When my first husband asked for a divorce, I felt as if my heart had been stomped on. Feelings of rejection, abandonment, anger, sadness, and confusion were some of the emotions that I experienced. Going through that divorce was what I would call a crucifixion experience.
We've all had crucifixion experiences, if we've lived long enough. They are the challenges that come into our lives--the crises, trials and tribulations.
During this Holy Week, we Christians celebrate Easter. It is a time of Passion Plays, Easter lilies, and the Easter Bunny. All the people that don't go to church the rest of the year (except maybe Christmas) come out and fill up the churches.
There are some churches that focus mainly on the crucifixion of Jesus--his pain and suffering on the cross. But to do so misses the incredible message of hope and new life that Jesus provided for the world and each of us personally. Jesus had to go through the crucifixion to have a resurrection and to teach us that death has no power over us. His message through the resurrection is also that we can overcome our challenges and be transformed through them.
My divorce forced me to call upon my inner strength and resilience. I had to go out and find a job and begin a new life. Through this experience, I eventually learned that I was a capable person and my confidence grew. And, when I was ready, my soulmate appeared and we later married.
When Jesus met with his disciples in his last moments, he said to them, "The Father will send a comforter in my name." The actual translated word that was used was "paraclete", not comforter, and it means "knowledge of God inside of you".
What Jesus was trying to tell us is that we are never alone--that we have God inside of us--or divine energy, whatever you care to call it. His message wasn't just for his disciples, but for us as well. And it wasn't the first time that he spoke of the indwelling presence. He often referred to the "kingdom of God" and "the kingdom of heaven" being within us.
At any moment in our lives, we can have a resurrection experience by focusing on that power and presence within us that is the living Christ. The apostle Paul spoke of this when he said, "Christ in you, your hope of glory." It is by awakening to and identifying with this Christ within that we are transformed and resurrected. As Paul said, "be transformed by the renewing of your minds."
On Easter, let us celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. But let us also celebrate our own resurrections and give thanks for the power and the glory of God--through the Christ within us--that strengthens and uplifts us. The Christ within gives us the ability to resurrect and transform our lives at any moment.