THE Gospels' story of Christ Jesus' life--including his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension--is followed in the Bible by the Book of Acts. The account reports that after his ascension Jesus' closest followers were fired up with commitment and hope. The Bible plainly describes the impetus that moved Jesus' students in such a dynamic way. The vitality of their faith stemmed from experiencing the unique historical event of Jesus' resurrection after he had been publicly crucified and then buried in a to mb. The writer of Acts explains, ``And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."
As a result of witnessing this vital victory over death, the apostles experienced their own spiritual rejuvenation, brought about by understanding what such an event meant to them and to all humanity. This, too, was a resurrection of which they were witnesses, the resurrecting of radiant spirituality in their own thought in place of dull materialism.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains resurrection in spiritual terms. She writes: ``Resurrection. Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding." This explanation of the spiritual meaning of the resurrection certainly identifies what inspired the apostles on discovering that their Master had risen from the grave. This spir itual concept of resurrection also describes what happens to us when we experience practical healing through prayer. We, too, can renew our own thoughts and lives through spiritual insight. We can become active witnesses of the living Christ, the spiritual idea of God's nature and of man's true being as His child. It was this idea that empowered the disciples to emulate the Saviour's mighty healing work, and such prayer still leads to physical and moral healing today.
How does this happen? The Bible teaches that God is Spirit, and that man is rightly understood as His image and likeness. The image and likeness of Spirit includes only what its source includes. Man, therefore, truly reflects God's immortal health and radiant well-being. In truth we are that man of God's creating. We find healing by gaining something of the spiritual view of ourselves as embodying the unwavering spiritual wholeness given to us by God.
My wife found this to be true one time when she was suffering from an irritating skin complaint. At first she struggled to get rid of the problem. But as she prayed, she saw that in order to be healed she really needed to gain more of an understanding of God--not somehow to get rid of a physical inharmony. Shortly after this insight, while at a church service, she suddenly perceived more clearly man's complete God-given dominion. Immediately the physical irritation vanished. This proved to be a turning p oint in her healing, and not long afterward all visible signs of the complaint also disappeared.
Experiences like this are vital, present proofs of Christ's ever-presence in our midst. They show the practical, restorative effect of prayer on our bodies and lives. Such witnessing is as called for now as it was two thousand years ago. You might not see an advertisement asking for a ``witness to the resurrection" on the job vacancies page of your local paper. But witnesses to the resurrection are required by God and humanity, and it's something we all can be!