effect. It is a helpful way of loking at the whole idea of forgiveness, especially in looking at the mission of Jesus and how he fulfilled it. The very nature of cause and effect is that we cannot have one without the other. What establishes something as a cause is that it leads to an effect. And what establishes something as an effect is that it has come from a cause. One of my favorite lines in the Course seems almost incomprehensible. It says “ the cause a cause is made by its effects” (T-28.II.1;2). This is a poetic way of saying that a cause is made a cause by its effects. So what establishes something as a cause is that it has an effect.
This principle also works in this world, such that every action will have a reaction. What this also means that if something is not a cause it cannot exist in this world. Everything in this must have an effect; otherwise it would not exist. Every action must have a reaction. That is a fundamental principle of physicis. If something exists, it will have an effect on something else. Therefore everything that exists in this world will be a cause, and will have an effect, and it is this effect that establishes the cause. Okay.!! Getting this principle is very very important to understand cause & effect in ACIM.
Orignal sin; when God caught up with Adam and Eve and punished them, He expressed the punishment within a causal context. He said; “Because of what you have done, this is what will happen. Because you have sinned, the effect of your sin will be a life of suffering.” Sin therefore is the cause of all the suffering of this world. The sin of seperation, which gave birth to the ego, gives rise to its effect; a life of suffering, and eventually death.
Everything that we know in this world is the effect of our belief in sin. Sin therefore is the cause, of pain, suffering, and death is the effect. Sin is therefore the cause, and death is the effect. There is no more powerful witness to the reality of the seeming seperated world than death. This is a prominent theme of the Course. So death then becomes the ultimate proof that sin is real. Death is the effect of sin, which is the cause.
If we now want to prove that the sin of seperation never happened, all that is needed, is to prove that sin has no effect, then the cause is not real. Everything that is real must have an effect. If we remove the effect we are also removing the cause.
Now, if the greatest effect of sin in this world is death, demonstrating that death is an illusion simultaneously demonstrates that there is no sin. This also says that the seperation never happened.
We therefore need someone to show us that there is no death? By undoing death, that person will also undo sin and will simultaneously show us that there is no seperation, that the seperation never occurred, and the only true Cause and effect is God.
That person was Jesus. And his mission was to show that there is no death.
The gospels speak of Jesus as “the lamd of God who takes away the sins of the world”.
The way he took away the sins of the world was to show the had no effect. Through His over-comming of death, he took away all sins. However this is not how the church has understood it, or how it has been taught. In ACIM Jesus corrects this error, what Jesus did was to live in a world of suffering, sin and death and he showed that it had no effect on him.
The entire basis of ACIM rests on the understanding that the resurrection of Jesus actually occurred. Strictly speaking, the resurrection is only the awakening from the dream of death. It is thus only concerned with the mind and not the body.
The crucil thing to understand is then is, there is no death, because if death is real, then every form of suffering is real, and God is dead, it means that part of God has seperated from itself, which means that there cannot be a God. God and His Son cannot be seperated. “ What God has joined let no man part” this is a wedding vow of the church, what this really means, What God has joined, God and His Son, let no ego part.
So Jesus took on the most compelling witness to the reality of this world and showed that it had no hold over him. That was the whole meaning of his life, his mission, and his function. To overcome death is to show that death is not real, that its seeming cause also is not real, and that we therefore never really seperated ourselves from our Father. This is the undoing of the seperation.
This is the Atonement Principle, Jesus is the manifestion of that Principle, and He proved that by over-comming death. There is no death, cause, and he removed the effect sin, He proved that by.. first sin had no effect on Him, by not reacting to it, so by removing the effect of sin, he also removed the cause, which is death, by the resurrection.
The principle of cause and effect also operates in the terms of forgiveness, and Jesus offers some of the best demonstrations of this. Think of this as an example.
If I am sitting here when someone attacks me. If I am not in my right mind, I will see that person as the cause of my suffering. My suffering will then be the effect of that person’s sin. My reaction of being hurt will reinforce the fact that this person has sinned.
If I am in my right mind, I will turn the other cheek, which means in this sense, that I will show the person that his or her sin against me had no effect because I have not been hurt. By cancelling the effect, I am also cancelling the cause. That is true forgiveness.
Jesus showed this example of cause & effect at the end of His life…“The Message of the Crucifixion”(T-6-1). People were attacking, humiliating, mocking, and insulting him, and finally they killed him. In sinning against him, they appeared to be causing him to suffer. The fact that he did not attack them back but continued to love and forgive them, was his way of saying that their sin against him was without effect; therefore they had not sinned. They had merely been mistaken. They had merely called out for help.
And thet is how Jesus forgave us our sins, not only during his life, but then surley in his resurrection. His resurrection clearly said that the world’s sin of murder against him was without effect. He is still with us; therefore they could not have killed him, which means they did not sin.
That is the Holy Spirit’s plan of forgiveness that the “Course” describes. You undo the cause by showing that it had no effect.