“Christ has risen!” This is the greeting in Greece at Easter, followed by, “Truly he has risen.” I have always loved this as a heartfelt expression recognizing that earth-shattering event – the resurrection of Jesus from his death on the cross. Hearing this greeting always sparks a genuine desire within me to more deeply appreciate the continuing impact his resurrection has on the world. Without the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the world would have not felt the impulse of that immense outpouring of love he exemplified from God, divine Love, which brought redemption and healing. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16).
Seeing the profound effect of the resurrection of Christ Jesus on his followers, the founder of this newspaper and Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Through all the disciples experienced, they became more spiritual and understood better what the Master had taught. His resurrection was also their resurrection. It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dulness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities” (p. 34).
Some of those “infinite possibilities” included continuing the practicality of the teachings of Christ Jesus by the early Christians in their own work of healing the sick, purifying the hearts and minds of those caught up in sin, and raising the dead back to life. Indeed, his resurrection resurrected his followers to a fuller discernment of the truth he taught and lived.
Centuries after the event, the same spirit of the resurrection morning that his disciples felt can stir our hearts even today. The experience of St. Paul helps us see this. Paul felt the power of the risen Christ years after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Christ, as the always present Truth, caused Paul to experience a spiritual awakening – a recognition that Jesus was the Son of God. Paul was moved to stop persecuting Christians and empowered to prove for himself the healing power of the message Jesus lived – healing the sick and raising the dead (see Acts 20).
Celebrating Easter becomes more to us as we understand it as Jesus’ consummate demonstration of the life-giving power of God that is always present to bless everyone here on earth. Easter is a time of deep humility as we are reminded of the immense sacrifice of Jesus, his example of the power of divine Love over hate, his victory over death – all accomplished so that we would understand, unmistakably, God’s eternal care and love for us.
The life of Christ Jesus teaches us of the power of God, divine Life, that is here and now, and for all time to come. May the message of that resurrection morning, “Christ has risen,” be known by its impact on the world with its “infinite possibilities.”