The Easter Message   Leave a comment

Dramatic sky scenery with a mountain cross and a thinking person. A symbol of heavy inner struggles. Where to go? What do you say?You probably know this story: A few discouraged followers of a beloved rabbi went to his tomb at first light to tend to his remains and discovered the stone at the entrance rolled away. Instead of his body, they found two angels, who, according to the Biblical account of St. Luke, said to them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:”

Yes, the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is familiar to most of us. What is not so well known is that the Easter story predates Christianity and has appeared in many cultures in many forms throughout history. (Even the name “Easter”, which derives from the name of a dawn goddess, Eastre, and the vernal festival celebrated in her honour, is a relic pointing to its primordial roots.) What this tells us is that the Easter message resonates deeply in the human consciousness, and it speaks to us now as it has for millennia—of light dispelling darkness, of despair turned to hope, and ultimately of life overcoming death.

Reflecting on the symbolic meaning of this story, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, wrote, “My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes. With white fingers they point upward to a new and glorified trust, to higher ideals of life and its joys.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 299).

Perhaps this Easter we should ask ourselves, what hope have we buried that needs resurrecting. Is it a relationship we have given up on? A friendship? A marriage? Or is it something we believe beyond our reach? A better education? A meaningful job? A home? And what sort of stone must be moved out of the way? Weariness? Pride? Fear? Something outside our own thinking?

Easter reminds us that countless generations have struggled with life’s questions before us and have found comfort in its message. The wisdom they have gleaned is that we won’t find anything by fixating on the tomb. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” But by gaining a deeper sense of and trust in life—by looking upwards to its higher ideals and, most of all, to its joys—we can find renewal.

This article was contributed by GG of Canberra.

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