This question was put to shoppers by a local television reporter. Most people said that Easter means a public holiday, an extended weekend, time off work to go camping. Others said it means Easter eggs and hot cross buns. Others spoke of its religious significance, and one woman said that for her Easter means sadness, a period of mourning. Christ Jesus had been crucified. Her Lord had suffered and died. For her, it was a tragedy.
I used to think that way, too, until I realized that to focus thought only on the crucifixion is to lose sight of the real meaning of Easter. The cross was only part of Jesus' experience, and it was not the end of the story. Jesus' life was not destroyed. While in the confines of a rock-walled sepulcher, he was demonstrating for the whole world that God is the Life of man; that man's life cannot be extinguished; and that man, the image of God, is the undying expression of Life.
Jesus' emergence from the tomb confirms this. It shows that man has God-given dominion over hatred, pain, and death. His conquest of them proves that the real man is immortal and deathless.
The word Easter is akin to the Latin word aurora, which means dawn. For me this so beautifully describes Jesus' triumphant resurrection. As the spiritual understanding of everlasting Life dawned anew for him, he rose to a higher, brighter, state of thought and action. This light of Christ, Truth, brought Jesus freedom from death and the grave. It liberates us, too. Through the Science of Christianity we are shown how this is accomplished.
The book of Malachi in the Bible offers this promise: "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings" (4:2). As we let the light of Christ, Truth, dispel the mortal ills and limitations confronting us, we are lifted out of them. We rise above the belief of life and intelligence as existent in and limited to matter, and find our lives improving, being healed. We perceive the boundless possibilities that are ours because we are at one with God—the source of infinite goodness and life. What a joy this is.
This Easter, let our thoughts be filled with gladness, not sadness. Let's commemorate our Master's glorious resurrection and celebrate his mighty victory over cross and grave. His inspiring achievement gives us hope. More than that, his example proves that man as the image of God has eternal life.
Clontarf, Queensland, Australia
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