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Crucifixion, Gnostic Conception of

As soon as Christ was born according to the Gnostic speculative view of Christianity (see Gnosticism), Christos, united himself with Sophia (Holy Wisdom), descended through the seven planetary regions, assuming in each an analogous form to the region, and concealing his true nature to its genii, whilst he attracted into himself the spark of Divine Light they severally retained in their angelic essence. Thus Christos, having passed through the seven Angelic Regions before the "Throne" entered into the man Jesus, at the moment of his baptism in the Jordan. From that time forth, being supernaturally gifted, Jesus began to work miracles. Before that, he had been completely ignorant of his mission. When on the cross, Christos and Sophia left his body, and returned to their own sphere. Upon his death, the two took the man Jesus," and abandoned his material body to the earth; for the Gnostics held that the true Jesus did not (and could not) physically suffer on the cross, and die, and that Simon of Cyrene, who bore his cross, did in reality suffer in his room: "And they compelled one, Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross." (St. Mark XV, 21) The Gnostics contended that a portion of the real history of the Crucifixion was never written.

At the resurrection Christos and Sophia gave the man Jesus another body, made up of ether (Rosicrucian Aetheroeum). Thence-forward he consisted of the first two Rosicrucian principles only, soul and spirit; which was the reason that the apostles did not recognize him after the resurrection. During his sojourn upon the earth, after he had risen, he received from Sophia, or Holy Wisdom, the perfect knowledge or illumination, that true "Gnosis," which he communicated to the small number of the Apostles who were capable of receiving the same. A.G.H.

Source: 81, 112.