And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (I John 4:14)
As do other Christians, the Christian Scientist deeply reveres Christ Jesus as Saviour, as the Messiah who was promised in the Old Testament and who came anointed with the grace of God to bring salvation to mankind. In his own words Jesus proclaimed, ``I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.''1 He also declared, ``The Son of man is come to save that which was lost.''2
Could it be that what people had lost sight of was the actual kingdom of God, divine Love, at hand? Humanity's sense of spiritual reality was dimmed by materialism. And the Saviour was the supreme evidence of divine Love's capacity to answer humanity's need for spiritual vision. As the Old Testament prophets had expected, the Messiah came to mankind, fulfilling the promise ``And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.''3
Early in his ministry, Jesus stood forth in the synagogue and, reading Scripture, he summarized his mission as Messiah. The Scripture confirmed that he would indeed restore the vision that had failed and heal the effects of spiritual ignorance. Jesus read: ``The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.''4
The Master did just that. With authority, he preached the word of Truth to the multitudes, revealing the power and presence of God to transform individual lives and to bring abundant good where there seemed to be poverty of spirit. When Jesus healed the lepers, he loosed them from their captivity to the terror of that disease and also from the alienation and loneliness demanded by the health laws of their day. When a widow's only son was raised from death, that remarkable healing surely bound up the mother's broken heart even as it restored the young man's life. And among the healings of those literally without sight, there was the experience of blind Bartimaeus, who threw aside his beggar's rags to follow Jesus. For the Saviour had touched the man's heart and given him vision -- illuminating his sense of spiritual reality as well as bringing light to the darkness in which Bartimaeus had been living.
Some today may believe, however, that what Jesus said and did is simply past history. After all, it occurred nearly two thousand years ago. And perhaps some may think that humanity in the twentieth century is so steeped in materialism that the vision in this age has irreparably failed.
Yet divine Love is answering this great need even now. Christ Jesus' words and works continue with us, to inspire and guide us, through the living truth of the Bible. And we also have the Science of Christ, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy in the last century, to teach us the full spiritual significance of the Scriptures and to show us how to demonstrate the saving power and immediacy of God's law.
Christian Science is revealing to mankind that the Christ, which was Jesus' divine nature, is ever with us as God's incorporeal message of salvation to light the darkness of human consciousness in this and every age. The Christ continues its saving action -- the action of healing sickness and redeeming from sin. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy explains ``Christ'' in this way: ``The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.''5
In another of her writings, Mrs. Eddy makes clear the continuing presence of God's saving Christ. In one paragraph she writes of Jesus, ``Only three years a personal Saviour! yet the foundations he laid are as eternal as Truth, the chief corner-stone.''6
Christ Jesus will always be adored as Christianity's only personal Saviour. And though Jesus is no longer personally present, the incorporeal Christ is now revealed in Christian Science as always here, always active, to open blinded eyes wherever and whenever mankind's vision of spirituality seems to have failed. The Christ is here to set the captives free and comes to individual consciousness wherever there is need for healing and redemption.
1John 12:47. 2Matt. 18:11. 3Isa. 32:3. 4Luke 4:18, 19. 5Science and Health, p. 583. 6Miscellaneous Writings, p. 163. This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. I John 4:9