19th Sermon of Jesus… The Resurrection of the Lord
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(February 19, 1872)
“And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away, for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”
The previous Gospel text dealt with My entry into Jerusalem and the temple. This one describes My burial and resurrection as well as My appearance to several of My disciples and Mary Magdalene. Between My entry into Jerusalem and My burial there is My condemnation, My immense suffering as a man and as God, My greatest humiliation as the Creator and Lord of the world and the proof of My supreme love, a love of which only I, the uncreated, eternal God and Lord, am capable by submitting to all this in order so set an example to My created beings and spirits. They were to learn what is needed to become a child of Him Who is able to call into existence worlds, solar systems and vast spirit-realms which He could again eradicate if His mighty will were not induced by His all-embracing love to preserve all created things instead of destroying them.
The last days of My life on earth were to prove to all spirits that everyone who carries a divine spark within him is capable of even greater sacrifices and self-abnegation, far beyond the comprehension of all created beings, and this not for his own salvation, but for that of others.
The second commandment of love has never before been fulfilled so distinctly and fully as it was by Me in the last days of My suffering. I humiliated Myself to endure patiently as a man all the human suffering which to a mortal being appears to be the worst: torture, death and public disgrace. And this I did as a man for all other men, whom I regarded as My brothers and who saw Me die on the cross, praying for them that they be forgiven, although they were My enemies and had rewarded My great kindness with ingratitude and revenge.
Could the love of one’s fellowman do any more than I did in those moments? Because of this I promoted it to a divine commandment, inseparably linked to the first one, namely, to love the Creator above all. This commandment has also a social significance for the living together of people through the tenet: “Do not do unto others what you would not like them to do to you!”
I made these two commandments of love divine with My last breath as I left this small earth, which among millions upon millions of globes and suns I had chosen for the great feat only I could accomplish. As a man, I practised both of them, fulfilling them to the greatest possible extent, thus leaving behind for humanity the ideal of a man on this earth as I wanted him to be. As a spirit I demonstrated to My higher beings and angels what they should be able and strive to accomplish when the moment of their trial approaches.
On earth the keystone to the proof of My deity was My rising from the dead, for without this My teaching, My deeds and My whole life would soon have been forgotten. My disciples would have broken up; maybe they would have remained faithful to Me individually, but they would not have been of any benefit to their fellowmen.
It is true, My disciples did believe in My deity, but this was under the influence of My presence. My personality, My words and deeds were too impressive not to exert an influence on all around Me. However, with My person and this moral pressure removed, the world would gradually have claimed them once more, weakening and finally obliterating the impact I had made upon them during My life on earth. Nothing would have remained of My life but the memory of past happenings, although miraculous and unfathomable. Therefore, if My work was not to have been in vain, the rising from the dead – something contrary to all the familiar laws -had to prove My deity thereby fortifying the faith of My disciples and adherents, preparing them for their future mission.
Thus My resurrection was the keystone to this never-to-be destroyed edifice of faith and religion, which until now has resisted all storms and will soon be resplendent on earth in all its purity and magnificence, to be the mediator between two important factors in creation – matter and spirit or the material realm and that of the spirits.
This is the way it has to be and is also going to be, so that all mankind may realize that matter is nothing but the encasement of the spiritual and has been created only for the sake of the spiritual. All matter must be spiritualized to enable men to draw close to My spiritual kingdom, and that the other created beings, following the perfection of men, can also ascend higher and higher until the earth-globe itself, released from its density, will not need any violent measure to bring about its dissolution, but will only experience a gentle transition.
To give you a clear understanding of this process of spiritualization and to explain to you the significance of My Resurrection as well as My Passion during My last days on earth, I have to remind you of the fact that all My deeds and words, even the world events during the years of My ministry, would be recurring gradually until My now imminent second advent. But it will all happen in spiritual correspondences and not actually to My person as it did then.
What at that time I had to suffer as the Son of man, applied also to the progress of My teaching which now represents Me spiritually on your earth. This, too, was contaminated, mocked and abused; then it was buried in your churches – as large sepulchres – and a heavy stone, the stone of empty ceremonies, is blocking it. There it was to rest forever and be of use only to those who wish to benefit from it in their worldly, not in their spiritual life.
The course of world history is an exact counterpart of the years of My ministry. Just as there are in your life three important spiritual stages: childhood – corresponding to unconditional faith, adolescence – corresponding to the forming of an opinion of what was believed, and manhood – corresponding to discrimination between appearance and actual fact, thus also My teaching went through all these phases, partly during My ministry, partly later after My decease, right to this day and to the future. In the beginning I, too, compelled the world around Me, partly through My miracles, to believe and then educated people like children. And once they began to understand Me, they found through their judgment the truth of what they had previously only believed, that is, they entered adolescence. When in this way their belief and knowledge had been strengthened, they became mature, stood by My teaching and by Me with conviction, corroborating with word and deed what to them seemed the holiest, the supreme knowledge.
The history of My religion, the way it was later on spreading, presents to you the same stages, with the sole difference that at the time I Myself was teaching there was no reason for eliminating or protesting. However, when people, driven by human passions and guided by worldly opinions and interests, wanted to imitate Me, they turned the divine into what was worldly, gave men only the outer bark instead of the core of spiritual life and, as a result, the good was rejected together with the bad when men had matured and could use their own judgment.
This is what brought about the extremes of people who believed everything I taught and those who believed nothing. Now, as the spiritual stirring is getting stronger, when the corpse in the sepulchre, sealed and covered with a stone, is preparing to rise, now they still want to begin – like once Mary Magdalene – to prevent the corpse’s decay by means of spices and scents. But as at that time Mary Magdalene was disappointed because she found the sepulchre empty, the guardians of the spiritual sepulchre of My teaching will be disappointed, too. They will find the sepulchre empty with only the shroud left behind wherein they had wrapped the body of My teaching. But the One Whom they believed to have kept there under lock and key will have risen, will find His disciples and adherents Himself and give them new courage and zeal through His presence.
The closer this time is approaching the greater becomes the zeal to preserve and guard the corpse. As once My sepulchre was guarded by Roman soldiers who were unbelievers, there is this tendency also now to have an armed foreign power support those who defile and condemn My teaching of love. But in vain. Already the first ray of light is breaking through onto the stone cover of the sepulchre. And as every stone begins to vibrate when the first ray of the morning sun falls onto it and this vibration continues until the stone is warmed and extends this warmth to that which is underneath, the coffin-lid is already starting to vibrate. This vibration will keep increasing the more the reaction would like to condemn it to eternal rest. The ray of the spiritual love-sun is going to roll away the stone, drive off the powers that are spiritually asleep and, leaving them and their helpers only the shroud, once more revive the “corpse” and guide it on to its perfection on the path of light. It is dark in the sepulchre, but the Light-God of divine truth wants only light; and light gives warmth and warmth, life. Thus also the corpse of My teaching will rise from the sepulchre into which it had been put by worldly selfishness and lust for power. It will increase the light, warmth and life where they are already glowing in human hearts and spread with blessing these three elements where they may have been lacking completely.
This is the spiritual picture of My resurrection in My teaching of love, which I actually performed almost two thousand years ago and which will soon once more be taking place all over the world. As My disciples and followers once rejoiced at My rising, this resurrection too will be celebrated by all humanity and every individual in his own heart. Thus I am going to rise in the hearts of My faithful when they shall have thrown away the shrouds in which they had wrapped Me, leaving all worldly ceremonies and religious rites far behind them, believing only in the spiritual meaning of My teaching and acutally practising what they believe.
This resurrection in the hearts will be the rebirth, the final step towards breaking with the world and the first step or beginning of a spiritual life where material ties will no longer have the power to lead man astray or delay him on his road to spiritualization.
Therefore, awake, My children! Open your spiritual eyes, ears and hearts! Jesus, represented through His gentle teaching of meekness and love, Who on the cross loved not only His neighbour but prayed for His enemies, this Jesus shall rise within you! And as the earth is to become His church, His house of prayer where peace, tranquility and happiness shall once more dwell, also your hearts shall be paradisiacally adorned only with blossoms of love for God and your fellowmen. Prepare for this feast of resurrection in your hearts! It is the feast of your spiritualization, of the transfiguration of your own inner self.
As I once, transfigured, with a spiritualized body rose out of the dark sepulchre you too shall leave your sepulchre of worldly passions and desires transfigured, spiritualized, bettered, ennobled, and worthy of Me. If until now the world, your education and social circumstances have enveloped you in shrouds with spices and scents to prevent your earthly being from decay, throw away all these useless things, for they are tools of matter and not of the spirit! Remember, you are not of this world! You used to be spirit and shall again be spirit. There is your home, there He is beckoning to you Who, to help you comprehend it, has died the physical death for you and has risen again spiritually so that after a life that was pure like His you may rise spiritually, casting off what is of the world and, by becoming His children through this spiritual rebirth, require on the smallest scale what He has done for you on the largest. Think of what it means to be called a child of the Creator and Lord of the worlds and to become a brother to those spirits who have long before you gone through this school victoriously and who now in their eternal happiness and bliss are watching with great joy and brotherly love the everlasting resurrection and rebirth of their brothers.
Regard the resurrection as spiritual, which it is, and know that it was accomplished as an eternal memorial and example for you and My entire realm of spirits and souls.
At that time, after I had overcome human nature and assumed the divine nature, I shed all that was of the world. You should do the same. Then the day of your spiritual resurrection and rebirth shall be your most important day on earth – the keystone to your earthly mission and the foundation- stone to your spiritual one! Amen.
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