The Risen Christ
`YE seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified," said the messenger to the women looking for Jesus' body. The angel continued, ``He is risen; he is not here. I don't remember all of the times that I've read these words from Mark's Gospel in the Bible. But I'll never forget one occasion.
It was one winter early in my marriage. I was a new dad. Our small business was floundering a bit. There seemed to be too many demands, so little time, and especially so much that I didn't know about raising a family and running a business.
But as I read my Bible that morning, those words, ``He is risen, once again touched me deeply. I saw that it was Jesus' understanding of God's power and presence that had enabled him to rise, even after something as presumably final as the crucifixion. And even though my own understanding of God hardly compares with that of Jesus, what I did understand was enough to help me meet the challenges in my own life.
After this incident, both the parenting and the business progressed better. It wasn't always easy. But the spiritual perspective gained from the Bible's words announcing Christ Jesus' resurrection met my need for strength and new inspiration at every turn.
One thing's for certain--nothing but the all-power of God's loving presence could have brought about such a thing as the resurrection. And in everything that he did, Jesus made clear that the spiritual power he demonstrated lay not in himself but in God.
But what is this power? It must be the power inherent in God's nature as divine Spirit to overcome its opposite--evil, mortality, matter. What Jesus proved when he rose from the grave was that God, Spirit, holds all power and that He gives this spiritual power to His creation, man, to use in fulfilling God's purpose.
Jesus, of course, was unique and special. He showed us Christ, the true idea of man's divine sonship with God. Christ is the living, practical, true idea of God's man. Here all of us--men, women, children--find our true nature.
Being a follower of Christ Jesus means that we can know the power of his resurrection more and more each day. There is no ceremony in this, but this power makes demands on us to heal and lift up our lives. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of Jesus in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``First in the list of Christian duties, he taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies. It is the living
Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus `the resurrection and the life' to all who follow him in deed."
Thinking back to the many times when the Biblical account of the resurrection helped me, I see that it never fails to move me when I read it. Sometimes I've failed to make the Biblical lesson of the crucifixion a working, meaningful part of my daily life. But when I really have seen Jesus' own example as a blueprint, if you will, of what could be happening in my own life, there has always been healing of some type. It may have been my attitude toward someone or something that has changed--sometimes drast ically. At other times, the change in me resulted eventually in a change for the better in my physical health.
Another passage in Science and Health speaks of Jesus' life and what it means to us today. In it Mrs. Eddy says: ``He to whom `the arm of the Lord' is revealed will believe our report, and rise into newness of life with regeneration. This is having part in the atonement; this is the understanding, in which Jesus suffered and triumphed." Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection was a one-time event. But its message is forever. Its meaning should play a part in our lives every day. This is the risen Christ!