Rolling Away the Stone

         That was the most glorious of days when the women, coming to the sepulcher on the third morning after the crucifixion, found the stone rolled away and an angel clothed in white who told them that Jesus was risen. Then "they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word." From that time until now this same angel message, "He is risen," has been and is rejoicing the entire Christian world. Even though the message may not yet be universally accepted or be yet fully understood, nevertheless there it is, proclaiming, as Paul says, that "our Saviour Jesus Christ . . . hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light."

         This unprecedented demonstration of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, with its joyful message of freedom from all that ensnares and fetters, must continue to unfold to the understanding of mankind; and Christian Science is here bringing about this unfoldment. Christian Science answers the prayers which have ascended to God in a longing to know how men may follow in Jesus' footsteps sufficiently to have part in his resurrection; how they may see the stone rolled away in every day and age.

         In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 179) Mrs. Eddy asks the question, "What is it that seems a stone between us and the resurrection morning?" And she answers, "It is the belief of mind in matter." Then she goes on to say, "We can only come into the spiritual resurrection by quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense." It is, then, "the belief of mind in matter," of "Soul in sense," which claims always to shut out the understanding of Spirit and its transcendent perfection and power. The way out of all evil, therefore, must be to reject — to quit — the consciousness of matter and its false sense-testimony and accept without reservation the glorious facts of Spirit, the incomparably beautiful evidences of Soul, which Christian Science reveals.

         This, however, mortals seem quite loath to do. Even as Christian Scientists we often seem slow to turn absolutely and completely from the false to the true in our thinking. We are so apt to cling tenaciously to matter and its beliefs, apparently imagining that to give up material sense testimony means to lose something that is of value. And yet Jesus' entire life-work was based on his own statement, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."

         Over and over again Mrs. Eddy shows us that Jesus always turned from the testimony of the material senses to the evidence of Spirit, Soul, in order to find that which is true. And it was this which enabled him to prove the allness of Spirit, Life, and the nothingness of matter, death. It was his constant clinging to his real selfhood as the Son of God which gave him dominion over all the beliefs of a false selfhood in matter. In "No and Yes" (p. 36, read lines 12-26) Mrs. Eddy states this very definitely. She writes, "It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuperated him [Jesus] for triumph over sin, sickness, and death." If Jesus had dwelt mentally with the beliefs of matter, he could not possibly have overcome them.

         Every Christian Scientist knows that when he allows himself to spend time and thought in the contemplation of materiality he always weakens his own power to prove matter unreal. It is only as we dwell with Spirit and its realities, even as Jesus did, that we can prove them true. Instead, we are so often concerned about what is happening to matter; we are so interested to have matter present a good appearance; we are so occupied with the material beliefs we feel must be mastered, that we forget that the only way out of them is to lose sight of matter. It is only then that the Christ, Truth, will take possession of our consciousness, giving us control over evil and causing sin, sickness, and death to disappear into their native nothingness.

         Then how is the stone to be rolled away for everyone? In the way Jesus accomplished it! Each must perpetually claim his present and complete sonship with Spirit until each shall thereby have proved his perfect dominion over every belief of Mind in matter — until each shall have come "into the spiritual resurrection" through "quitting the old consciousness of Soul in sense." Thus shall the mission of Jesus' marvelous resurrection be completed; for all men will have awakened to the glories and satisfactions of Spirit, not through death, but through the understanding and demonstration of divine Life.


"Rolling Away the Stone" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, April 3, 1926

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