The Easter story looks at the amazing spiritual journey of Jesus, and how we too might rise-up. We want to learn from the whole experience how our lives can be better. We celebrate along with Jesus that spirit of overcoming; we celebrate the spirit within us to rise up and meet difficult situations, learning what we need to learn. It is then that we experience a new kind of life. We have that power of Easter within us to live out the way of the Christ. Jesus said,
“Follow me.” Have you noticed from Joseph Campbell’s work The Hero’s Journey that Jesus was also on that journey? Let’s follow his footsteps to resurrection!
Jesus knew His purpose. He might have said: “I am here to awaken a new way of living love from the Kingdom of God within.” As a Wayshower, He focused on making life better! He taught from stories; He healed and prayed; He partied and He grieved. While the common people loved Him, worldly forces thought differently.
During your spiritual journey, something very difficult happens that causes you a shift. A change comes about which you don’t relish or expect, and the timing is the worst. The real challenge for Jesus was the betrayal. Think about what happened on the night that Jesus and friends lounged and ate and danced in celebration of the remembrance of the Passover, the story in Exodus where the Israelites escaped slavery in Egypt. Jesus spiritually knew He was about to be betrayed at that celebration time. He saw it coming! Certainly this was not the best time to be betrayed at the big party of the year!
He spoke about giving the bread – the body of His teachings that God is Substance. God is All and in All! He spoke of the cup of wine as the Spirit, the blood that was to be poured out. He knew that after the Seder meal "it was all over.” This was His critical point into the most difficult path ever taken by anyone. He said to His friends, “One of you will betray me tonight, and others will even deny that you know me.” At the Garden of Gethsemane, after celebrating, dining, drinking, dancing, Jesus said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” He was in great agony.
Have you been let-down by a friend, by a superior, by your body, your spouse? Betrayal is one of the experiences that sends you looking for a better way.
Prayer of Surrender
Spiritually it is important to know that there is a greater reason than you can see for facing this time in your life, and, yes, it feels like the worst. However, a resurrection is intended. With right attitude you recognize that you are on spiritual journey and it is UPWARD! Decide now that no matter how dark things look, you’re ready for something in your life to be better. With this view you will know that the dark will be made light. You rise above the pain and come into a greater awareness of God. Jesus responded to the betrayal and condemnation by praying the prayer of surrender. He said, “Not my will but Thine be done.” Spiritual surrender is surrender to the highest and the best outcome possible, not to defeat. Although it may difficult to trust that God’s will for us is ultimate good, it always is.
On the Cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” The inner shift we need to make when we are going through our trials is to forgive the circumstance, or the person, who seems to have caused our pain. Forgive! It is a critical part of the journey.
Jesus had a vision! Going through His most difficult time, He asked His disciples to carry out His message, and He trusted His Father to see Him through. Proverbs say, “Without vision, the people perish.”
The Jewish tradition says that the greatest event that happened in the life of the Israelites was to break free from bondage in Egypt! Some thought they were trapped forever! They just looked at the awful mud below them. One man said, “Mud everywhere! Why do we have to walk through this mud?” Another agreed with him, and so they grumbled and moaned all the way across the bottom of the Red Sea, as they looked down at the muck. Look up, not down! Your vision keeps you going, gives you hope and energy and courage and joy! In God there was a way and there is always a way.
Joseph Campbell said: “In the spiritual, there often is someone who appears to help. When a student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Just be willing to be willing to be ready! Your guide will help you let go of the old negative programs you’ve learned in your head and support you in coming from your heart with love and wisdom to fulfill your heart’s desires. You are a loving, wise, powerful child of God, a worthwhile, brilliant person. You have within you a spirit of overcoming; a spirit that allows you to meet any challenge that you face.
The Easter Story comes through loud and clear through the joyous words, “Christ is Risen!” Resurrection is a message for all. We are called to be heroes by facing the challenges, surrendering, forgiving and holding a vision. Trust God and have a Happy Easter!