One of the most reliable promises in the Bible is this simple, compelling statement: "There is lifting up" (Job 22:29). When the Easter season comes around, I find this phrase summarizes not only the life, mission, and teachings of Christ Jesus, but also points out the exaltation of each one who endeavors to walk in the way he did. It speaks to us of moments of prayer and inspiration, and of resulting acts of kindness with those we encounter. This "lifting up" includes a lifetime of good that inevitably leads us to contemplate and embrace one of the key illustrations of the Master's mission, our immortality.
A large part of the gladness Christians feel as they celebrate Easter is the promise of eternal life, or immortality. But have you ever wondered what it would feel like to recognize and acknowledge your present immortality? I was discussing this with a dear friend and clear spiritual thinker one time, and I left that discussion with much to ponder. While answers to these questions await each of us individually as we make spiritual progress, I have come to embrace the idea that our immortality does not begin when mortality ends, but that we are actually immortal right now – and we will feel it as we exercise what is included in immortal being.
Our immortal being consists entirely of our likeness to God. So, being faithful, joyous, good, spiritually minded, selfless, and loving are all ways of expressing our immortality right now. What sheer relief to find that expressing this Godlikeness has no beginning and no end! It is forever our nature, as it is the nature of the God whom we image.
So, how does the promised uplift, which reveals our present immortality, happen? When we look to Christ Jesus, we can see that he completely embodied his spiritual identity – the Christ. It was this divine self that saved Jesus from sinking in the sea, being taken by a mob, and being entombed forever. The Christ, being the divine nature of man, unconditionally loved by God, couldn't suffer these attempts of destruction. It is that same Christ, God's love for all of us, which saves us, too.
In my work as a Christian Science practitioner, I received a call from someone who made it clear that her mother was making her see a practitioner; she had no interest herself. She had many problems, and I assured her that we could talk about whatever she wanted. After we met, she called and thanked me, but wanted to be sure that I would not be calling her. I told her she was completely free of any commitment. During our visit, I'd prayed to confirm her natural love for God, and to let the Christ do the lifting up.
A few weeks later, I received a call from her saying that she was attending every Christian Science church service she could get to and was spending her free time in the Christian Science Reading Room. She loved what she was discovering. She began experiencing healing in her life. She's now an active church member. She's recognizing her present immortality and living in a way that expresses it.
Who did the lifting up? The ever-present, immortal Christ. It lifts us to the promise of our immortal living.