“Give me Jesus, give me Jesus….” The voices singing the words of a spiritual swelled into a crescendo and filled the room. You could feel the heartfelt longing. It’s not hard to imagine why a person faced with troubles would want Jesus at his or her side.
If we are the ones looking for help, maybe we think of Christ Jesus because of what he did for so many people in his lifetime. Maybe we expect he could grasp our problem better than anyone else. Yet Christ Jesus isn’t walking the earth today. Does that mean that we are without the help he could give? No, none of the divine goodness that belonged to the Saviour is out of humanity’s reach. It is available to us today through Christ, the eternal expression of God.
We don’t see Christ with our eyes the way we would have seen Jesus if we had lived when he did. The eternal Christ is not a person but is the divine nature Jesus expressed in his life. Christ Jesus – the Son of God – was given the title of Christ for his Godlikeness and his life lived in total obedience to God. God was his Father. Jesus taught his followers that they, too, could call God “Father.” This is the message Christ brings even today – that the real nature of man, as the child of God, is spiritual.
Why is it that we wish Jesus the Master were with us, the way he was with his disciples? Could it be that we haven’t really grasped his message that God is the source of all good and that God is always present? It may seem difficult to turn to God, Principle, instead of to a person for help, but that is what Jesus was teaching. Even his disciples had to be weaned from depending on the great Exemplar’s personal presence if they were to be successful apostles. Jesus reassured them with the guarantee that Christ’s presence was always with them: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Mary Baker Eddy deeply studied the life of Christ Jesus, and what she learned from her study entered into what she wrote as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She says in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ” (p. 473).
One time when I was ill in bed, I wished so much that Jesus would walk through the door and stand at my bedside and heal me. But as I lay there praying, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to search for anyone outside of me for help. God had provided me with all I needed. I had Christ, Truth, to tell me what was spiritually real and true. I felt newly confident that health is maintained by God. The fear of being alone and ill went away. I improved quickly and was able to return to work.
We know Christ with our spiritual senses. An inner feeling of peace, a certainty that God is ever present, a rebuke to selfishness or materialism, may be the way Christ comes to us. Whatever spiritual insight comforts or corrects us is evidence of the eternal and ever-present Christ, taking away “the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Through Christ we have been given the richest gift of God and the nearest and best help. Christ will never leave us. As Jesus assured, the healing and saving Christ is eternal.
Reprinted from the Sept. 14, 1989, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.