I love Jesus. When I think of the blessings that have been brought into my life as a result of his teachings and experience, I am filled with awe. Jesus is a voice for the ages, no matter who we are. The Christ, Truth, he taught and lived truly is the Savior of the world, because no matter our religion, spiritual path or lack of one, he showed us a universal Father, a saving God of unconditional love.
As Easter approaches, I am not so impressed by the chocolate bunnies and baskets, or even the flowers and renewal of spring. Instead I stand in wonderment of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection as actual events that have great meaning for all of us today. When faced with intense hatred and betrayal, as well as a death sentence, Jesus prayed to God, “Thy will be done,” a reiteration from his Lord’s Prayer given earlier in his career.
He bowed before the divine will and forgave those who wanted to kill him, demonstrating the forgiveness also in the Lord’s Prayer. In no way was he a martyr in this process. His perfect love for and understanding of God as eternal Life brought him through the crucifixion to resurrection–including the restoration of life and the healing of the physical torture.
My love for Jesus has not kept me from facing tough times. (Although nothing like Jesus faced, they were hard times for me.) But my love and reverence for him has been of great help in coming through those times unscarred and not traumatized.
I’ve received tremendous help in my life from the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.”
Christian Science founder and healer, Mary Baker Eddy, calls it “…that prayer which covers all human needs.” Its opening phrase, “Our Father”, was so helpful to me when my dad passed on. I learned that although my human dad was gone, my heavenly Father was always with me. To understand, even in a small degree, that God is always with us and His love comforts, sustains and heals can bring any of us right through times of depression, loss or even illness.
I remember a time a few months after my mom passed on, that I really felt alone. My two best friends were no longer interested in my career choices. They ignored my calls and efforts to reach out to them, and we drifted apart. Around this time, the weather turned particularly cold and I became ill. I just couldn’t warm up; I was abnormally tired and weak, and unable to sleep. I lived alone and it became increasingly difficult to care for myself.
One afternoon I snuggled up on the couch under a large blanket just trying to get warm. I prayed with the Lord’s Prayer for quite a while, saying it to myself very slowly and thinking about each line before I went to the next. Starting with “Our Father,” I prayed to include my friends and everyone I knew, as well as the whole world. “Thy will be done” meant to me that God’s will of unfolding opportunities for personal growth and service, as well as health, were mine. When I got to the line about forgiveness, I really prayed to be a more forgiving individual. I went through the prayer for quite a while. My body became warm again and I felt the most incredible peace. I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I was well.
For me, this began with a little crucifixion experience, but Jesus’ example and prayer brought me through to a new sense of love, grace and health – a resurrection so to speak.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book on universal salvation, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “While we adore Jesus, and the heart overflows with gratitude for what he did for mortals, – treading alone his loving pathway up to the throne of glory, in speechless agony exploring the way for us, yet Jesus spares us not one individual experience, if we follow his commands faithfully; and all have the cup of sorrowful effort to drink in proportion to their demonstration of his love, till all are redeemed through divine Love.”
This is why I love Jesus. He taught and showed us that no matter how punishing our life may be, God’s love is with us and we can feel and experience its life-affirming healing and goodness.
©2017 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois