If Jesus was crucified and died, but proved that you cannot die by resurrecting, then he proved that there is no sacrifice and no sacrifice will ever need be made.
If you do not die as Christ did NOT die, and death is the ultimate sacrifice we believe can be made, then we may have missed or distorted the message of the resurrection and become fixated on the sacrificial message of the crucifixion and death as ultimate sacrifice.
This may mean that 2000 years of Judeo-Christian preaching has taught the opposite of what the message was really meant to teach: You cannot die (although your belief in a body ends), there is no sacrifice to be made because you are eternal/infinite.
Therefore, we have nothing to fear and can finally live in peace, joy and love to the fullest since we need no longer be concerned with any belief in an ultimate sacrifice. Yeah!!!
Not only did he know he was like God (or is God?), I believe the message was that we are no different than him. There is a sense of non-duality in parts of the biblical message if you choose to interpret it there (which I have done sporadically). The message touches on the paradox of the one and the many. This includes God, the son and the Holy Spirit as One. Christ is the "holy spirit" through the message of Christ Mind which is "within." Jesus gave the message (as did many other eastern and western messengers) and because we worship the messenger we may miss the message 'within.' This seems opposite to the Buddha in which the message takes predominance.
Judeo-Christian ideology seems to focus on the messenger as being beyond our ability to emulate or model, thus the messenger is worshiped as God, which tends to press us more deeply into our own sense of inadequacy and impotence and the belief that we could never attain Christhood. Even though, as I state, his message was that we are God and not, 'I' am God.
"he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do."
The Judeo-Christian dogma has held sway as a controlling factor for many centuries and western life was morally ordered through these beliefs. I saw a poll that indicated that a growing segment of the American populace was indicating a stronger inclination toward 'spirituality' as opposed to 'religion,' and I think someone wrote a book about this and was interviewed on Jon Stewart - I'll have to find it (and I suppose this is related to a certain extent to the Tolle-Oprah factor and of course, Ken Wilber and his minions). It will be interesting to observe the new morality which emerges from this wave or movement, since morality is the foundation of all legal and economic systems (as well as other institutions).
There seems to be some distaste or disdain with eastern dogma over western by many Christians. I feel the two have many similarities and the recognition of those perspectives is the perennial philosophy since the similarities are there for all to see throughout the centuries.
These are shared insights and Integral Theory has aided in extracting these truths.
The problem with the integral map for me is that much of the Judeo-Christian traditions are neglected or ignored as archaic/mythical and not predisposed to our "evolving path" as a collective. Integral seems to focus exclusively on the eastern truths and this may be a part of the backlash many Christians experience to this "idealistic" worldview. (however, the Judeo-Christian worldview is as "idealistic" as the eastern)
However, although I seek out the similarities and look to a merging of eastern/western, I do not simply focus on "advaita" (one can look to the ideas of Buddhist/Hindu/Taoism and Judeo/Christian/Islamic) as that would be too limited in scope. The perennial insights/truths are there in all ideologies and dogma. You must simply separate the wheat from the chaff and this may need to be done individually as the 'church' may continue to be mesmerized by the chaff.
In fact, I do not necessarily agree that the church truly represents the communal aspect above the individual. If you look closely the 'church' is founded on exclusion and any communion of individuals requires 'membership' in a whole that may exemplify separation. The church tends to emphasize communion, but of members or 'believers.' Focusing on the whole and acting from that deeper truth will not require inclusion within any exclusive ideological enclave.
There may be evolving a global church of mind that relies on perennial truths and requires no such membership or inclusion. In fact, various forums on the internet may be a model for such a worldwide inclusive communal dialectic.
I'm no religious historian, but clearly any study of world religions seem to be replete with the strands of Jesus within all the created dogma. Even Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, etc, etc, exposes mythological renditions of Christ that compare equally with the more modern Christian representation of personal salvation (and then, of course, there is Gilgamesh and the whole "ark" thing).
The parallels are staggering and may point to the fact that Jesus NEVER existed except in our own disillusioned collective mind. Somebody needed to transcend the hell that is reality and all religions require that transcendent "being," since any transcendent being must be personified in order to teach unified transcendence.
In our mythological archetypes we teach ourselves how to transcend, since essentially within the universal collective consciousness we have always known the truth, yet fear obstructs our seeking and delays learning. So we cloak the truth in myth in order to hide it from ourselves. Transcendence/salvation can only be known as a past phenomena that allows us to anticipate salvation as a future event. Never NOW, always past and future. Religion encapsulates this fear of the NOW by demanding we study the past as the way to a better future.
Could it be that Jesus is an anthropomorphic myth of the collective conscious which imagines an archetype to teach us the parameters of salvation demanding that such knowledge can only be revealed through sacrifice?