Resurrection. Crucifixion. Ascension. Atonement. Historically, these are the words that represent Easter and its symbolic celebration of Jesus.
However, there is no one Easter to fit all.
In his book Keep a True Lent, Charles Fillmore explained, “The resurrection takes place in us every time we rise to Jesus’ realization of the perpetual indwelling life that is connecting us to the Father. A new flood of life comes to all who open their minds and their bodies to the living word of God.”
The Easter message—living in an awareness of the Christ potential—should not be limited to one day. The transformational power that is inside all of us is cause for a lifetime of celebrations. Easter is not simply a play to be acted out; it is, in essence, an experience that must be lived every day.
“Metaphysically, the resurrection is our power to overcome, to restore, to renew with health, peace, love, prosperity, and joy, whatever it is that we are trying to revive,” said Rev. Gaylon McDowell, senior assistant minister at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago and host of Truth Transforms on Unity Online Radio®. “For those in poor health, regaining health is resurrection. People experience resurrection when their relationship or financial problems are resolved through the realization that God is the source of their supply. Anytime we explore new ideas or new possibilities, we are experiencing a resurrection.”
We become overcomers when we lift our minds out of the tomb of doubt, despair, and resignation and allow our spiritual nature room to express and transform our experiences. “You are an overcomer when you move beyond that which only your five senses can detect and are aware of your oneness with God. You are not separate from God. The Kingdom of God is inside you. You are the self-expression of God, and as the individualized expression of God, you are already whole and complete,” said McDowell.
McDowell also believes that, if we want to overcome, we have to realize our ability to transform our experiences—to shift our way of thinking—through prayer, meditation, reflection, and contemplation. Also of key importance is a willingness to change.
“If you’re not willing to change, the rest doesn’t matter,” he said. “The person you thought you were will evolve into being a person you don’t know. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘I die daily,’ so it’s not a one-time occurrence. You must release the old to create the new.”
Having studied under Rev. Johnnie Colemon, founder of Christ Universal Temple, McDowell also stresses the importance of finding good teachers to cultivate you and to help accelerate your growth process.
In this context of change and development, we should refer to the master teaching of Jesus. “Jesus was the ultimate teacher who did miraculous things. He inspired people to see life differently,” McDowell said. “Jesus so reflected and expressed God that the people couldn’t think of God without thinking of him. They left their families to go follow this person. So there was this outward movement of change that reflected a new way of being. The Kingdom of God was so manifested in his experience that lives were transformed, people were healed. His faith transcended the old ways of living and being.”
People were so influenced by Jesus that they were willing to take his message everywhere. Therefore, the resurrection not only happened in Jesus, but it occurred in his immediate followers. McDowell explained, “The apostle Paul taught that in Christ there was no male or female, no Jew or Greek. Now that was radical. But as the people started to believe, they began to transcend race, religion, culture, language, gender, and class. In Christ, we are equal and that’s the true beauty of Easter.”
Jesus, through his teachings and resurrection, promised hope and transcendence for all. Any person who overcomes a situation they deem as difficult has the ability to transcend.
“God isn’t in us like a raisin is in raisin bread. God is in us like wet is in water. You can’t separate wet from water. Water is wet, period. We think we’re only this human personality, but we’re God with a suit on,” McDowell said. “We have to recognize that we are eternal, spiritual beings who are here to be the Word in the flesh just like Jesus. We should celebrate Easter every day. Easter is any day that we’re living in the awareness of the resurrecting, overcoming power of God.”
The resurrection is now. The Christ within is casting out all obstacles today.