Jesus taught by example

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 22, 2008

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Then they remembered his words.

What precious words we celebrate this day as Christians.

It is the promise of rebirth.

And we see this all around us in the budding of trees and flowers. Spring is rejuvenation and so reflected in this hero’s story of a man born of a virgin, who died and was resurrected to live eternally.

Historically, the record of the Roman Army’s execution date of Yeshua of Nazareth, later known as Jesus Christ, has been lost.

Yet, for Christians, Easter commemorates Jesus’ execution, visit to Hell and resurrection.

It is also a lesson that nothing dies. It changes form.

Take a look at Jesus’ life. We often speak of the living Christ &8212; Jesus unaffected by birth and death. Many times, we have asked about Jesus during the first 12 years of his life when the gospels do not talk about him. At that point, we are referring only to Jesus manifested in the body and forget that he is much more than the body.

One of the greatest lessons given us is to look deeply within ourselves and realize that who we are is only a portion of what we see in our bodies. For instance, take a look at your children or grandchildren, and you see portions of yourself &8212; that is a continuation.

What Jesus promised us, indeed, is eternal life &8212; an impermanence. Certainly as we mature, we see that promise fulfilled.

We are more than our bodies. We are outside of our bodies. We have souls. This means that this life is not the only life we have. We cannot be alone because we are all inter-connected.

During Jesus’ life, he taught us these lessons by using, for example, small children and telling his disciples that what was done to the least of those children was done to him. He realized the inter-connection of all beings.

In this spirit then, perhaps we should reflect on how we treat one another, especially when we become angry. Anger is a lack of understanding of ourselves and of the causes of our unhappiness. Jesus has taught us that our negativity, our unhappiness, is rooted in desire, pride and suspicion. Thus, the root of anger is in ourselves.

If someone is unkind or hateful to us, then as we understand cause and effect as it relates to our well-being, then we become reborn. We become more patient, begin to understand causes for anger and see that the person has deep reasons for the action that upset us.

When we begin to see those reasons and look compassionately, then we can be free from our own anger and become patient. Then, if some action needs to be taken, we can take it out of compassion and not anger.

Jesus taught us that if we try to understand someone’s pain, then we come closer to helping heal that pain.

When we are mindful and open to this lesson, then we truly celebrate the meaning of Easter, of rebirth. For then we realize that every breath we take is a practice of the resurrection.