This is the holiest season in Christianity, and one of the holiest in Judaism, when both faiths are celebrating deliverance from evil earthly forces. As a Roman Catholic child this was the season in which I was taught all about the passion of Jesus. Unfortunately, I was taught more about the big drama of his scourging and crucifixion than I was taught about his passion for his people while walked the earth in the flesh.
I think we miss the point; the true sacrifice isn't the death, it's the heroism that leads to that death that is the greatest sacrifice. Many people are willing to put themselves in harm's way for those they love. Look at the sacrifices truly loving parents, caregivers, teachers, health care professionals, and members of the armed forces make in the line of duty. But to live a full life out among all the sin without once falling? How many of our lives would withstand the scrutiny that Jesus' life continues to command? The most remarkable thing about Jesus, in my opinion, was his example of a loving, sinless life on the same planet that I inhabit.
I believe that Jesus wanted us to realize that we are all God's children; that salvation is a choice, not a birthright. Why else would any of us have been born? I believe that his passion for all people led him to condense the many rules in the Torah and Old Testament down to two -- love God and love God's children. I believe that he came to show us, by his example, the way to peace with Our Creator and of harmonious relationships with our fellow humans. That example, by design, coincides with the way of Abraham and Moses. I believe the Holy Spirit he left with us is the "God" spark in each of us and in all creation.
I believe that we humans were still needing outward signs of human sacrifice to God, so Jesus was willing to be our scapegoat. I believe that what Jesus really wants us to take away from his life and death is the joy that comes with sharing our loving lives with others, The Spirit of Loving Unity.This Easter, I think I'll observe the stations of all my spiritual ancestors' lives.