Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Matthew Chapter 28
Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 28:1-10;16-20
28:1Now late on the sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 28:2And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. 28:3His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 28:4and for fear of him the watchers did quake, and became as dead men. 28:5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, who hath been crucified. 28:6He is not here; for he is risen, even as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 28:7And go quickly, and tell his disciples, He is risen from the dead; and lo, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 28:8And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. 28:9And behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 28:10Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
28:11Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city, and told unto the chief priests all the things that were come to pass. 28:12And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave much money unto the soldiers, 28:13saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 28:14And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and rid you of care. 28:15So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continueth until this day.
28:16But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 28:17And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 28:18And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. 28:19Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 28:20teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
APRIL 18, 1965: Matt. 28:1-10,16-20
Unity explains this week's International BIBLE LESSON
The Life Triumphant. — Matt. 28:1-10,16-20
Questions and Answers
What part of the Individual first becomes aware of the resurrection of the Christ? The soul or consciousness, including feelings and emotions. A ray of light penetrates the soul as it perceives that love, which is of God, must abide. "As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre."
What is represented by the "angel of the Lord" whose "appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow"? The angel of the Lord represents a manifestation of the principle of denial and affirmation as a power strong enough to raise the body to renewed consciousness of life. The snow-white raiment is the garment of Truth.
Why do we first need denial and affirmation when we face a crisis involving life or death? To rid our souls of fear. "The angel ... said unto the women, Fear not ye." The faithful soul overcomes the fear of death, but the materialists ("the watchers" of the tomb) are terrified by the thought of it. We are never beyond the range of the Christ power. We should bear ourselves with calmness and confidence.
"He is risen from the dead." What is the significance of these words? The Christ life is a dynamic, not a static, experience. The body is to be transformed, regenerated by the Spirit. Jesus did not remain in the tomb, but went before the disciples "into Galilee," the high consciousness of life that He called "the kingdom of the heavens.
"What is meant by the disciples' meeting Jesus in the mountain where "Jesus had appointed them"? The disciples represent our faculties. Our work is to train these faculties to occupy this "kingdom of the heavens" within us. Some enter into it readily while others remain unmoved. "Some doubted."
How is the authority of the Christ to be exercised? Through quickening the countless faculties (making disciples of all the nations), exalting them to consciousness of God in Christ, and filling them with the Spirit.
Does the authority of the Christ on earth include the controlling of the nations by force when they do not follow the Christ way of their own free will? No. It presupposes that by teaching and example the nations will learn to follow the Christ way of life gladly and of their own free will ("teaching them to observe all things whatsoever"). To be taught the wisdom of keeping the law is a very different thing from being forced to keep it without understanding why.
What power is bestowed by implication by the words "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world"? The power to live the perfect life by holding ourselves steadfastly in the Christ consciousness.
To Be Held in the Silence:
I am alive forevermore.
Undated: Matt. 28:1-10,16-20
Unity interprets a living BIBLE LESSON
HOW TO ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE
Prepared by Mary Mae Oesch
Suggested Reading: Matt. 28:1-10, 16-20.
It was early dawn on the most momentous day in history. Two women named Mary visited the sepulchre where Jesus' body was buried. Matthew reports that the women witnessed an earthquake, and saw an angel roll back the stone from the tomb. In the presence of this dazzling being, the women were filled with awe, while the guards stationed there were so frightened that they could neither think nor move. But the angel assured the women they need not be afraid. Jesus, whom they sought, was not there. He had risen from the dead!
The women were invited to look into the tomb, to see that it was empty.Then they were directed to carry the joyous news of the Resurrection to Jesus' apostles, saying that the Master would meet them in Galilee.
Exultant, the women hastened to share the glad tidings. But before they had gone far, Jesus Christ Himself appeared and greeted them. Wondering, worshiping, and rejoicing, the women fell to their knees. They touched Jesus' feet and heard Him repeat the message that His apostles could see Him in Galilee.
Later, at the appointed place, the eleven apostles beheld the beloved Master and worshiped Him in the radiance of His spiritually perfected body. For those who could not quite grasp the meaning of His resurrection, Jesus Christ explained that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given Him. Let the apostles now accept their new responsibility of sharing with the world the Truth of the indwelling Spirit, and let them always be conscious of God's Spirit in them and with them.
Our Practical Application
Eternal life is ours right now! Yet this glorious Truth has reality for us only to the extent that we are conscious of it - conscious of God's in-dwelling, triumphant Spirit of life. We accept (intellectually, at least ) the Easter message that life is victorious over death, that there is life beyond the grave. But we are not cognizant of the full message of Easter until we realize and rejoice in the "here and now" quality of eternal life, the personal application of Truth that enables us to say with Jesus, "All authority in heaven [consciousness of Divine Mind] and on earth [manifestation of divine ideas] has been given to me."
Seeking to know and express the in-dwelling Christ, we find occasion to roll back many "stones" that would keep us entombed in the ignorance of mortal limitation—stones of fear, doubt, criticism, jealousy, condemnation—negation in any of its guises. Yet each time we remove one such stone, we are a step nearer to the perfection we seek, the true consciousness of eternal life in God.
Easter commemorates not only Jesus Christ's victory over death, but also the countless "minor resurrections" in your life and mine as we seek the true Christ consciousness that will eventually spiritualize the body. Then Set us not despair if the goal of spiritual perfection seems remote, but let us rejoice in each opportunity to prove our divinity in even a small way.
The Christ in us knows that there are no hopeless situations, no incurable afflictions, no insurmountable barriers. For we are children of God, and heirs to all the life, strength, and overcoming power that Jesus Christ demonstrated. Therefore, thought by thought, prayer by prayer, one faithful step at a time, we become more like Him for whom the first Easter was a spiritual climax.
No matter what the situations that confront us from time to time, the Christ in us looks beyond the darkness of Gethsemane, through the apparent failure of Good Friday, to the radiant triumph of the Easter dawn. Enjoy your own consciousness of eternal life now!
Questions and Answers
To what do we compare the stone that was rolled back from the tomb? The stone may be likened to hard, heavy thoughts (such as prejudice, condemnation, and unbelief ) that keep good from coming into manifestation.
What is the significance of Jesus' meeting the disciples on a mountain in Galilee? Galilee symbolizes energy of life; life activity. "Galilee" associated with "mountain" symbolizes a high consciousness of life.
How can we be resurrected? We resurrect our body by putting a new mind into it, the mind of Spirit. A resurrection takes place in us every time we rise to a realization of the perpetual in-dwelling life that connects us with the Father.
(Next Sunday's lesson, "A Letter from Christ." -- II Cor. 3:1-6; 5:16-20.)
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-15-2013