How much do we love Jesus? For Christians, it’s an important question, not just during the Easter season but at any time – because our love for him and our gratitude for his selfless example are essential to understanding the truth he taught and lived.
As countless people around the world know, Jesus was born of Mary. The Bible says, “When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18).
Jesus’ virgin birth is not always easily comprehended, because it goes contrary to physical laws of conception. But in Christian Science it’s seen to be a natural outcome of Mary’s pure spiritual thought. In the textbook of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy explains: “Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God. Hence he could give a more spiritual idea of life than other men, and could demonstrate the Science of Love – his Father or divine Principle.
“Born of a woman,” she continues, “Jesus’ advent in the flesh partook partly of Mary’s earthly condition, although he was endowed with the Christ, the divine Spirit, without measure” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 29-30). Christian Scientists look to Jesus’ resurrection and ascension as the triumphal, overarching proof of all that he had taught about God and about our oneness with God, who is divine Life. Jesus demonstrated for the world that life isn’t in matter, that all life is in God, who is infinite Spirit. Therefore matter can’t truly deprive us of life, because it can’t separate us from God.
But Jesus’ crowning, world-changing demonstration of immortal Life could not have come without his intense human sacrifice that led up to it. Although multitudes flocked to Jesus for healing, he was persecuted at every step. In the Bible, the book of Isaiah prophesied the reception this savior of humanity would get: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).
It’s difficult for us to comprehend the depths of what Jesus faced, as he encountered the full scope of the carnal mind’s hatred of what he represented. Jesus allowed himself to be subjected to the malice and violence of the carnal mind, knowing the spiritual victory that awaited him, proving that evil is powerless in the face of the omnipotence of God, his Father and our Father.
As we learn to appreciate and love Jesus more, this will help us to comprehend in some degree the love Jesus himself lived, a love that reflected the nature of God, divine Love, and showed forth the real nature of man as Love’s image, or expression. His love healed multitudes. Our growing approximation of it will bring healing into our lives and the lives of others.
This article was adapted from an editorial in the March 30 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.