Crucifixion, the Master’s Initiation

Crucifixion is the act of crucifying, or execution on a cross; figuratively, an extremely difficult, painful trial, a torturous suffering.American Heritage Dictionary
  To crucify is figuratively, in Scripture, to subdue; mortify; kill; destroy the power or influence of. To vex; torment; excruciate.Century Dictionary
  Crucifixion was the method of capital punishment among the Persians, Seleucids, Jews, Carthaginians, and Romans from about the 6th century BCE to the 4th century CE. The condemned person was usually whipped and forced to drag the crossbeam to where the upright was standing. The person’s hands and wrists were tied or nailed to the crossbeam, which was attached to the upright 9–12 ft above the ground, and the feet were bound or nailed to the upright. Death was often by heart failure or asphyxiation. Criminals as well as political or religious agitators were common victims of crucifixion. Its overwhelming association today is with the death of Jesus. Crucifixion was abolished by Constantine I in the early 4th century CE after his conversion to Christianity.Encyclopedia Britannica

“The true crucifixion of self, the real surrender, is never to turn back,
look, act, speak, or think as in the past, but to die as to self
and to arise again daily.”—Edna Lister

  Crucifixion of self is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Mystically stated, you must willingly lay personal or self will on the transverse of the Master’s Cross until you respond only to the will of God for you. You assume full responsibility for lifting everyone and everything, as you polish your honor, ethics and morals to the Christed standard.
  Crucifixion is the initiation of the fifth Degree of the Master. You begin by making a thousand burnt offerings, which are a thousand days of living in perfection and surrender to the Light of your selfish emotional and mental leftovers.

Edna Lister on the Initiation of Crucifixion

You are a joint heir with Christ, and when you have paid your debts, meaning that you have suffered the crucifixion of the self, your inheritance is to be glorified together with him.—Edna Lister, May 10, 1934

Crucifixion of the self is the last step in self-mastery.—Edna Lister, June 10, 1934.

Lent is the preparation for the Crucifixion and Resurrection. From Palm Sunday to Easter is a week of devotion, during which God sends the Power through you in great measure, as much as you can bear.—Edna Lister, Mankind Shall Ascend, March 21, 1937.

The Master forgave those who crucified him. You may not hold yourself to be of greater value to the Father than our Master.—Edna Lister, July 24, 1938.

You may have to take terrible blows, delays and crucifixions to pay all necessary spiritual debts.—Edna Lister, November 24, 1938.

The true crucifixion of self, the real surrender is never to turn back, look, act, speak, or think as in the past, but to die as to self and to arise again daily.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1939.

They crucified Jesus; yet you whine, complain and feel noble when the world crucifies you. Soul desire, when it ascends, puts self-will on the crossbar for crucifixion.—Edna Lister, December 5, 1948.

Spirit is crucified on the cross of matter.—Edna Lister, January 29, 1951.

When one bears crucifying humiliations, grief or disappointments, everyone near is tested on his degree of blame, for judging false judgments from outer appearances and for a critical attitude that exalts itself by comparing its own safe, secure place with the other’s disappointment.—Edna Lister, May 9, 1951.

You may not use idle or crucifying words to another at any time.—Edna Lister, August 13, 1953.

When you reach that higher sensitivity, the realms of idealism where the Master said, What is that to thee? Follow thou me, it seems as though the devil himself is crucifying you.—Edna Lister, November 5, 1953.

Hold an inner conviction of the rightness of deny self, take up the cross, and follow me. You can take up the cross, but your inner conviction lifts the cross until you are no longer "cross conscious."

You feel crucified when you focus imagination downward. Your descent into a puddle of self-pity is as instantaneous a miracle as your ascension. So you curse or bless God, depending whether you go down or up in consciousness.—Edna Lister, Your Life’s Plan, May 16, 1954.

You endure more suffering through retrogression than you do by paying your soul debts and ascending.—Edna Lister, November 1, 1954.

The Master gives you a cross as you begin to walk the Via Christa. You choose whether you will be crucified on it, or climb it as your ladder of ascension.—Edna Lister, July 4, 1955.

We all build our own Gethsemane and crucify ourselves. You must experience it to get rid of the old, and to crucify the selfish will. You may do so in two ways, with the glory of God, or by demoting your soul.—Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

Crucifixion happens when you forget to surrender self.—Edna Lister, Truth, Your Plan, October 21, 1956.

All crucifying experiences occur to end habits of martyrdom, pride and stubbornness, and do not cease until you decide to be God’s servant.—Edna Lister, September 9, 1957.

You must crucify self-centered will until you conquer it.—Edna Lister, The Wheels of Ezekiel, December 17, 1957.

By the time you reach mastery, you begin to understand the need to crucify will, to give up the self-will and become the servant of all Power. You crucify self an inch at a time until you learn to conquer by soul.—Edna Lister, The Wheels of Ezekiel, December 17, 1957.

When you hear someone criticizing and crucifying another, mentally put your hands over her mouth; declare a cross of fiery Light on her lips.—Edna Lister, June 26, 1958.

A crucifixion precedes each of the many marriages of the Lamb. [A marriage of the Lamb is the wedding of will and desire, of Wisdom and Love.]—Edna Lister, August 28, 1958.

The going is rough in Crucifixion initiations, but you must pay your spiritual debts.—Edna Lister, September 11, 1958.

You cannot divide the little self from the self; it crucifies itself.—Edna Lister, December 1, 1958.

To fulfill the law of Crucifixion, you must lay self-will upon the crossbar of the Master’s cross and assume full responsibility for lifting everyone and everything.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

The law of Crucifixion is the death of self-will.—Edna Lister, May 5, 1959.

You ascend or die; make your cross a ladder to heaven, and do not let self crucify your soul. Of all the foolishness after the Master’s sacrifice, none is worse than to allow yourself to be crucified by self. Don’t be a martyr; never give another power over you.—Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

Self-pity is the underlying reason for choosing martyrdom or crucifixion.—Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

Crucifying the selfish will is necessary; concentration uses the great faculty of will, which is not a nerve relaxer. You must give up concentration and lift desire to mate with will so that it becomes the I AM super-consciousness.—Edna Lister, 1963.

You ascend in consciousness through countless crucifixions of your self’s will and desires. Anyone who opens a new idea is crucified mentally and emotionally in the mud, criticism and force of resistance.—Edna Lister, February 3, 1966.

Ascension is the crucifixion of self.—Edna Lister, The Fiery Furnace, March 19, 1970.

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New Testament on Crucifixion

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for Christ’s sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.—Matthew 5:10-12

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.—Matthew 5:44-45

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.—Matthew 10:28

He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.—Matthew 10:38-39

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.—Matthew 16:24-25

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.—Matthew 26:36-46

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.—Mark 8:34-35

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.—Luke 6:22‑23

I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.—Luke 6:27‑28

The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.—Luke 9:21-24.

I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.—Luke 12:4

Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.—Luke 14:27

What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand [appetitive soul] to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand [rational soul and Oversoul]? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.—Luke 14:31-33

I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.—John 6:38-40

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.—John 10:11

Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.—John 12:23-33

I [Christ] have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.—John 13:15

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know (the Via Christa). Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.—John 14:1-6

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.—John 15:12-13

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.—John 15:18-25

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John 16:33

Vicarious Atonement: For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.—Hebrews 10:1-6

The Atonement: Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.—Hebrews 10:7-1.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.—2 Timothy 3:12

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.—James 5:10-11

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.—1 Peter 2:19-25

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.—1 Peter 4:1‑2

p>Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.—1 Peter 4:12‑13

If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.—1 Peter 4:16‑19

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Old Testament on Crucifixion

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.—Psalm 22:1-18

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of crucifixion: Middle English crucifien, from Old French crucifier, alteration of Latin crucifigere: crux, cruc-, cross + figere, to attach.

Crucifixion is an formal initiation of the
Seven Degrees of Ascension.


Britannica, Editors of Encyclopaedia. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2023.

American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. ISBN 9780544454453.

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Wm. D. Whitney and B.E. Smith, eds. and compilers. New York: The Century Co., 1896.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

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