Today is Easter Sunday, the holiest day in Christian practice. The day Christians believe Christ rose from his earthly death, transcended his crucifixion, and affirmed his divinity with God.
Whether one is a believing and practicing Christian or believes in Jesus’ resurrection or not, there are powerful lessons and inspiration in the Easter message. A message of steadfastness in the face of threats and accusations from one’s enemies, silently holding fast to the spiritual purpose of our life. A message of commitment to one’s faith, commitment that would go so far as to choose death rather than yield to the constant pressure to deny that faith. A message of forgiveness towards those who knowingly or unknowingly cause us harm and pain, for “they know not what they do.” A message of compassion for our human frailty and doubts in times when we question whether God has forsaken us in our faith. A message of knowing when it is time to leave God’s work to others as we move on to a new existence unknown but undeniable. A message of recognizing when we have done what God has asked of us, and “it is finished.”
These messages can be found in some form in the lessons from all of the Great Teachers we have been blessed to have guide us, reflecting the same exhortations and challenges toward our committing to faith. These Teachers taught not by rules, not by the laws of the state, not by force or domination. They taught from the heart of goodness, directed to the hearts of others. They taught to the eye by showing themselves to be true living examples of that heart. They taught to the mind by illustrating in understandable stories the irrationality of our limited human thinking, and the higher thinking that can be available to us.
We approach Jesus as one of those Great Teachers. We approach him not on the basis of labels, ritual, church structure, and theological argument. We approach him simply on his words, on his teachings, on his proofs by his actions. As we do with all of God’s Great Teachers. It is the body of Jesus’ teachings that we honor and celebrate on Easter, teachings that require neither an interpreter nor an intermediary. They are lessons for all of us; lessons for each of us; lessons in harmony with God and all of God’s Great Teachers. And the lessons start with Good Will Towards All Men And Women.