"Until the end of the 19th century all Christians accepted the resurrection of Jesus as an actual physical event," however, "When Bible scholars started to study the Bible more critically during this century, they often came to different conclusions." (Maxwell Alexander, Christianity Renewed)
I'm sharing with you my conviction.
To Use The Gift of Intellect
Since all of us shall follow the enumerable caravan to the life beyond, let us know some facts about physical death, our spirit and where it will go, the conditions that rule the world of matter and make mention of the laws that govern the spiritual world. We will sift reality from vain imaginations through the use of our gift of intellect.
With these we will know the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus ... and become free.
Material Body "Die" The Spirit Lives
The body is subjected to the physical law, thus will "die" and decompose. This is the order of material creations. Man's reality is spirit which is indestructible. It abides with the law of eternal progression.. It does not "die", therefore, does not end. The spirit is immortal and can be eternal. (Immortal and eternal are two different things. There is a condition we know of as spiritually dead and the spirit that attains eternal life.)
Material Body Submits To Decomposition Process
During physical death the spirit separates from the body. The material body that is no longer connected to the spirit will not be the same form anymore. The body will submit to the decomposition process. The "from dust to dust" operation takes over. The molecules and atoms that were once cohesed by the law of unity (that formed the body) separate. They, however, are not lost at all. They are dispersed. Some will be united with other atoms to form other physical forms of creation.
Death Is Rebirth of the Spirit
Death is much like the birth of a child. At birth the umbilical cord that binds the mother and the child is cut for complete separation. At birth, the child dies from the small, dark and watery womb world to come to live in this immense and sunlighted world.
The Silver Cord Disconnects
This is exactly what happens during physical death. The silver cord that connects the spirit and the body becomes disconnected. And, off goes the spirit to journey towards God. The spirit goes to the spiritual world where it truly belongs. In that world it lives magnificent lives towards perfection. Jesus Himself hinted, "In my Father's house are many mansions." Mansions are the many life times the spirit must live to perfect itself.
Material Body Is Not Needed In The World of Spirits
Material creations are ever subjected to the composition and decomposition process of atoms and molecules.
In the place of spirits there are no atoms and molecules because these belong to the material plane. The body which was once the physical machine of the spirit for its development is no longer needed there. The organs.. heart, intestines, pancreas, liver, eyes, nose, ears and systems of the material body does not exist in the world of subtle energy.
Spirits don't eat material food...fruits, cereals, honey and greens. It follows that the digestive system cannot be of use there, equally so, will the excretory system be. Anything material we see with our physical eyes here remains here. No material thing is in the world of spirits.
God's creations, visible or invisible are ruled by immutable spiritual laws for perfect order and harmony. No criss-crossing of any sort happens.
To believe that Jesus took up His body and brought it with Him to heaven cannot be right. He did not need a physical body complete with organs and systems. He has no need of them there as He did need them here. In the spiritual world, He would not eat fruits and grains and/or go to the rest room to be relieved of bodily discomfort.
Jesus Ascended With An Indestructible Body
For Jesus to ascend to heaven with His material body is unimaginable. It would not conform to divine order, nor, to harmony. He ascended with an indestructible form not made of physical molecules, and not at all in a corruptible physical body.
Just To Console Our Fear
We are so afraid to die and leave this body that we want to believe we will go to heaven with it. We are so attached to this plane of life. We greatly fear dying. We are comforted to be told that Jesus ascended to heaven with his material body, so, shall we, too.
A Chick Inside The Egg Shell Forever
What would happen if our deepest wish to remain in this physical body until eternity be granted? We will be like a chick inside the egg shell forever. The spirit will never progress. It will never see the "many mansions" that are prepared for us. It will never undergo perfection. It will be a condition of a man who never leaves his own island. He deprives himself of the experiences of travel and the education and joys of seeing the many parts of this awesome beautiful wonderful world.
The Divine Command To Be Perfect
We are commanded ... "be, ye, therefore, perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." The process of death is the way to this perfection. This includes "deaths and births" as different stages to achieve the divine command. The process is for our own enlargement and advancement as "sons of God."
The chick that came out of the eggshell shall not go back again and curl inside the cracked egg, and say, "mmmm how comfortable and progressive it is to be back in this broken shell." It will continue to evolve through different stages.
A Drop Compared To....
In the world of spirits the "senses" are tremendously magnified. The five senses that we know of here that gives us the feel, the sight, the touch and understanding of the world around us are but a drop compared to the ocean of awareness that the spirit is endowed with, "such as no tongue can adequately reveal nor any earthly agency can describe." How can we ever compare the womb world of a foetus to this world of ours?
Who wants to stay in the womb of his mother for fifty, sixty, eighty or ninety years? Is it bad to "die" from our mother's womb to come and live in this wonderful world?
How could Jesus trade the greatness of the powerful spiritual capacities in exchange for the offers of the physical body? He knew the limitations of the realm of matter. He knew gross matter is subjected to decomposition and belongs to the plane of the physical. He will never violate the immutable laws set by God that govern all levels of Grand Life. He, knew, to die was to fulfill His own plane of evolution.
In This Age Of Reason
Let us stop to think about the resurrection of Jesus in flesh. Let our guage be the principle of the harmony of science and religion. Let another measure be the law of unfettered search for truth.
We attend schools and universities. What for? To know the truth. We go to church religiously to seek divine truth. Our mind is always in quest for knowledge, faith, understanding and wisdom. We do not agree to blind acceptance...we have scientific minds. We are seekers of religious truth.
Would resurrection of Jesus in flesh not sound conflicting and contrary to science and reason? Would such condition be acceptable to the intellect? Does it sound like the old and cruel ignorance that the sun revolves around the earth?!
True Resurrection of Jesus
Let us know the true meaning of the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. How should it be understood?
"The resurrection of the Divine Manifestations is not of the body. Their states, their condition, their acts, the things they have established, their teachings, their expressions, their parables, their instructions have a spiritual and divine signification and have no connection with material things." (Abdul'-Baha, Some Answered Questions.)
The eastern sage, Abdul'-Baha, further explained that the resurrection of Jesus from the interior of the earth is symbolical. "It is spiritual and divine fact, and not material, and likewise His ascension to heaven is spiritual and not material ascension."
Like a Lifeless Body
When Jesus, the Christ was crucified, the disciples were deeply troubled. They greatly feared the systematic extermination of their group. They did not have courage to do what their Master told them to do. They did not go out and teach, instead they went into hiding. Even Peter denied the Master.
Spiritually Revitalized By Mary Magdalene
The dark and sad situation of the disciples was symbolic of the reality of the Christ that was hidden for two days. His cause was like a lifeless body. When Mary of Magdala reminded them of the admonitions of the Christ the disciples became re-assured. They gained confidence and courage and the Holy Spirit surrounded them.
The disciples came out and spread the message of Jesus fearlessly. They abandoned their homes and became wanderers for the Cause of their Master. They bravely faced perils to teach about eternal life.
The once "spiritless" disciples found life, and made the teachings and admonitions of the Christ became manifest and resplendent. The religion of Jesus, the Christ found life again.
"This is the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus, and this is true resurrection."
We are all vessels. Some are huge. Some are big. Some are small. My little vessel has caught droplets of thoughts and truths that stream the ethers. Whatever I receive and contain, I fully give away.