In a previous post I told about my time as an altar boy when I questioned this line from the Apostles Creed, “and I believe in the resurrection of the body….” It made no sense to me that billions of bodies could be resurrected. Where would they go? However, at that time I did not question Jesus’ resurrection. That came years later after my involvement with Seth and then the Course.
Jesus’ resurrection is fundamental to Christianity which is, no doubt, why Christian teachers often state.
If you don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead then you
can’t be a Christian.
In my Chapter, “The Crucifixion – Resurrection,” Variation III, of my book, There is,…another way: A Companion Guide To A Course in Miracles: Jesus’ Gift To Humanity, I discuss both issues. Following is a synopsis of the resurrection from that Chapter.
Jesus’ teaching in ACIM about both the crucifixion and resurrection differ from those of most Christians. Those concerning the crucifixion are presented in my previous post. In Text Chapter III, Section I, Atonement Without Sacrifice, Jesus sates that in order let go of fear due to changing our mind about our beliefs (a miracle), it is necessary to accept this.
.The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement [the course term for our return to God]: the resurrection did.
In Section I of T-3 Jesus teaches how common beliefs regarding the crucifixion and the resurrection are perceived incorrectly: primarily he emphasizes that the resurrection is more important than the crucifixion.
ACIM has no references to Jesus’ body emerging from a grave from death to immortal existence. Every discussion makes it clear that his resurrection was transformative. Jesus returned to his home in heaven. He knew that that transformation is, “the single desire of the Son for the Father.” [M-28.1.10]
Following are the last three sentences of paragraph 7 from The Manual Question 27, “What Is Death?” They prepare us for question 28.
And what is the end of death? Nothing but this; the realization that the Son of God is guiltless now and forever. Nothing but this. But do not let yourself forget that is it not less than this.
Now to Question 28. What is the resurrection?
Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind [a miracle] about the meaning of the world. (my emphasis)
With these words from ACIM Jesus teaches us a mighty lesson. His body, as defined in the “Clarification of Terms,” was an illusion. But, since bodies are illusions, why would he restore his into mortality?
The following prayer, which concludes the fifth section of the Clarification of Terms, “Jesus – Christ,” summarizes Course teaching about the resurrection.
There is no death because the Son of God is like his Father. Nothing you can do can change eternal love.
Forget your dreams of sin and guilt, and come with me to share the resurrection of God’s son.
And bring with you all those whom HE has sent to you to care for as I care for you. [C.5.9]
The first sentence of this prayer speaks to the truth of Heaven. The second is about leaving the separation and returning to Heaven. The third insists that we include our brothers/sisters in our return to Heaven.
Many people, and yes, some Christians, question Jesus’ bodily resurrection. J. D. Crossan and Bible scholar N.T. Wright published their discussions of this question in their book, The Resurrection of Jesus. In it Wright and Crosson state their positions, discuss the issue together, present four essays, and then respond to each others essay. The book concludes with an appendix by Crossan, “Bodily-Resurrection Faith.” In it he asks us to stop quarreling whether the resurrection of Jesus’ body is an historical fact, a metaphor, or a vision (a common belief in the first century CE). Crossan suggests…
Finally, to the extent that we Christians do not display an eschatological life of justice-as-the-body-of-love and love-as-the-soul-of-justice, we lose the right to speak of Christ’s earthly resurrection and have at best a right to speak of his heavenly exaltation.
Crossan’s writings, and those of other biblical historians, with their extensive research, present compelling evidence showing us how early authors of the New Testament redacted the stories of Jesus’ life in order to promote their version of Jesus’ life and message.
Jesus corrects those distortions in his Course. He gives us a hopeful vision by teaching us to focus on the resurrection with a broad and gentle view. We can accept his teaching in, “What is The Resurrection?” (Notice that the question is in the present tense). We can participate in “The Resurrection” by using the above prayer from the “Clarification of Terms.
To end these two Easter writings I choose the following words which close the Clarification of Terms, and indeed A Course in Miracles: words which will always be helpful on Easter Sunday mornings.
Let us go out and meet the newborn world, knowing that Christ has been reborn in it, and that the holiness of this rebirth will last forever. We had lost our way but He has found it for us. Let us go and bid Him welcome Who returns to us to celebrate salvation and the end of all we thought we made. The morning star of this new day looks on a different world where God is welcomed and His Son with Him. We who complete Him offer thanks to Him, as He gives thanks to us. The Son is still, and in the quiet God has given him enters his home and is at peace at last.
* The Resurrection of Jesus: J.D. Crossan and N.T Wright in Dialogue, R. Stewart Ed. Minneapolis Augsburg Fortress Press, 2006.
Please visit my web site www.god-jesus-course-in-miracles.com. If you are interested in my book about ACIM you can order it there