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ELLA W. HOAG, CSD
Christians generally have looked to Jesus' crucifixion as the direct means of salvation for mankind, but they have often failed to recognize its wonderful culmination in the resurrection as the complete proof of all that he had taught and lived. Christ Jesus himself declared that he was "the resurrection, and the life." Paul undoubtedly understood this teaching, since he speaks much of the power of Jesus' resurrection and emphasizes the necessity of accepting and understanding its deep significance. Nevertheless, until the Comforter, which Jesus promised, had appeared in Divine Science, the world remained in comparative darkness as to the grandeur of Christ Jesus' demonstration over death and of its far-reaching effects. It is in this Science that we find the explanation which brings the resurrection as a vital element into the life-experience of every individual.
When Christ Jesus united resurrection and life in his own declaration about himself, he called attention to the fact that in the one he proved the immortality of the other. From the beginning to the end of his earthly ministration, he was teaching and proving the eternality of Life. He said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly;" and again he declared, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Always Jesus was proving Life's omnipresence and its omniactivity. His demonstration of life was in a perpetually ascending scale. Beginning with the healing of the sick and the reforming of the sinner, he went forward mastering the belief of death for the little maid, for the son of the widow, for Lazarus, and finally in his own magnificent triumph over the grave. In all this his great object may be said to have been to prove that God is Life, infinite, eternal, indestructible. Through this advancing demonstration we have the glorious proof that, as Paul says, "our Saviour Jesus Christ, . . . hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light." What could be of greater value to mankind than Jesus' irrefutable proofs that Life alone is presence and power; that it is always demonstrable; and that here and now men may avail themselves of its eternal, transcendent, all-glorious, limitless nature!
Christian Scientists accept all this. They declare again and again that God is infinite Life, that in Him is all action, all good, all that is desirable, and that in proportion as they accept this truth and live it in accordance with Jesus' life and in obedience to the teachings of Christian Science they may demonstrate it. It is, however, one thing merely to accept this truth of being and quite another to put it to the proof in one's every thought, word, and deed.
In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 179), in some remarks of Mrs. Eddy at an Easter service, we find these illuminating words: "What is it that seems a stone between us and the resurrection morning? It is the belief of mind in matter. We can only come into the spiritual resurrection by quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense." And she adds, "In 1866, when God revealed to me this risen Christ, this Life that knows no death, that saith, 'Because he lives, I live,' I awoke from the dream of Spirit in the flesh so far as to take the side of Spirit, and strive to cease my warfare." In these words of our beloved Leader, we find the question of resurrection presented from the Christianly metaphysical standpoint.
In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 593) Mrs. Eddy has also given the following definition of "resurrection": "Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding." How simple, then, is the waking from the fleshly dream when it can be accomplished entirely through spiritualization of thought, through the yielding of material belief to spiritual understanding! This is indeed to cease our warfare. This is to understand Jesus' life-work with its marvelous triumphs over the flesh and its stupendous victories on the side of Spirit.
Christian Scientists rejoice that with every fleshly belief relinquished a living spiritual idea appears to their consciousness; every time they replace an evil concept with the truth, divine Life is expressing itself through its own reflection; whenever a human tendency is brought into submission to Truth and Love, the one thus triumphing is consciously living the life that is eternal.
Even Christian Scientists are slow to realize how surely they are experiencing some degree of the resurrection from sense to Soul whenever the thoughts of divine Life are active in their thinking. The understanding of divine Life which Christ Jesus expressed in the unexampled unfolding of the divine nature gave him the assurance of Life's omnipresence and power which made him victor over all sin, disease, and death.
What gratitude must be ours that through the demonstration of Christ Jesus and through the revelation of Christian Science we may perpetually find Life eternal unfolding to us. As we remove the stone of "the belief of mind in matter" from our thinking, we shall indeed come into that "spiritual resurrection" which understands more and more fully the eternality and all-activity of divine Life. In "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 202) our beloved Leader voices this benediction: "May . . . the resurrection morn burst upon the spiritual sense of this people with renewed vision, infinite meanings, endless hopes, and glad victories in the onward and upward chain of being."
The Christian Science Journal, April, 1928
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