Jesus Christ


Where did Christians get the idea that Christ died for our sins? I realise that this is believed to be a misconception, but is there evidence in the bible that refutes this notion?

Thanks for the clarification.

Joy joy joy joy! Ever new joy joy!

—Nirmal, UK


Dear Nirmal,

The phrase “died for our sins” is a tad overstated. No such statement is attributed to Jesus himself and, off hand, I don’t recall of any of the four evangelists made that comment (but I believe St. Paul may have).

The question is, however, is there any truth in the statement and, if so, what does it mean? Certainly the world hasn’t stopped sinning appreciably since the time Jesus Christ lived on earth!

In India something of this precept is taught along these lines: a true guru (God-realized) has the power, when divinely ordained to do so, to take on some of a disciple’s (bad) karma in order to help that disciple become liberated.

This does NOT mean that we can expect the guru to “do it all for us” while we sit back and have a good time! Just as a wealthy parent can pay off the debts of his errant but remorseful child, so too a true (“sat”) guru can assist a devotee.

It’s not a free ride because the disciple attracts that divine blessing by his efforts and especially by his attunement to God through the guru (that vehicle destined to help the disciple to win release from karma).

God meets us more than halfway in our spiritual efforts. Yogananda said liberation is 25% our effort; 25% the guru’s effort on our behalf; and 50% God’s grace. But our 25% part takes a 100% of our own effort.

This formula is valid for the simple reason that we are not the ego to begin with! We ARE a spark of the Infinite love and wisdom of God.

So, putting aside the “sins of (whole) world” (hyperbole or sentimenet at best), we can say that Jesus most certaintly took on the karma, by his crucifixion, among other things, for those disciples who were and are in tune with him. Jesus, as an avatar, has an unlimited divine power and dispensation to do so in accordance with divine law and love.

So too have all the the great masters, espcially the avatars, have this power. We don’t need them all: one will do just fine! So consider the phrase one of pious sentiment but also replete with spiritual truth and power when understood.