The Easter of our Lives
1952 New Washington Series
Joel S. Goldsmith
It is the day of the Crucifixion, and the Master is seated by himself somewhat apart from the people in the courtyard. Outside the gates the crowd has gathered. These are the multitudes whom Jesus fed when they were an-hungered; these are the people whom he healed of their diseases, of their sins, and of their infirmities. Some of them he even raised from the dead. Now they have gathered to make sure that he is crucified. They have been lulled to forgetfulness of the good that they witnessed in his ministry, and evidently their ecclesiastical authorities have convinced them that Jesus meant to destroy their temple, their religion, even their God. The fact that they saw the healings and experienced them is forgotten in the cry, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
The Roman authorities are much concerned, because they have nothing against the man Jesus; they have nothing against his teaching; and they have no liking for the work of the day. This the Master understands. He knows that on one side are the representatives of the Roman law, who have no desire to perform their unpleasant task, while on the other side are the ungrateful people whom he has blessed.
So he has a right to do a little thinking, and we have the right to look into his mind and to speculate as to what he is thinking. Could it be as he sits there waiting for the inevitable that he is saying to himself, “What a great spiritual victory has been given me! What a great revelation from on high, a revelation so great that I know that the words which I have spoken will never pass away. Some day men will remember them and repeat them, and these words will lift those who hear out of the grave of sin, disease, and death.
“What a wonderful light God has given me! What grace I have received from on high that I should know the meaning of all things, past, present, and future. With this great light I have brought healing, consolation, and comfort, not only to those of my present age, but even before Abraham was, those who existed will receive this light. Unto eternity will it brighten the lives of men. It will overcome the world: the world of war; the world of disease; the world of fear; and the world of sin. Yes, God has been very good to me; God has blessed me.”
Alone in the courtyard, he remembers the love he has poured out on the world. In that remembrance, he must marvel at his own aloneness and ask, “With all my success, wherein has been my failure, if there is a failure? Wherein have I failed? Where are those I taught? Where are my disciples? Where are the apostles? Where are the twelve? Where are the seventy? Where are the two hundred? Where is my mother? Where are my brethren? Where are those who have been raised from the dead? Where are those who are to carry the message out into the world? Have I so failed that God has given me this great light and I have not been able to give it even to one of these?
“I placed my trust in Peter, in John, in Matthew, in Judas. What has become of them? What has become of me that I should not be able to inspire them with this great light which I have received? Wherein is my failure? Where is the man Lazarus? His sister Mary is here, outside the gate. She stands by with love and adoration, as does the other Mary, she who was taken in adultery. These two bear my burden with me. But those others of whom I have the right to expect devotion and sacrifice, those I have lost. They were my sheep, but I have lost them. Even my mother doesn’t seem to know me, to recognize my work, or to understand my mission. My brothers, little children with whom I grew up, with whom I played, and who saw me when my eyes were first opened to the revelation of God, even they seem not to know me.
“How is it that in this entire wide world, none to whom I have poured out myself, my message, my mission, comprehends it? Have I failed? The message hasn’t failed; the mission hasn’t failed, because it came from on high. I am not deceived. No one can tell me that this isn’t the Christ-message, because by its fruits I know it: the sick are healed; the dead are raised; to the poor the gospel is preached. But why is that I have raised up no one to carry on, no one to understand it, not even one to stand by and say, `Well done, good and faithful servant.’ No, there is no one!”
So the Master ponders the lack of receptivity and responsiveness in the people whom he has blessed. The louder the noise grows outside, the louder the clamor for his life, the greater must be his astonishment that in this hour of inevitability, no human being stands beside him. Somewhere between this moment of introspection and the moment when he is led out to the Crucifixion, the light, which enabled him to endure the Crucifixion, to rise from the tomb, and to complete his mission in the ascension, dawns in his consciousness. This influx of light brings the realization that man whose breath is in his nostrils never has, cannot now, and never will comprehend the spiritual message, the mission of the Christ. Always those to whom we pour out ourselves and give of ourselves must be the very ones to turn and rend us. That must inevitably be, because there is that in the human mind which does not want to be extinguished. That is the secret. That is the mystery.
Watch this fact, that there is that in the human mind which does not wish to be extinguished. It is that something called “I,” the human I, which boasts of its power, its wisdom, its understanding, and its goodness. This I is unwilling to be extinguished; it does not want to say, “Why callest thou me good? There is but one good, the Father in heaven.” It does not want to admit, “I of mine own self can do nothing; the Father doeth the works.” No! It likes to boast, “Just see how great is my understanding; see how great is my spirituality; see how great is my goodness.” When a message teaches that human beings of themselves are not good, that they are not spiritual, that mortals are not the sons of God, but that they must die daily and be re-born of the Spirit – when a teaching such as that is presented to the world, it is then that antagonism is aroused; it is then that the fawning mob becomes belligerent, and that gratitude gives way to the cross, the nails, and sword. Feed the multitudes, and they become the admiring throng; heal them, and they honor us by putting the robe and crown on us. But when they are told that they must deny themselves and recognize God as the reality of being, then there comes the experience of the crucifixion.
As the Master ponders this, there is again that repeated question, “Then have I failed? Did I fail?” and from somewhere deep within his own being comes the answer, “You could not succeed and you could not fail, because this is not your work. This is My work, you are My instrument. Did you not tell the people that if you spoke of yourself you bore witness to a lie, that this message was not yours but His that sent you? Now remember that, at this moment. You cannot fail, because you never had a message, and you never had a mission. You are the instrument through which this word of truth is given to the world. Your part has been fulfilled. Now comes the greatest revelation that you have ever had, and it is this: all that appears as human experience is but an illusion. You are destined to prove the greatest revelation, that even death is an illusion. This is the highest revelation ever given to the world, the revelation that ultimately will be its salvation. Death in its most cruel form is an illusion. Out of this will come your resurrection and your ascension, and out of its accompanying disgrace will come the crowning glory of your divine sonship.
“How then can you fail, since in this victory you bear witness to the impotence of hate and jealousy, and to the great truth of the illusory nature of all evil? In one experience you annihilate the entire belief that the human mind, with its iniquity, its wickedness, its ingratitude, and forgetfulness, is a power. Regardless of their depth, you show the nothingness of ingratitude, jealousy, envy, and malice. You prove to the world of the sons of God that none of these things can ever destroy the life, harmony, wholeness, message, or mission of divinity.”