Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Consider the possibility that Jesus invites us to understand ourselves inside of the truth of who he was and is.
In Jesus’ birth, we learn he had both a divine and human origin. In other words, Jesus was a mix of divine DNA (God) and human DNA (Joseph and Mary). This is also true for each of us. Our fundamental Self is an expression or manifestation of the image, likeness, and being of God. That Self is one with God – always has been, is in every moment, and always will be. There is no separation.That Self took on humanity through the process of being born into this world. Jesus was both divine and human, and this is true of us.
Jesus died. His death is a reminder that part of the “truth” he claimed about himself included the impermanence of his human body and mind. Why did Jesus have to die? Because every human being has to die. The body and mind we are born into and develop over the course of our lifetime is not permanent. There is nothing wrong with this. It is not a problem to solve or overcome. The impermanence of our human body and mind does not compromise the truth; it is part of it. Like Jesus, we all will die. In the Bible, Jesus refers to us as his siblings, together in one family. We all have a common origin in God, and we all share the reality of our humanity and the human journey.
Jesus never died. That seems like a contradiction to what I just said. What I mean in this case is that the essence and nature of Jesus is permanent. At the most fundamental level where Jesus and God are one – that reality has no end, and cannot be diminished, compromised, threatened, disturbed, or terminated. This was the basis for Jesus appeal to his disciples to accept his human death in order that they might embrace his underlying spiritual identity. Jesus discouraged others from becoming attached to his human personality, and instead challenged people to find the truth of who he was inside themselves. In my mind, this is what we are celebrating at Easter – the eternal nature of our true Self that never dies but always lives and one with God.
Organized Christianity memorializes Jesus in his birth, death, and resurrection. Jesus taught that the truth of each of these were meant to be claimed as truth for ourselves. What I think is especially different about Jesus was not his birth, death or resurrection, but the life he lived. Jesus gave full expression to the truth of God and humankind as one. We are told in the gospels that Jesus himself went through a process of self-actualization – fully recognizing and expressing the truth of his identity. And then that day came when Jesus spoke those words with full awareness, “I am the truth.”
These are the words that we must now claim for ourselves and live.
(Photo by Darla Winn)