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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

“Doctrine of Atonement”
For April 10—16, 2017

By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. of Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett) / (630) 830-8683

Although the word “atonement” as used in the New Testament, means “reconciliation,” traditional, Christian theology generally emphasizes Jesus’ suffering, and that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross served as redemption from sin for the whole world. Those who “accept” Jesus as their savior are said to be “saved” and those who do not remain subject to sin and all of the consequences that follow.

Mary Baker Eddy took issue with the traditional view. She did not feel that Jesus died vicariously for all sinners, but that he endured the crucifixion in order to prove the eternality of Life, Soul, and Spirit, and the nothingness of matter. As this Lesson explains, Jesus’ sacrifice had a massive impact on the world, and his demonstration over death, served to prove that Life overcomes death, and love overcomes hate. Additionally, as mentioned in Section 1, Jesus “did life’s work…in mercy to mortals,—to show them how to do theirs, but not to relieve them of a single responsibility.” In short, Jesus’ atonement showed us the way out of the flesh.

There are several prevalent beliefs that need to be corrected in order to gain the full efficacy of Jesus’ work. Jesus himself was keen on pointing these out. In the Golden Text we read: “Jesus cried…” Commentators feel that this indicated a vehement expression. He wasn’t making a mere suggestion, but pointing out an important fact: “He who believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me.” This is important because Jesus did not take credit for his doctrine. He knew it came from God. And he also knew that God was in charge of his mission, which was to bring light to those abiding in the darkness of worldly thought. To “abide in darkness” could be equated to living in ignorance of our oneness with God. Jesus’ primary mission is to unite us with God.

In the Responsive Reading Jesus is turning the thoughts of his disciples away from his personality to God. In order to unite with God, mortals must let go of material attachments. Some of the strongest attachments in human existence are those of the family. Indeed, surnames generally are taken from the male head of household and it’s not unusual for people to get their first ideas of who they are from their family. Many also look to the family for support and safety. Jesus made an adjustment to this. He said, “call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your father, which is in heaven.”

Jesus is shifting our trust away from men to God. Theologian Albert Barnes (1798-1870), adds that, “the word ‘father’ also denotes ‘authority, eminence, superiority, a right to command, and a claim to particular respect.’ In this sense it belongs eminently to God, and is not right to give it to people.” He also writes, “Christ taught them that the source of all life and truth was God, and they [men] ought not to seek or receive a title which properly belongs to him [God].”

Phillip doesn’t seem to understand what Jesus is getting at. His confusion represents the short-sightedness of mortal belief. He thinks literally, and Jesus addresses this by explaining that his own oneness with the Father is expressed in everything he says and does. Jesus promises too, that following him and recognizing his oneness with God brings peace that far exceeds what the world can offer.

In context Jesus is explaining that he has to leave them, and understandably they are feeling discouraged and sad. We might paraphrase some of what Jesus is saying this way: “You’re sad because I have to leave, but that’s only because your thinking is small. You’re thinking like a mortal, still clinging to your personal relationship with me. But, if you understood and saw me through spiritual sense, and loved me spiritually, you’d be delighted for both of us. For you would know that the path I’m taking is leading to perfection and full unity with my heavenly Father.”

Jesus gave ample proof of his doctrine through his healing power. Today, we have to take the same leap the disciples did, from materially based personal thinking, to a spiritual understanding of our oneness with divine Love. As in Jesus’ time, the healing record of Christian Science today gives us encouragement and proof of the truth of his teaching.

Section 1: Jesus’ Oneness with the Father

When one looks at the world and human experience from a purely material standpoint, it certainly seems like life is short and full of troubles. Humanly speaking, man seems to be a stranger in a desolate land, eking out a living, trying to get what he can for himself, and vying against all others who are all looking for their piece of a limited pie. If we believe that we live on our own apart from God, either placed in these circumstances by Him and left to work it out, or that there is no God at all and we’re just in a constant struggle, life can seem a real challenge. A major part of Jesus’ mission was to put an end to the belief that man is separated from God. Jesus showed man’s oneness with his Maker and the transformative, healing effect of that oneness. Jesus showed us what “living” really means (B1).

We may sometimes feel that in order to follow Jesus we have to give up many things we now find enjoyable. Sometimes it seems that the idea of “atonement” is sort of somber—more to do with suffering and giving things up. Rather than focusing on giving things up, Jesus’ teachings are filled with gaining spiritual things—laboring for that which is eternal and abundant. Jesus told his listeners that to do the works of God they needed to first, believe (B2). In effect, he was saying, “You have to begin by believing what I’m telling you, and by following my path. You must also understand that this isn’t my personal opinion; I’m sharing what comes to me directly from God. My life is doing His will, not my own. In doing so, I know that I cannot lose anything.” Knowing this, Jesus was willing to give his so-called material life for his friends (B3). What greater sacrifice can there be? But here again, Jesus knew he wasn’t really giving up anything.

As mentioned above, Jesus prepared his disciples for what was coming. He assured them that he was going to be embracing his true nature, and they would see how they could do it as well. It may look to them as if he would be forsaken and alone, but he knew he would always be with God (B4). Jesus also yearned for his followers to share that same oneness with God that he did (B5). It’s comforting to remember then that Jesus prayed not only for his disciples, but for all who should believe on him through their word throughout all time. That means, he prayed for you and me too, and as we know, Jesus’ prayers were always effective.

Our textbook reminds us that this was Jesus’ mission—to show mortals how to demonstrate man’s oneness with God (S1). Traditional Christian theology holds that Jesus’ sacrifice was meant to purchase our freedom from sin if we believe in him. But Mrs. Eddy realized that Jesus didn’t do it for us, but showed us how to do it for ourselves. It seems natural that for most people their number one priority is self-preservation. They love their own lives over any others. But Jesus gave us a “truer sense of love” (S2). He showed us a love beyond personal attachment. Such love blesses everyone, and enables us to free ourselves from the bondage of all fleshly ills.

Jesus was so closely aligned with God that he said, “I and my Father are one.” But he didn’t mean he and God were the same, or that his human personality was one with God. It was the Christ—his divine nature—that made him inseparable from the creator (S3). Our Leader explains the unbreakable relationship between God and man, as like a drop of water with the ocean, or a ray of light with the sun (S4). [Click here for a YouTube music video of these analogies in “I and My Father (Are One)” written by CedarS’ mom, Cherie Brennan, in her album “You Are Loved”.] I think the ray of light analogy is pretty clear. You simply can’t have one without the other. In this analogy there is clearly a cause and an effect—a source, and a result of that source. Our textbook defines atonement as “the exemplification of man’s unity with God…” (S5). Notice there’s nothing mentioned about suffering—only unity with God.

Section 2: Betrayal, Trial, and Crucifixion—Enduring Suffering

A recent PBS program, The Last Days of Jesus, posited that historical evidence contradicted the timeline of the Passion Week as given in the Scriptures. They said that the events made much more sense if they’d taken place over a six-month period. They also surmised that Jesus’ crucifixion was fallout from a political scheme gone sour. There was of course, no mention at all of Jesus’ healing works, or his theology, aside from his connection with John the Baptist. Irrespective of the motives of his persecutors, it is accepted that Jesus did suffer the torture and agony of crucifixion.

Notwithstanding these new theories, the Scriptures tell us that Jesus knew what he would be facing, and that he braced himself for the ordeal through prayer. Albert Barnes notes that the passages in John 17:1-26 are the longest prayer recorded in the New Testament (B6). He writes, “It was offered on the most tender and solemn occasion that has ever occurred in our world, and it is perhaps the most sublime composition to be found anywhere.” Barnes also notes that Jesus was so obedient to his mission that he could say he had “finished the work” he was given to do even before meeting the challenge of crucifixion. Barnes points to Jesus as a model for us all saying, “How happy would it be if men would imitate his example and not leave their great work of life to be done on a dying bed?” Barnes’ reasoning here is similar to that in the well-known article “The Way of Gethsemane” by Lucy Hays Reynolds, in which she writes, “had [Jesus] not first surrendered everything in Gethsemane that could be crucified or killed, think you that this great demonstrator of Love could have been victorious over the cross or could have risen from the tomb?” (Anthology of Classic Articles II, p.93).

The best man who ever trod the globe endured the worst of human indignities. Jesus’ betrayal and arrest is another example of the unreliability of fleshly ties. Jesus is betrayed by one of his own disciples. Even Pilate seems to hesitate in passing sentence. It must have appeared odd that the Jews were turning against a harmless teacher and healer with such viciousness (B7, B8).

Everyone endures some experience in life that isn’t fair. But Jesus received the most unfair treatment imaginable, topped by the most cruel punishment. Mrs. Eddy recognized the extreme injustice of it all, but saw that it could not have been avoided if he was to prove the ultimate supremacy of Truth over error and Life over death (S6). She dismisses the theological belief that God somehow God sent His Son to suffer for sinners (S7). This belief of divinely ordained suffering is what makes many think atonement is a painful process. But in Science, atonement involves the destruction of suffering through the power of Love. Mrs. Eddy could relate somewhat through her own experiences to the pain of betrayal and misunderstanding Jesus endured (S9). She too had students betray her, and she was often abused and misrepresented. She knew that the “hatred of Truth and Love” could be very hard to bear.

Mrs. Eddy writes, “The efficacy of the crucifixion lay in the practical affection and goodness it demonstrated for mankind” (S10). “Efficacy” means the power to produce an effect. So the crucifixion made such an impact on history because it was a supreme act of love. As Jesus said, “greater love hath no man than this…” Jesus was way beyond the theology of his time, and to him it wasn’t merely a theoretical issue. It was his very reason for being. Mrs. Eddy writes that the distance between the world’s thought and Jesus’ understanding “brought upon him the anathemas of the age” (S11). An “anathema” was a form of excommunication that forbad all churches, magistrates, and private persons to have anything to do with the condemned. That’s pretty severe. Jesus could have chosen to save himself, but he let them attempt to destroy him in order to prove the dominion of Spirit over the flesh (S12). Jesus did it to show us that Love is ever-present, and that nothing can separate us from God.

Section 3: The Tomb—“A Refuge…”

Even though, to human sense, Jesus had succumbed to the crucifixion, he was not left alone. The Book of John says two Pharisees who were sympathetic to Jesus made sure he received a proper burial, and they treated him with the respect and care he deserved—but was so deprived of hours earlier (B9). Scholars debate over the details, some saying that “an hundred pound weight” was enough myrrh and aloe for two hundred bodies, but the details aren’t that important. What counts is the fact that Jesus was cared for.

The psalmist rejoiced that he could never be separated from God even if he tried to be (B10). [“Whither” —a song from this Psalms 139 citation—is a camp favorite as noted in W’s PS#1.] Even the “night shall be light” about him. Sometimes we too, seem utterly alone and far from God. But there is always help at hand, and we are never abandoned.

Our Leader beautifully describes Jesus’ seemingly forlorn condition. He had no human help during his ordeal, but he proved that material conditions cannot affect the living Christ, nor can hatred touch it (S13). Sometimes, as many of us have discovered, the hardest experience can provide a space in which to grow farther than we ever have before. Mrs. Eddy says the tomb, actually provided Jesus with a refuge from his enemies. In the tomb Jesus was separated from the human scene, but never separated from God. This is reminiscent of Jonah’s three days in the belly of the whale. Considered on their own, severe trials are anything but pleasant. We sometimes seem to be shorn of all comforts, and completely on our own. But when all the material aids and comforts are gone, we have the opportunity to turn whole-heartedly to Spirit [—turning a sense of being alone to a sense of being all-one]. Sometimes to human sense, all seems lost as it did for the disciples (S14). In a way though, such times also take people’s thought off of us, and just give us the space we need to grow. Our Leader knew that Jesus rose higher because of the cup of bitterness he drank (S15). All hard experience forces us to let go of all fleshly ties in order unite us more closely to God. Before we can claim victory, Love must triumph over hate.

It’s a law in Christian Science that man and God are never separated (S16). Our understanding of this opens the door to immortality.

Section 4: Resurrection—Spiritualization through Yielding Material Beliefs

Is resurrection possible? Paul’s question (B11) applies as much to our time as his. Many may feel the resurrection is impossible and a hoax. Such an occurrence would, after all, indicate that Jesus did in fact possess some extraordinary ability beyond human explanation. Raising others from the dead is one thing, and hard enough for some to believe. But raising oneself—that goes beyond the bounds of credulity. But the Christian narrative is predicated on the fact that, despite the efforts to kill him, Jesus indeed rose from the grave.

Throughout this Lesson we’ve seen how finding oneness with God requires letting go of human beliefs and fleshly ties. Mary’s experience at the tomb (B12) is an example of being in a transitional stage. At first, she’s lamenting the loss of a person, her teacher and friend. She soon realizes she’s looking for him in the wrong place. There’s nothing in the tomb, and the angel thoughts direct her to look elsewhere. Still thinking she’s looking for a dead body, she doesn’t even recognize Jesus, assuming he is someone else. But when he speaks her eyes are opened. Immediately she reverts to her old familiar ways and reaches to hold him. However Jesus turns her thought to higher things, reminding her that his path leads to an exit from the flesh.

In the meantime, his disciples have cut themselves off from everything out of fear of their enemies. But their fear is not enough to stop their master from reaching them, and giving them the peace mentioned earlier that far surpasses anything the world can offer.

Our Leader reiterates that Jesus accomplished his victory over the grave for the enlightenment and salvation of the world (S17). Even after the resurrection, Jesus continued to teach, and gently direct his disciples toward heavenly things—away from matter to oneness with Spirit. Resurrection isn’t merely a return to, or the resuscitation of a fleshly form. It’s a “spiritualization of thought” through which material belief yields to spiritual understanding (S18). The resurrection was proof of Jesus’ victory over the flesh (S19). What mortals thought or believed about Jesus’ seeming death had no effect on the spiritual reality of Life. Jesus appeared to his students after the crucifixion because they were ready to see him, providing indisputable proof of all he taught. This enabled them to operate on a higher level and therefore, to apprehend a more spiritual view of man (S20). The power of Christ has rolled away the stone of separation between man and eternal life. This shows us that atonement can be accomplished (S21).

Section 5: Ascension—Final Exit from the Flesh

In context, citation B13 is actually after the ascension, but the point is made, that Jesus’ students were indeed emboldened after witnessing the resurrection and ascension. Before ascending, Jesus blesses them, and then they’re parted. But this time their parting isn’t sorrowful. It’s full of joy because they know that Jesus is not dead, but alive and consciously exiting the flesh (B14). They also have hopes of seeing him again. This event understandably strengthens their resolve to carry on Jesus’ mission. They are aware that even though their master is no longer with them in person, the Lord is always working with them supporting their preaching and their healing work (B15).

It’s important to note that all Christians are united in this healing effort, and we all have equal opportunity to carry on the cause (B16).

Jesus showed us that the “real essence of manhood” is spiritual. The material picture fades away when the reality of Spirit appears (S22). Jesus’ ascension literally changed the world. Though they tried to destroy him, his enemies failed, and even if they thought they succeeded, it became clear that an idea can’t be killed (S23). It’s important to note that Mrs. Eddy writes, Jesus overcame “all error” not just some of it (S24). If we expect to follow his path, we too, have to be “all in.” We have to drop all fleshly ties and find our at-one-ment with God alone. Admittedly, this isn’t easy. Along with “joys and triumphs,” there will be “sorrows and afflictions” (S25). We have to be willing to depart from all material desires and beliefs. But remember it’s not all “giving up.” It’s putting on spirituality and gaining eternal life. It’s waking to our inseparability from our Maker. The textbook tells us we must bring this out in our daily lives (S26). The final step in atonement is full realization of our oneness with God (S27).

Section 6: God’s Holy Arm—Evidence of God’s Power

Isaiah implies that those who believe are those who have seen the power of God in action (B17). Isaiah also declares that all nations shall see the proof of divine power. The image of making “bare” the arm (B18) is taken from warriors who bare their arm for battle enabling them to strike with the sword without encumbrance. Through our understanding of our oneness with God, we know that we fully lean on Him and not on our own strength [—as we “roll up our sleeves” for any good accomplishment]. Understanding the atonement is truly reason for rejoicing (B19). Through the understanding of our oneness with God, suffering disappears and divine Love rules.

Our textbook repeats: “Let’s rejoice!” (S28). Like the early Christians, when we see that power realized in healing, we cannot help but acknowledge that man and God are inseparable, and that this is the same power that enabled Jesus to overcome the grave and rise above material sense altogether (S29).

Citation S30 includes the last three tenets of Christian Science. It enumerates everything this Lesson has already covered: The power of Love is efficacious and brings us into a full awareness of our inseparability with God; Yes, we are “saved” through Christ. The purpose of the crucifixion wasn’t merely so Jesus could die for us and save us from sin, but to show us the “allness of Soul…and the nothingness of matter.” And finally, we have a part to play in the atonement—to pray for the same conscious oneness that Jesus had with God, and to bring it out in our lives.

In Science, which is another way of saying, “in reality,” there is only one Mind (S31). That being the case, it is only logical to conclude that there are no minds separated from the one Mind. God is Mind, and man is idea, and all ideas are in that Mind and inseparable from it.

[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1—Cobbey Crisler on John 17:20-21(B5)
“Then John 17:20 begins the third section of the prayer. For whom? For us. That is, if we believe. "Those which shall believe on me through the disciples 'word."

Can you possibly envision the kind of character required to spend the very evening of Gethsemane praying for us? Is there a shepherd motive? Its ultimate is being exemplified there."Those that believe on me through their word. "

Has that prayer terminated? Has any communication between God and man, ascending or descending angels, terminated? Does that prayer still rest on the Son of Man, on you and me?

John 17:21. The prayer is, "that they all may be one." Look around and see what the major target is. To keep "all men from being one." If one can keep man from being at-one, then you're stuck with a divided God as well. It wrecks and ruins basic theology, that is, for the ones participating. No fragmentation, no separation. Jesus' prayer, as one of the hymns says, "For all his brethren, Father that we may be one." That prayer extends way down to our age. If that were Jesus' prayer, it better be ours, especially if we claim to be his followers. The prayer "that we all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me." There's the standard of measurement. With that, Jesus ends his audible prayer.”
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#2—Cobbey Crisler on John 17: 1-4 (B5): Jesus’ prayer for himself having finished
In Chapter 17 of John's gospel, Jesus is praying audibly. If we've ever wanted to be present when Jesus is praying, it would be during this very moving prayer indeed. It's divided into three sections. To whom does the prayer, represented in the first five verses, refer? Himself. It's a prayer for himself Jesus did take time out for himself. This is just before Gethsemane. So you know what's in his thoughts.

John 17:1. It's in this prayer he says, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.”

John 17:2, "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. "

John 17:3, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

John 17:4. Imagine being able to say at the end of an earthly career, ''I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." It would be wonderful if we could say that in any given day. But this is an entire career.”
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#3—Cobbey Crisler on John 18: 1-3 (B7)
“John Chapter 18 begins with Verse 1. He walks across the brook Cedron, separating the Temple Mount of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. There is a garden. He had gone there frequently.

John 18:2. "Judas knew it." When one stands on that site of the mountain in the traditional spot of the Garden of Gethsemane, you can see as never before what it must have appeared like. Imagine seeing the glaring light of torches snaking their way down that valley across the Cedron brook into the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciples would have known that was coming. They couldn't miss it.

Jesus' first words to Judas in the Garden are found in the Gospel of Matthew. Again notice what's in his thought. If any human had any right to be resentful, Jesus could have regarded Judas in that way.

Matthew 26:50, Instead of anger, he says, "Friend," That's his first word to Judas. "wherefore art thou come?
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#4 on a Win-Win Campership Gift related to Psalms 139 (B10): Erin Williams, a past CedarS counselor, sings a camp favorite “Whither Shall I Go” with lyrics from Psalms 139: 7-8 (B10) to music written by Mark Shepherd. It is Track 9 on the “Evening” CD in a 3-CD trilogy called “CedarS Camps Around the Clock”. This 3-CD album is available for $25 with 100% of the proceeds from the sale going toward camperships thanks to the generous gift of a former CedarS Board member who made the album possible. Call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 with how many you’d like to be sent as upbeat, inspirational gifts for yourself or Sunday School families.]

[W’s PS#5—Cobbey Crisler on John 20:1-19
John 20:1, “Womanhood appears at the tomb." Where are the male disciples?
They don’t seem to be around.

In John 20:2 "The first message from Mary Magdalene is they've stolen the body and we don't know where they've taken it."

John 20:3, "Peter," and notice who else, "and that other disciple come to the sepulcher.”

John 20:4, "And they have a race." These little homely details give you an indication of authorship. "They ran both together, "but guess who outran Peter? "The other disciple." The author may not mention, saying, "That's me." But we do have recorded for history that this, "other disciple did outrun Peter to the sepulcher. "

John 20:5. This other disciple who some have taken obviously to refer to John,

"Stooping down, and looking in, he sees the linen clothes there but he doesn't go in."

John 20:6, "But Peter, woomph, right in." He didn't wait on ceremony, which was kind of what we're used to in Peter. "Simon Peter comes in; he sees also the linen clothes lie there.”

John 20:7, again a homely detail, or incident, but a vital point to understand in comprehending what went on within that tomb. Because the death barrier was broken for all time. The Son of Man proved that the God-given dominion of Genesis 1 included dominion over the last enemy.

The word "gospel" in secular Greek, according to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, is "a technical word for the news of victory." Think of the gospel that emerged from that tomb, the ultimate news that the crown of victory could and does always surmount and encircle even the cross.

But those "linen clothes" are important too. Because they show the human sense of order that was part of Jesus' character. "The napkin, that had been about his head, lying in a separate place from the linen clothes, everything wrapped together in a place by itself. " I'm inclined to feel that if any of us had undergone such an experience, like a resurrection, we would have burst from the tomb and headed for the nearest telephone, and not cared too much what the precincts we had left looked like. But Jesus did not leave until all humanly reflected that sense of divine order which he lived and felt.

Read John 20:9 and you will see how important the walk to Emmaus is for the progress of Christianity (Luke 24:13-31). The author here confesses that "they were unaware of the Scripture that Jesus must rise again from the dead,” even though every gospel attests to the fact that Jesus had told his students what would occur.

That shows what is required of listeners.

Not just for their ears to work normally, not just to hear, but to listen and to comprehend deeply what is said.

So what did Peter and John, the big guns, so to speak of Jesus' group of close disciples, what did they do faced with this open tomb?

John 20:10 says, "they went away again unto their own home."

Before we totally blame those two disciples for their inadequate response to such a unique barrier-shattering event, let's check our own motives, our own thoughts, when faced with such news of victory. Even when we hear such news read in church, or referred to in a sermon, or textual reading, do we then just go away "unto our own home"? Christianity would never have gotten anywhere if the disciples had remained in their own home or in their fishing boats.

That word "resurrection" in Greek is anastasis, which means literally, "a step upwards." Fortunately, if manhood was not ready for the news of resurrection, if manhood was not ready for such a "step upwards,” womanhood was.

20:11 tells us that Mary Magdalene, who had maintained a vigil all night,

"Stood outside that sepulcher and she was weeping.” Earlier, she had given the news the tomb had been empty, and the body probably stolen. Now, for the first time, she did what Peter and John had done earlier, "she stooped down,” showing

that the narrow entrance to the tomb, closed by the rolling stone, was not even the height of Mary. "And she looked into the sepulcher."

John 20:12. There in the same place she had looked not very long before, and had seen nothing but the material details of the tomb, “Mary saw two angels.” Were they there when Peter and John looked? Were they a reflection, perhaps, of the receptivity of Mary to resurrection?

John 20:13, "The angels speak directly to her and ask her why she’s crying. She explains, they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid him."

In John 20:14 notice what happens to Mary. The language here expresses a change in her entire attitude. "It says, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing," But as is the case in all the resurrection appearances, "she doesn't recognize him at first.”

John 20:15. Then Jesus addresses her in his characteristic way, the way he addresses all women. There is no other example of this form of address in all of ancient literature. It is a rather impersonal form of address, almost as if Jesus were addressing womanhood, not only individually, but generically, "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" Still, Mary, being in the midst of the garden belonging to Joseph of Aramathea, thought perhaps that she was talking to the care­ taker, the gardener. She said, "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. " What a bold gesture for a woman, undoubtedly of slight stature, to offer to carry away the dead weight of a man’s body!

John 20:16. At that point, Jesus requires Mary to turn herself completely from that tragic sense of defeat and death in that one word, "Mary.” John tells us that "Mary turned herself and said, Rabboni; Master.” And what that word Master meant! Who else had proved and lived the meaning of that word like Jesus? Now, even the Master of the last enemy. But that one word, and the love behind it, ‘Mary,’ caused her to turn herself." In John 20:17, Jesus is saying, "Touch me not,·" indicating that now was not the time to lower the sense of love to emotion. In fact, he says, "I am not yet ascended to my Father, " showing that he still was aware that steps of progress were needed between the resurrection and the ascension. As a step upward was the victory over death, ascension is the final or ultimate victory, not over death alone, but over the grave. For Jesus left not even bodily evidence of his earthly sojourn.

Jesus gives Mary Magdalene a mission, a mission that violates the very social practice and custom of that age. That woman were not qualified and not permitted to bear witness in a court of law. Mary, to Jesus, had qualified as a witness, to his resurrection. She was the one who was there. Receptivity is the qualification.

Look at the message he entrusted to her. "Go to my brethren, “Go to manhood, and be this witness, "and say unto them, literally, I am ascending unto my Father, and your Father." Think of that literal statement, “I am ascending." He realized obviously that this was a matter of growth even for him.

John 20:18, "While Mary does obediently go to the disciples. " She carried out her mission. She explained to them, “she had seen the Lord, and what had been said to her.”

John 20:19. Then there is a gap. "That same day at evening, the disciples trembling in their boots for fear of the Jews, behind closed doors," but those doors could not be closed and locked to Jesus. "Suddenly, without regard for those material obstacles or barriers, called locked doors, Jesus appears in the midst of them." Could a door be a barrier to one who had proved death itself was no barrier?”
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple,” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#6—Cobbey Crisler on Luke 24. 50-53 (B14) –united to Jesus and all Christians through the Scriptures
"Verse 50. He led them out as far as Bethany, lifted up his hands, and blessed them. He is about to disappear physically, personally from his disciples. Do they need him personally or physically anymore? Where have they found him? In the Scriptures. Are the Scriptures even still with us, after twenty centuries? Jesus was intent to let us know that we are at no disadvantage regardless of the time gap in human history.

We can be as close to him as he desired us to be. As close as his immediate disciples, because we both have access through the Scriptures. What a beautiful, ageless, impartial way to unite all Jesus' followers to the Master through the Scriptures. Not even human history can stand in the way. It's just as fresh as if we'd walked with him personally. Perhaps even fresher because we've been able to comprehend him that way.

But not unless we have made the effort to get into the Scriptures and find it. We'll know whether we've made the effort or not, if our hearts are burning or not. If they aren't, then the Christian Church hasn't even begun for us. Any more than it had begun for Jesus' disciples, until their hearts began to burn. With that kind of enthusiasm Jesus humanly says, "Farewell."

Verse 51. It says he was "carried up into heaven." The ascension. What a remedy for Adam's deep sleep! The final extinction of the Adamic stranglehold on the destiny of manhood and womanhood!

Verse 52. They're not sad any longer. They don't miss Jesus personally or physically. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

Verse 53. Christianity is going to begin to grow out from, "The temple, the church, praising and blessing God." The word "Amen" in Hebrew is "That's the truth." It means truth.

Luke will pick up his pen in his second volume and tell us how that church grew. From the walk to Emmaus, through the Book of Acts, in less than a generation you will discover the remote province of Palestine in the Roman Empire. Out of that tiny little seed, as small as a mustard seed geographically, there grew a "tree and the birds of the air lodged in its branches" (Matthew 13:32). Even members of Caesar's household in Rome had become Christian.

What an influx of the Holy Spirit! Luke had felt it. He breathed it in. He utilized it. He shared it with us. That was his gospel. It was the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost put to use and then given back to us as a gospel. We've all discovered that if we are doing the works of God, "our names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20).

That must have something to do with a gospel, too. In fact, it may mean that you and I cannot rest on Luke's laurels. If you and I have dominion, by divine gift and mandate, then by that same mandate, as the likeness of the Original, we are to be exercising it.

If we are exercising it, then those words, "it is written," may be coming more clearly to us than ever before. In fact, in "Amen", in truth, we find that more and more of our identity and being are being written by God.

Whatever is written by God is a gospel to be shared. If you and I are writing our gospels with God, don't you think the world needs to be able to read them?”
Luke the Researcher” by B. Cobbey Crisler

**You can buy your own transcripts and audio recordings of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: Please email your order or inquiry to, or directly to Janet Crisler, at]

1) $650 (in $50 increments, still 13 to go!) to split apart a key tractor to replace its clutch so it can do its mission of helping keep CedarS mowed and well-manicured.
2) Professional horse training ($120/day). Goal= To hire a trainer for 6 weeks to prepare our horses for campers. Gifts are matched! (10 days given! 13 to go!)

Thanks to earlier outpourings of love and support, CedarS is doing other needed Maintenance work before our 56th season, our "adopted" herd of horses are also being well cared, AND a growing stream of campership applications are being granted. However, we still need donations of about $125,000 more to grant the campership requests that traditionally come during this season. We also need $14.5k to meet our $50k match for Adopt the Herd! (CedarSAdopt the Herd matching fund opportunity goes through the end of our fiscal year, 9-30-17.) Thank each of you grateful for this service and our work, way beyond words and whinnies, for your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, able to be given at: ]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime to discuss current credit card and equity gifts as well as planned giving at our winter home/office by PHONE at 636-394-6162

or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011


[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. But, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share.]

American Camp Association

(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

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19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

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