“Life is the origin and ultimate of man, never attainable through death, but gained by walking in the pathway of Truth both before and after that which is called death” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 487).
As we approach the Easter season, let us re-affirm that life is eternal, and embrace the body of Christ. How do we live up to such a statement? What is eternal life? What does it mean to embrace the body of Christ? Do we re-live the crucifixion? Carry the cross? Drink the blood? If so, how do we do that? What is the significance of “breaking bread?” These are questions every seriously-minded Christian asks himself with the expectation of finding answers.
Key ingredients to answering these questions have a foundation in one’s understanding of the meaning of body and Christ. To define body as a material structure, and Christ exclusively as the human man Jesus, leave the seeker of truth at an extreme disadvantage. Equally as disconcerting is to say, without realizing the true nature of body, “My body is my spirit.” Such a statement leads to another question, “What is your spirit?”
Spirit is another name for God, Mind, Soul, Life, Truth and Love–the only real substance, never in, or of the flesh, blood and bones. Spirit in incorporeal–bodiless. Man reflects the substance of Spirit. Attributes that define Spirit are faith, hope, abundance, inspiration, purity, strength and infinity. Man, expressing the substance of Spirit, is made up of these same qualities. Therefore, in order to demonstrate them in his human experience, man must consciously connect with, or become “at one” with God. This consciousness constitutes the body of man. One writer puts it this way, “Body is the embodiment of right ideas. It exists as the outcome of God’s knowing and gives evidence of His presence and power. Man as God’s reflection includes this right idea of body” (The Christian Science Journal, Vol. 104/No. 9, p.556). What is the writer saying? He’s stating that one’s body is made up of right ideas–ideas that exist because they represent God’s intelligence, and reveal evidence not only of that knowledge, but also its presence and its power.
Jesus was human, but Christ is divine–that which manifests God. “This Christ or divinity of the man Jesus, was his divine nature, the godliness which animated him” (Science and Health, p. 26). He demonstrated this godliness in infinite ways: healing the sick, destroying sin, opening the eyes of the blind, increasing supply and raising the dead. His ultimate test was conquering the grave. Why was this necessary? It was necessary in order to show mankind “the way”– the way out of sin, sickness and death.
Recognizing Christ as a gift from God, a godliness that all of His creation possesses, and body as the spiritual consciousness of man, give a very different explanation of “embracing the body of Christ” than one would receive if he viewed the body as material. How then, does one embrace the body of Christ? To paraphrase: How do you fill your consciousness with everything good, perfect and eternal? How does one hold in thought everything pure, holy, loving and righteous, and cast out everything sinful, impure, unrighteous and hateful? Answer: With deep concentration, discipline, persistence and divine intelligence, which incidentally, come with each human moment of unfoldment, revelation and perseverance. Add to these moments, severe bodily pain, hurtful destructive words, loss of a much needed job, death of a child, or any other of the myriad forms of sin, and recognize that this spiritual level of conscious must be maintained at the same time these human struggles are going on. Can you still continue embracing the Christ? Yes! Is it easy? No, but people all over the world are doing it daily, hourly and with each passing minute. It takes strong faith, superb inner strength and a deep desire to please God.
Turning to God to correct every mortal action and reaction is carrying the cross, drinking the blood and living the crucifixion. Why would one want to make such a sacrifice? To wear the crown. To glorify and honor the One God, and demonstrate the man that He created.
Jesus was the way because he did not expect us to do something he was unwilling or incapable of doing himself. Not only did he preach and teach, he demonstrated his message. Had he not, would we still believe in him over 2000 years later? He taught us to believe not in what one says, but in what one does. Another way of saying that is, “Talk is cheap. Show me what you can do!” Every person who enters “the kingdom of heaven” will walk through the human “gates of hell”– the hell of sin, sickness and death. As you mentally walk through the crucifixion of Jesus this Easter season, embrace the body of Christ. Let the mind that he expressed be present in yourself, and you will find that you too, will rise above fear, hate, resentment, envy, prejudice, self-love, self-righteousness and self-justification.
Glory be to God! The Christ has risen, and washed away mortal and earthly thinking!
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