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|Three Days, Three Miracles|
Welcome to Easter Sunday. The completion of another Lenten journey culminating through our lessons and experiences of releasing and renewing. Now we are ready to experience a resurrection, going from a lower consciousness to a higher consciousness, a restoration of our mind and body to their original undying state as Charles Fillmore writes.Show More...
First of all, let’s look at what Elizabeth Sand Turner says about miracles: The underlying meaning is that when a person unifies themselves with God, a spiritual power works in ways that are incomprehensible to human reason and superior to human might.
Now I invite you to listen to the Easter story that you and I have heard many times, and yet each time we hear it in a different way because we’re at a different place in our journey. It’s taken from John 19.
“After the crucifixion and death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin and a secret follower of Jesus because he was scared what the Jews would do to him if they found out. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed Jesus body.
Nicodemus, who had earlier come to Jesus at night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes.”
“They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the Jewish burial custom. Then they took Jesus’ body to the tomb which Joseph had bought for his own use – it’s said it was a man-made cave that was hewn from rock in a garden of his house nearby. And because it was the day before the Jewish Sabbath, they laid Jesus in that tomb.
Jesus died late on Friday. It was against the Jewish law to bury him on their Sabbath day which began on Friday nite, so his body was temporarily laid in this tomb, and was to be removed on Sunday and buried permanently. A few metaphysics in here. What we conceive as death is only temporary as we take the journey from leaving this earth to our next experience. During the three days, Jesus was laying in creative rest. And after they had laid his body there, then a huge stone was rolled to the entrance of the tomb.
A great miracle occurred in the next three days. It is what we are here this morning to celebrate--three days in the tomb. These three days represent the three steps necessary in going from crucifixion to resurrection. If we wish to get out of whatever tomb we are in — these are the three steps.
The three steps, the three days, is the first miracle.
Step #1 - Day #1 represents non-resistance and humility. It is getting to that point where we say, “I’ve tried this, but I can’t do it alone. I need help. I believe with God I can get through any challenge I face.
Step #2 - Day #2 represents taking on Divine activity and accepting the will of God. Praying and saying, “Not my will, not the way I want to do it, but the way that you want to do it God, and opening ourselves, consenting in mind and heart. We’[re allowing this Divine activity to come through in all its glory and splendor.
Step #3 - Day #3 - represents the integration and fulfillment of the Divine will. Then you and I act and speak as the Divine expression that we are, and are doing things the way our human self never would, never thought possible.
Then “at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome hurried toward the tomb, and as they approached the garden where Jesus had been buried they wondered who would roll away the stone from the door of the tomb. It was said to be about 8 feet in diameter and a foot thick.
But they didn’t know there had been an earthquake, and the stone no longer barred the entrance to the tomb. This is the second miracle….
What is blocking our good can be rolled away, no matter how heavy it is, when we are aware and accept the presence of God, the will of God
Then Mary Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, John, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and John ran to the tomb. John outran Peter, but he didn’t enter the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there. He just stood back in awe.
John was obeying the Jewish law not to enter the tomb first because he was very young. Even though most movies show the disciples as middle-aged men, it’s thought most of them were probably in their late teens, just like Jesus’ mother at the time of his birth. That would make sense because the average life span in those days was about 35 years.
Now Peter is thought to be the oldest one, so he entered first and John followed. Metaphysically this means that Faith (which is Peter) is often more courageous than love (which is John), but both see and believe. And it’s also interesting to note that at one time John (love) outran Peter (faith).
So, there are a couple of different ways to look at this.
They saw the linen wrappings lying there… and they believed, for as yet they didn’t understand the scripture, that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb . . .”
And now - THE Third Miracle.
“She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know that it was him.
She thought he was the gardener (how many times have we not recognized the Christ in our life – as a person, an experience), and Mary said, If you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ And in that one word, she knew who he was. Sometimes all it takes is one word to recognize the Christ within and without.
Mary turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and told them what he had said to her
The miracles that we see in our lives--the healing miracles, the guidance miracles-- are experiences that are solved at a higher level of mind in which they were created.
Patricia Laye, an author, writes, One day I visited a businessman’s office and noticed he constantly twirled a small paper weight with a dime in it. I asked him about it. He said, “When I was in college my roommate and I were down to our last dime. Each month our parents sent us a small allowance to buy food, but this month our checks hadn’t arrived. It was Easter Sunday, the 5th Sunday of the month, and between us we had one dime left.
We used the dime to call my house. Mom answered and told us my dad was ill and out of work, so there was no way they could send any money that month. My roomate’s family couldn’t raise money that month either. It looked like we had to go home. We were devastated.
When I hung up the phone, we heard a noise and dimes started pouring out of the pay phone. We were laughing and holding our hands to catch the money. We talked about keeping it, but knew that wasn’t the honest thing to do. We called the operator back, – they wouldn’t send a man all the way out to the school just to collect a few dollars. We laughed all the way to the grocery store – we had $7.20 . At the grocery store, we told the manager what had happened, and he offered us both jobs beginning the next day. We worked there until we graduated. My friend went on to become a lawyer and I graduated in business.
“Is that one of your original dimes?” I asked. No, this is from my first paycheck. I count my blessings and remember that, once upon a time, a single thin dime stood between me and the poverty my parents faced every day. When we graduated, we wrote a letter to the telephone company asking if they wanted their money back. The president replied saying he’d never felt the company’s money was better spent.
I’ve thought about this over the years, and wondered if the operator might have heard the fear in my voice. But I believe it was an act of God…. A miracle.
William Cameron writes, "Jesus Christ is actually more alive today than He was before His death. The day He was crucified He had only a few followers. It was the Resurrection that gave the early church its enormous drive, vitality, courage, hope and growth. Today He influences far more people. He is better understood. He is more inspiring and comforting. The world has never been the same since His Resurrection."
And so let us say “thank you” for the three days in the tomb and the three miracles that on that Easter morning flung open the “windows of life” and let us know that the Christ is always working in us, as us, and through us. This is the good news that the resurrection and the Easter experience brings! And for this, we say thank you God!!