METAPHYSICAL INTERPRETATION OF JOHN CHAPTER 20
20:1Now on the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, while it was yet dark, unto the tomb, and seeth the stone taken away from the tomb. 20:2She runneth therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him. 20:3Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 20:4And they ran both together: and the other disciple outran Peter, and came first to the tomb; 20:5and stooping and looking in, he seeth the linen cloths lying; yet entered he not in. 20:6Simon Peter therefore also cometh, following him, and entered into the tomb; and he beholdeth the linen cloths lying, 20:7and the napkin, that was upon his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself.20:8Then entered in therefore the other disciple also, who came first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed.20:9For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 20:10So the disciples went away again unto their own home.
20:11But Mary was standing without at the tomb weeping: so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 20:12and she beholdeth two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 20:13And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 20:14When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and beholdeth Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 20:15Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 20:16Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turneth herself, and saith unto him in Hebrew, Rabboni; which is to say, Teacher. 20:17Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God. 20:18Mary Magdalene cometh and telleth the disciples, I have seen the Lord; and that he had said these things unto her.
ON THE RESURRECTION morning the friends and followers of Jesus seemed to have forgotten His promise that He would rise from the dead, and they looked for His body in the tomb. This incident shows that when the belief in death has overshadowed us, it darkens our understanding; we must pass from under this cloud before we can be conscious of the presence of awakened life. Mary was searching for her Lord and Master in the tomb even while He was at her side. John and Peter, failing to find Him where they expected Him to be, "went away again unto their own home."
Don't look in the tomb for the one you loved. Spirit is not confined in the chambers of the dead. When we fail to realize the new life in Christ we are sorrowful indeed. It is then that we should turn back to Christ Jesus (the I AM) who stands nearby and who says to the soul, "Why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?" Grief and the search for the lost one in some external place are then done away with quickly. The ascending thought of the I AM is the saving idea. "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God."
A resurrection takes place in us every time we thus rise to a realization of the perpetual indwelling life that connects us with the Father. We leave in the tomb of matter the graveclothes of mortal sense (the sense of being mortal), which are thoughts of man's limitation and inevitable subjection to material laws. Material laws are the laws that man has made for himself and his world.
The I AM is Spirit, but in order to rise into the realm of pure ideas it must not be attached to the clinging affections of the soul. (Jesus said to Mary, "Touch me not.") The two angels, "one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain," represent the positive words of life that bring spiritual powers to bear that lift the body out of matter into Spirit. These two bright and shining powers are possessed of animated intelligence as they say to the weeping Mary: "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."
The most effective consolation that we can give to those who are immersed in the grief of separation and loss is to deny for them the human belief in death and affirm in thought, word and citations of Scripture the omnipresence of life. This dissipates the flood of sorrow thoughts that submerges the souls of those who mourn. Jesus did not want the sorrowing Mary thought to touch Him. The spiritual mind does not grieve; it does not look to matter and the limitations of the flesh for life eternal, and it dissipates the thoughts of sorrow by a denial of their reality or power to affect the mind of the Son of God.
Always keep to your highest thoughts and deny every suggestion of sorrow or loss. The children of darkness wear sackcloth and sit in ashes, but the children of light rejoice, look up ("ascend" in every thought to the Father of life and light), and are set free thereby from the burden of grief and from belief in death and separation.
20:19When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20:20And when he had said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 20:21Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 20:22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: 20:23whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Christianity began with Jesus Christ, was carried on by the apostles and the Seventy whom Jesus sent out two by two; then by other persons as they came into an understanding of Truth. This process of Christianizing will continue until the entire race is redeemed from error. Even so, as our faculties, our senses, and our thoughts learn the truth, they in turn give light and life to the thoughts that are still in darkness. In this way the entire man becomes established in immortality, eternal life.
Jesus Christ commissioned His followers to make disciples of all nations. This commission was given
to them on a mountain in Galilee. A mountain always symbolizes spiritual elevation or a high place in consciousness. When the spiritually awakened and spiritually taught faculties and thoughts assemble with the I AM in spiritual consciousness, they are sent throughout the entire man, to the very outermost parts of the body consciousness.
In order to make the world Christian individuals must become Christian. The Christ Spirit must enter everyone. The Christ is knocking at the door of every heart, and He will enter when He is invited to come in. The mind that is open to Truth invites Christ to enter. When all men are filled with the Christ consciousness, international law will embody the Christ standard and the Christ kingdom will be established in the earth.
20:24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 20:25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.
20:26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 20:27Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and see my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and put it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 20:28Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 20:29Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
20:30Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: 20:31but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.
Thomas is the apostle of Jesus who represents the understanding faculty of the natural man. Understanding and will function or should function in unison; each has its center of activity in the front brain, the forehead.
Among the apostles of Jesus Thomas stood for the head, representing the reason and intellectual perception. Jesus did not ignore Thomas's demand for physical evidence of His identity but respected it. He convinced Thomas by corporeal evidence that there had been a body resurrection and that it was not a ghost body that he saw but the same body that had been crucified, as was evidenced by the wounds that Thomas saw and felt.
The peace of Jesus came through the knowledge that there is no reality in death but that life is from everlasting to everlasting. He had proved His power to overcome the last enemy, death, and therefore He was established in "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."
Jesus manifested Himself to the Eleven, and He upbraided them for disbelieving the accounts of His resurrection. Apparently the resurrection of Jesus is a great mystery, and to those who read the Bible in the letter and have no discernment of the power of Spirit to transform the body it must remain a mystery. The question often is asked whether or not
we believe that Jesus rose from the dead with the same flesh body in which He walked the earth and, if so, what became of that body.
In former times believers accepted it as a miracle and made no attempt to explain the law by which it was accomplished, but blind faith is not so popular in the church as it once was, and skeptics are more bold. The school of "high criticism" is openly attacking Bible occurrences that it cannot account for under natural law. Thinking people are seeking a comprehensive explanation of the so-called miracles of the Bible. They wish to know how Jesus did His mighty works, including the resurrection of His body. The historical account makes clear that the flesh body that had been crucified was the body that Jesus had after His resurrection.
That Jesus knew how to restore life to dead organs is evidenced by His healing of paralytics, blind people, and in three cases by raising those who had died. He knew a way of restoring life that others living in His age did not know. He tried to explain it to His disciples and companions, but they did not understand. He told them that He would come to life again, but they seemed to have no comprehension of what He was saying. They thought He was talking to them about the Temple at Jerusalem, but He was talking of His body temple, which He could lay down and take up at will.
It is not at all surprising that the very near friends of Jesus were filled with astonishment and fear when they found that He was not in the tomb where they had laid Him. They could not understand
that for years He had been training His soul to accomplish this very thing. He had spent whole nights in prayer, and through the intensity of His devotions had made union with Divine Mind. This union was so full and so complete that His whole being was flooded with spiritual life, power, and substance and the wisdom to use them in divine order. In this manner He projected the divine-body idea, and through it His mortal body was transformed into an immortal body. This was accomplished before the Crucifixion, and Jesus knew that He had so strengthened His soul that it would restore His body, no matter how harshly the body might be used by destructive man.
Jesus had obtained power on the three planes of consciousness: the spiritual, the psychical, and the material. After His resurrection He held His body on the psychical and the astral planes for forty days, and then translated it to the spiritual, where it exists to this day as a body of ethereal substance directed and controlled by His thought and mind force. Having a body of spiritually electrified atoms, Jesus is able to quicken the bodies of people who attract His presence by believing in Him; He radiates a glorious life that energizes those who believe in His power.
By positive affirmations we must all appropriate this same Christ life, substance, and Truth as ours individually and as the very foundation and substance of our body. Thousands in this day have found the law that Jesus demonstrated and the inner meaning of the
Truth that He taught. They are working, praying, denying, affirming, concentrating, willing. They are in all ways building up the perfect-idea body, transforming flesh corruptible into substance incorruptible. Thus they are following Jesus in the regeneration. When they have renewed every organ and every part both within and without, and have put away all evidences of old age, the world at large will begin to accept their claims as true: that the destiny of all men is to transform the body of flesh into a body of Spirit and thus immortalize it. In this manner death is to be overcome and the earth made the dwelling place of immortal men.
This process of revealing and making use of the hidden forces of nature has already begun in the use of electricity, the radio, X rays, radar, and other invisible energies. The discovery that the atom has an electrical center was the first scientific break into omnipresent spiritual life. This life will be exploited by men until they exhaust the capacity of the machines they build to utilize it; then they will look for more efficient agents, which they will find in the development of the human body. Man's body directed by his mind is the only dynamo that can generate life and control it. Men can now build machines that smash the atom and liberate its latent forces, but the released energy can destroy the machinery and even the bodies of those who set it free.
Nature has within her all the elements necessary to the construction of heaven here on the earth and in the ether surrounding the earth. It won't be long
before we shall be constructing houses in the air, but we must first learn how to levitate our body, as did Jesus; then resurrection will be part of our spiritual evolution and we shall know experimentally what Jesus meant by His death and resurrection, also just where He lives at the present time and what is required of us before we can meet Him in the heavens.