Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Mystery

In Friendly Scripture Study we've been considering John's account of the Resurrection. That puts in high relief the mystery of the Christian faith.

The virgin birth, the miracles, the Resurrection, the Loving Heavenly Father to whom we were directed to pray, all of these require something beyond cold blooded rational thought. As Jesus said, Except you become as a little child..... The child doesn't have the adult's reasoning power; they have instead the predisposition to put their faith in the elder.

This (or at least some of it) may be preliminary to becoming a Christian. But growing in the spirit one soon learns that these events involve much more than mere belief that they really and truly happened. They happened in a much larger context than the child can grasp.

The theological term for this is mysteries. In the Christian life we may spend a life time learning their full meaning. We never will, but we can hope to grasp as much as God has in mind for us.

What does the Resurrection mean to you? You may find that there's a large variety of answers to that question.


kiznath said...

The funny thing about mysteries is that many of us expect them to be solved (usually in about 60 minutes, with a couple of commercial breaks).

Rational thought gets frustrated with something that cannot be explained, which is why I think the resurrection has to be approached with a combination of child-like and rational understanding.

To me, the resurrection is hope, the second chance of all second chances. I can't explain it, I can't explain why it's so beautiful.

It's interesting how Mary Magdalene mistook Christ for a gardener, isn't it? A reminder of where it all began for a new beginning.

Mark Walter said...

Very nice lead in to a really interesting question, Larry.

Resurrection, to me, means being born again. Born again, to me, means an opportunity to live again. I believe some people have only been on earth one life and will not return again. So I won't push reincarnation down their throat. But, to me, the terms resurrection and being born again are exactly about that. It's just too darn hard to get it right in just one short, stinking life. At least it is for me. I am, to quote my teacher, a repeat offender.

Now, I understand the ressurection's implied promise of eternal life, but my view on that is that I don't have to die to be eternal. I already AM an eternal being.

When Mary mistook Jesus for a gardener, and followers of his on the road to Emmaus didn't even recognize him after talking with him for hours... well, this raises some really interesting questions.

I think it is possible that Jesus actually physically died and did not return as a new physical body.

Why? Well, it is very reasonable that he appeared in other's bodies. This is not an unreasonable theory, because I realize that I am a soul in a body. If there is room for me in here, there is certainly room for someone else. Spirit releasement work substantiates this.

If we use this theory, then Jesus found people of a highly conductive nature and "shined" through them to such an extent that he was clearly recognizable.

His followers, upon seeing this, realized that death is not permanent, and become highly charged to spread the good news.

We have done research of this nature at GRI, and have clear evidence to suggest this to be a very workable theory. After all, Jesus said (if I am not mistaken) that we should be able to see him in others.

Larry, I don't mean to push my views on anyone, and I appreciate the opportunity to contribute my thoughts.

Larry said...

Kiznath: "the resurrection is hope": yes, yes, yes, and yes. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). This causes me to hope for life after (physical) death, but it means much more than that: in Christ we undergo the death of our egoism and rise to a higher level of life, what I call 'spiritual life'.

The N.T. is full of expressions of this metaphor; it has equal meaning physically and spiritually. We die daily (to the flesh in Paul's term) and rise to eternal life, which, as Mark has witnessed in his comment is now. Eternal life does not mean extension of temporal life; it's beyond time: it was in the beginning; it is now, and it ever shall be. Hurrah.

Mark, what I find most agreeable about your comment is: "I already AM an eternal being." Yes indeed; that's something that East and West can agree about I believe.

Mark Walter said...

Thank you for your thoughtful words and insights, friend Larry.

Larry said...