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The Resurrection Revisited: An Alternative Point of View

Rethinking Jesus’ Resurrection

Last week I asked you to consider Judas in a new light. This week I ask you to consider Jesus’ resurrection in a new light. You don’t have to put away your understanding of the resurrection and what it represents for you. Instead, I will ask as my spiritual mother, Rev. Della always does: “Have you thought about it this way?”

(The backdrop for this conversation will be Chapter 16 in Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth: “The Great Demonstration.”)

Whether or not you believe in the resurrection, we can probably agree that something happened. More than 2,000 years have passed and we are still talking about that something. Whatever happened, it was powerful enough to keep the conversation going for centuries.

Today, I want to explore that something¬†beyond the traditional ways we have been taught to think of Jesus’ resurrection. I want to play in a new spiritual dimension.

Thinking in a New Spiritual Dimension

The resurrection does not make sense to the mind that sees only in three dimensions. We overreach when we consider Jesus’ last moments in a corporeal body¬†according to the laws of our physical universe.

Just as “we wouldn’t expect to understand calculus until we had learned to add two plus two and multiply three times three” (Butterworth), let us consider that the resurrection represents spiritual law working at a much higher level of consciousness than we now operate.

The real question to be asked is not whether the resurrection happened but rather how we should think about this reported event.

Here’s the thing: No one can say with certainty that any of the reported events in our Bible happened as written.

But we can look at the fruit and draw some reasonable conclusions. Whatever happened 2,000 years ago, it resonated so deeply within the collective human consciousness that we shifted our entire dating system. We now speak of time according to the era before Jesus was born and the era after his birth.

Clearly, something happened.

Seeing In a New Spiritual Dimension

To be “born again” is an interesting phenomenon because “when we are ‘born again,’ nothing really happens to us in a three-dimensional sense. Everything is really the same, but we see it differently, we see in a new spiritual dimension” (Butterworth).

Isn’t that what makes it so difficult to explain your awakening to friends and family? Outwardly, you are the same person. You live in the same house, you drive the same car, and you work the same job. So, to those who¬†know you, you are the same person.

But you are not the same.

As you grow in your awakening, the way you see the world continues to change until one day you wake up and the people you believed were closest to you seem the farthest away. You still love them; they still love you. But, you’re different because you see differently.

It is at this point that you need the courage to keep walking your spiritual path without giving into the temptation toward self-righteousness. Most people turn back. They cannot see clearly where the road leads and the fear of walking alone causes them to withdraw their gaze from the spiritual realm and start looking at the world again.

Traveling in a New Spiritual Dimension

For most people —¬†including so-called New Thought Christians — the resurrection represents a concept to think about during the Spring of each year. We go to church and spend an hour hearing about this exciting event from 2,000 years ago.

But nothing in us changes.

A modern equivalent might be “contemplating for one day the mysteries of calculus without ever having conditioned ourselves to understand the basic two plus two. We take out our calculus book and we read it over (with no real comprehension) and we say, ‘It is so beautiful.’ Then we return it to the high place on the bookshelf where it will remain for another year. We tell ourselves that it was a wonderful experience to think about it for a day” (Butterworth).

Most people stop when they find themselves worlds apart in consciousness from family and friends. Let me invite you to continue traveling in this new spiritual dimension. Do not be afraid to come up a little higher. Do not shy away from reaching for the greater part.

Understanding the Resurrection in a New Spiritual Dimension

While we are still mastering the basics of arithmetic, calculus looks hard, even impossible. While we master the mundane aspects of life, moving beyond death to our own resurrection looks hard, even impossible.

But that does not mean it cannot be done.

With the resurrection, Jesus proved the Divinity of Humankind. He proved that life neither begins nor ends in the body.¬†“The keynote of the Great Demonstration of Easter is that you are divine. No matter what you have thought of yourself, no matter what you have done in your life or with it, no matter how limited your experience has seemed to be — you are divine…The divinity of you is that of you that is eternal, ageless, deathless, whole and complete” (Butterworth).

In this new spiritual dimension, Jesus’ resurrection does not represent the impossible becoming possible, it proves what you and I can do right now. Do not be swayed by the seeming impossibility of it. Keep your head down and do the spiritual work in front of you today.

Loving Jesus in a New Spiritual Dimension

When Jesus “returned from the dead,” he proved more than the overcoming in his own life. When he got up, he proved that you and I can get up. And, if we love him, then we will get up. We will get up from the limited thinking that has heretofore held us back. We will get up from the belief that we are only human.

What I know for sure is that when you love someone deeply, it shows up in your behavior. Everything about you changes. How has your love for Jesus shown up in your life? What has changed in you? Are you still gazing at the cross and thinking about the resurrection, talking about how wonderful it is?

Or, are you putting one foot in front of the other to follow Jesus into this new spiritual dimension beyond time and space? Have you accepted that what he proved with his life, you, too, can accomplish?

Before you reach a thing, you must come to know that it is possible for you. Without the belief that it can be so, you have nothing to pull you forward, nothing to make you reach beyond where you are. In the new spiritual dimension, loving Jesus means reaching for our own overcoming; it means doing the spiritual work that will take us through our own cross and beyond.

Living in the New Spiritual Dimension

“We downgrade Jesus and the Great Demonstration when we think of the Easter ‘happening’ as a miracle of God instead of the revelation of the depth-potential of [humankind]” (Butterworth).

Chances are that if you’re reading this blog post, you’ve already traveled spiritually beyond the limits of your family and peers. For you, there is more to Christianity and living the Christian life than thinking about Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The average person thinks of life as a series of actions — being born, experiencing emotions, eating, drinking, growing up, getting married, sleeping, worrying, hating, fighting, hoarding, getting disappointed and finally dying. But you know that life holds more for you. You believe with Butterworth that “life is God and life is boundless.”

Well, then, you must also know that no one becomes a saint in his sleep.

Now is the appointed hour for you to do your spiritual work.

Recommit to your daily meditation and personal development. Re-establish your spiritual discipline if you have let it go. Take your eyes off the cross and do the work that will move you through your own cross.

Make your spiritual development your highest priority and let nothing forsake it.

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Mystical Christianity | The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

To consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ from a purely literal standpoint ignores all the great mystical symbolism stuffed inside this incredible event. Interpreted mystically, the resurrection of Jesus can serve as the catalyst for our greatest life ever.

First, let’s look at the literal understanding of the resurrection:

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ | A Literal Reading

All four canonical Gospels tell of Jesus’ resurrection but they differ in the details. Mark’s version speaks of a “young man dressed in a white robe” who “tells the women that Jesus has risen. He instructs them to go and tell the disciples but they are so fearful,” they tell no one.

Matthew’s version tells of “an angel” who “rolled away the stone from the tomb” and tells “the women to go and tell the disciples, which they did.” Luke’s version tells of “two men in dazzling apparel” who were at the tomb when the women arrive. “The men asked them why there were seeking the living amongst the dead. The women were fearful and quickly left to go and tell the disciples” (Lewis, p. 107).

John’s version says that “Mary [Magdalene] came to the tomb alone. She sees the stone has been rolled away. Mary remains at the tomb. While crying and contemplating this turn of events, two angels appear to her and ask her why she is crying…She says, ‘They have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid him.’ She then turns around and sees someone else, a man she assumed was the gardener. This person also asks why she is crying. Her answer to him is ‘Sir, if thou hast borne him ¬†hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus then speaks her name and Mary recognizes Him; she is amazed and excited. Jesus tells her not to touch Him, but to go and tell the others that she has seen Him and that He has ascended” (Lewis, p. 107-108).

Recognizing the Old Lens

The traditional church emphasizes the importance that the resurrection of Jesus happened. To believe it proves your faith; to reject proves your lack of faith.

In a recent debate with Bible scholar Bart Ehrman, Michael Licona (also a scholar) asserted that as long as the resurrection happened, then the Bible is true. During the debate, they go back and forth about the thousands of discrepancies in Scripture.

Bart insists that the Bible cannot be considered inerrant and infallible. He reasons that without an original copy of the Bible, we cannot know with certainty what¬†the Bible says. Michael counters this assertion by insisting that as long as the resurrection happened, then that’s all that matters. ¬†In other words, the occurrence of the resurrection makes all the errors in Scripture irrelevant.

A New Way of Thinking About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

What if there is another way to consider the resurrection? Can we find meaning in the resurrection that does not depend on whether or not it actually happened? The mystical approach to Scripture does not ask whether an event happened. We have no way of knowing whether it did or did not. Instead, the mystical approach seeks the deeper meaning that transcends whether the event happened or not.

That’s where I’d like to go with today’s blog post.

Jesus’ Resurrection is¬†Not Unique

So much emphasis is placed on Jesus’ resurrection that we miss the other instances of resurrection mentioned in Scripture: Lazarus, the widow’s son at Nain, and Jairus’ daughter. In addition, “Peter raised Tabitha…Paul raised a young man named Eutychus” (Lewis, p. 109).

“There are also stories of resurrection in the Old Testament. For example, the story of Elisha and the Shunammite woman who befriended him. He rewarded her and her husband by promising them they would have a son…When the son grew up he worked in the fields with his father. One day he died of sunstroke…When Elisha arrived he went into the room where the boy was lying. He lay upon the boy. The first time nothing happened so he got up and walked around the room. Then he repeated the process…We are told the boy sneezed seven times and was restored to life” (Lewis, p. 110).

Stories of resurrection appear in many cultures. The idea that we can resuscitate our bodies after they have expired persists. “These myths, legends, and possible historical events are seeking to convey to us the idea of the immortality of life” (Lewis, p. 110).

Even if we cannot prove it, the persistence of these stories suggests that we unconsciously recognize that life extends beyond¬†the borders of what we call “birth” and “death.” How we conceptualize life beyond this physical expression varies from culture to culture, religion to religion.

The traditional Christian speaks of life after death in the form of being in heaven or hell. The New Thought Christian speaks of eternal life and the possibility of reincarnating in a body. Both recognize that life continues beyond what we can see with our eyes.

Immortal Life in the Body is Possible

Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. The idea of manned flight existed long before its physical expression. In the 1400s, Leonardo da Vinci experimented with the idea but could not manifest it. The consciousness for manned flight did not appear until the 1900s.

The idea of a horseless carriage – or what we call a car – existed long before its physical expression. “Ferdinand Verbiest, a member of a Jesuit mission in China, built the first steam-powered vehicle around 1672 as a toy for the Chinese Emperor. It was of small enough scale that it could not carry a driver but it was, quite possibly ¬†the first working steam-powered vehicle” (Source). The consciousness for what we think of as the predecessor to the modern-day car did not appear until the late 1800s.

Idea always precedes expression.

The fact that we can conceive it in mind means it is possible in expression. Clearly the consciousness for it has not arrived on a massive scale. But the idea persists throughout history and throughout every culture. Therefore, at some point in time, it will be possible.

Life is the Will of God

Everything in life expands. Trees, plants, birds, people begin as seeds and grow into their full expression. “A perfect expression and manifestation of life in the body is the intent and purpose and plan of God. God is not the author of death and rebirth” (Lewis, p. 112).

The life impulse is not just expansion but also improvement¬†– we want to improve along all lines. “Jesus’ death and resurrection was for the specific purpose of revealing the power we all potentially have of expressing life perfectly in a body as He did it” (Lewis, p. 113).

We must enlarge our view of life. Let us begin to see life as eternal and recognize the seeming boundaries of birth and death as artificial. Life is the will of God. Everything in our experience points to this reality.

It Takes Great Ideas to Accomplish Great Things

The mind magnifies whatever you concentrate upon. Everything we imagine today is not possible today. But, if we persist in our imagining, we will activate the universal forces that govern expression to make manifest what, in this moment, does not yet exist.

It may seem foolish or unworthy of our time to give attention to seemingly impossible ideas. You may be asking, ‘what does does it do to believe in an idea that seems so impossible?’ Life shows up for the man or woman who dares to imagine the impossible.

It takes great ideas to accomplish great things.

The idea of a horseless carriage at one time seemed impossible. In fact, Henry Ford once quipped that if he’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said “faster horses.” Life shows up for the man or woman who dares to give his or her mind over to the contemplation of what right now seems impractical or even impossible.

Your world – which includes your physical body – becomes impressed with the ideas that you entertain in your mind. What ideas will you feed your mind? Will you seriously contemplate the impossible? Will you dare to be unreasonable?

Here’s my call to action: There are many things we enjoy today that seemed like total impossibilities at one time. You have the energy of God within you – what will you use it to manifest? If you were willing to entertain the idea of the impossible becoming possible through you, what would you manifest? In the comments below, please share your biggest dream – the thing that right now seems impossible – that you’d been willing to be the conduit for its physical expression. You never know who you may inspire with your response.

Hi! I’m Rev. Sherri James.¬†I’ve been serving in ministry for the last 20¬†years.spiritual-mentoring-one-on-one

I’ve worked with hundreds of men and women to help them wake up to their innate divinity so they can live their highest and best life.

I’m the creator of the¬†Metaphysical Bible Hangout, a FREE weekly bible study that teaches you¬†how to understand the revelation of your¬†divinity in Scripture and live it practically in your life.

What I am most proud of are my students.¬†The success stories of the people who’ve taken my classes or worked with me privately as a Spiritual Mentor and learned their spiritual identity and now live a better life gives me strength and fuels my drive to help more people live their best life.

If you want to be my next success story, let me mentor you to better living. CLICK HERE to sign up and get the help you need to wake up to the spiritual giant that you are.

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