Easter, commemorating Jesus’ resurrection after his crucifixion, is central to Christianity. Before I became a student of Christian Science, I thought Easter was a sad occasion. I wondered what there was to celebrate in Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, his unfair trial, and the agony on the cross. For me, these events overshadowed his resurrection, and ascension. From my study of Christian Science, however, I began to realize the spiritual significance, and therefore the joy, of Easter.
The fourth tenet of Christian Science in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy was helpful as I deepened my understanding of Easter. It reads: “We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death” (p. 497).
Grasping the spiritual import of Easter did not diminish my appreciation of “Jesus’ intense human sacrifice” (Science and Health, p. 54); rather, it gave me a deeper and more practical understanding of Jesus’ life and ministry, which were based purely on Love. The relevance of Easter for me today comes in opportunities to overcome grief and to forgive, which demonstrate the tangible love of God for all.