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Does the Easter Story Matter?



Every year, as I ponder the meaning of the Easter Story, I acknowledge that one of the most important questions we can ask is, "What am I?" The answer to this question determines our self-concept, which influences our personal growth and development boundaries.


Those who have embraced New Thought Teachings accept that who and what we are is more than what can be seen with our physical eyes or described through the five senses. There is a part of us that can never be endangered or destroyed, and it is our true nature and being. It transcends our history, human lineage, and false concepts that we have accepted for ourselves. When we live from the awareness of that truth, we fulfill the life that God sees when God sees us. It is a life that reflects our divine purpose, in which we contribute our unique gifts and talents to our world.


One person who fully contributed his gift to the world and arguably fulfilled his divine purpose like few before or since is Jesus the Christ. Yet we are reminded that "if the Spirit that dwells in Jesus is in you, you too will be lifted up."

We can drop the if in the statement because we know that the Spirit that dwelled in Jesus or any avatar throughout history does indeed dwell in us. We don't just worship and believe in Jesus; we believe what he says: you are the light, and the kingdom of God is within. When we fully embody that Truth, the Spirit will lift us above any circumstances we may face.


The Easter Story demonstrates that something within us was here before we incarnated and remains after seeming death. Death is not the end of life but rather the continuation of the life process. The great demonstration known as the resurrection and the ascension symbolizes this process. Jesus manifested such a spiritual essence he could say, "The Father and I are one." He served as a reminder that there is no separation between us and Spirit. It is the recognition that there is only God; all else is just an illusion.


Resurrection follows crucifixion. No one escapes this process. The Easter story is about an old way of being crucified so something new can be born. This pattern is not a once-in-a-lifetime event. When someone experiences a divorce, the death of a partner, loses a job, or experiences a shift in external circumstances, an old identity dies so a new one can be born. I have been through several personal crucifixion experiences only to discover that they served as a prelude to a resurrection to a higher way of being in life.

We look to Jesus as a model for resurrecting from our own crucifixion experiences. The Easter Story reminds us that no matter what seems to happen to us, that experience does not have the final word. We can look beyond appearances and recognize a divine plan unfolding. Our task is to hold on to that vision until our lives bear witness to the Truth that liberates us and sets us free.


Easter is not merely the celebration of the life of Jesus. He reminds us that we can do even greater things than he did. We love and celebrate the master teacher by practicing his principles, living his teachings, and following his example. When we do, our life shines and glorifies God's power, presence, and love. All of us emanate from that loving presence. When that is our self-concept, we can say, as Jesus did, "When you see me, you see the presence that sent me." Then, we will experience Easter every day.


Peace and Blessings,

James

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