by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
When I think of Easter, I think of one of the most precious gifts Christ Jesus gave to mankind. The promise of resurrection – of life, and not of death.
At this time of year, many focus on the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. I embrace his crucifixion as the supreme model of unconditional love and forgiveness. He unselfishly bore our infirmities. And I’m humbled.
But I can’t stop there. Especially in light of the fact that the crucifixion was not the end of the story. Evil didn’t win the day. How important for humanity that his life example continued with his resurrection and ultimately, his ascension.
Renowned spirituality and health author, Mary Baker Eddy, writes much about the life and works of Christ Jesus and shares poignant ideas about the meaning of his example. These ideas are found in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Of his crucifixion she wrote, “Despised and rejected of men, returning blessing for cursing, he taught mortals the opposite of themselves, even the nature of God; and when error felt the power of Truth, the scourge and the cross awaited the great Teacher.” And she describes the cross Jesus carried “up the hill of grief” as “the world’s hatred of Truth and Love.”
Truth, as well as Life and Love, are among many Biblical synonyms for God, and error, the opposite of Truth, is one of many names Eddy uses synonymously with evil. And unfortunately, mankind has often found itself being misguided and controlled by evil in some form or fashion – dishonesty, jealousy, hypocrisy, slander, hate and all the etceteras.
Many have questioned why Jesus allowed his enemies to crucify him since they believed he had the power to stop them.
But might that be where one of the incredible lessons of the resurrection comes in? He allowed his enemies to attempt the destruction of his mortal life. But his resurrection gave us proof of his immortal life. And as Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Nothing could kill this Life of man.”
What a promise for each of us!
His example teaches us that we can never be separated from Life, God — the source of our spiritual, indestructible, eternal life.
Can’t this knowledge also become our resurrection, in a sense, right now?
Think of the many ways we may feel like we’re being crucified today.
Overwhelmed with debt that seems impossible to get out of. Battered with illness leaving our body weary for peace. Depressed with loss and loneliness with dim prospects of a brighter tomorrow. Feeling misunderstood or not appreciated.
Might Easter give us the promise of being resurrected from such crucifixions?
Remember the disciples’ mistaken grief over the death of their Master. And their hesitancy to believe his resurrection could really happen. Christ Jesus later upbraided them for their unbelief, as the Gospel of Mark tells us.
Have we given up hope?
Perhaps it’s possible to believe no more that something can forever destroy our hope and peace – or even our health.
Is it possible that such knowledge, such confident expectation, could roll away the stone from our tomb of despair?
What if the revival of our faith and hope could bring renewed strength, regenerated courage and restored confidence. Such a faith might proclaim that nothing can extinguish our health, our hopes, our dreams, and our peace that is given by God to all of his beloved children.
And today could be an Easter for you and me!