The death and resurrection of Jesus are important events, whether as historical or religious history. For those who do not believe that Jesus ever lived, died, or was resurrected, the message conveyed in the story of Jesus offers lessons and wisdom that are beneficial, since it is a story of life, and the progress of man from birth, through many struggles, downfalls, deaths, rehabilitations, and finally human perfection, and ultimately salvation and eternal life.
Perhaps the greatest mercy given by the God that so many of us do believe in, and worship, is that we believe that He created mankind with the potential to reach human perfection, and also that He sent prophets and messengers to teach us how to attain that status, which is called righteousness in the Holy Scriptures. “He (God) alone knows the unseen, nor does He make anyone acquainted with His mysteries except a prophet whom He has chosen, and then He (God) makes a band of watchers march before him, and behind him, that He (God) may know that they have truly brought and delivered the messages of their Lord. And He (God) surrounds all the mysteries that are with them, and takes account of every single thing (Holy Qur’an “The Spirits” verses 26-28).
Not everyone believes that Jesus is the Son of God, and some of us do not even believe that he ever existed, yet, what none of us can deny is that his story is one of the greatest stories ever told. The story of Jesus explained mysteries, and offers hope, and redemption to any who read, understands and can live by the wisdom of the parables, and what Jesus taught.
Easter is special for that reason, and others. It is a celebration of the victory of the human soul over death, and our potential to rise to glory in this life, and the next, as a result of challenges, trials and struggles. It shows us the imperfections of the base human nature, brought out in the envy and quest for power of the Pharisees, and how fear of death, love for this world, and our greed for life and the material things brings out the worse in us, as it did in Judas when he betrayed Jesus, and in Peter when he denied knowing Jesus.
It is the story of the doubting nature of man, that causes us to be slaves to the common senses such as feel, and touch and sight, as with doubting Thomas, and how faith frees us from the limits of proof, and makes our souls bear witness to a belief in things unseen, and our lives become a testament to its power.
The Story of Jesus teaches us that victory over fear of death, and the fear of rejection, fear of imperfection, and fear of poverty causes us to ascend and to be glorified, and to know for certain that God is our liberator.
The story of Jesus teaches us how to transform ourselves from the baser human, who can be worse than the most violent beast, to the glorified human being, who can do miracles, and to whom God commanded the angels, “Bow down.”
The story of Jesus teaches us how to live in peace with others as we make our transitions, and transformations, and as they are also going through transitions, and transformations. He taught humility, patience, perseverance, the disciplined soul, and denial. Jesus taught the movement, and the migration of the human soul from birth, to death and then to eternal life, as individuals, as communities, and as an entire world.
They say that Jesus taught the Hebrew tribes, while Peter taught the Gentiles, yet we know that Jesus taught Peter, and his message lived through Peter and reached us through God’s mercy, as God had taught Jesus, and conveyed His message to the Hebrews through him.
Monotheists believe that there is Only One God, yet there were many prophets and messengers, and each had a duty, message, and followers, and all preached a common and healing faith, with one objective, to prepare us for judgment and eternal life in the Kingdoms of God, first in this life and eternally in the next, “And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign. We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs. Oh you prophets, enjoy all things good and pure, and work righteousness, for I (God) am well acquainted with what you do. And verily this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I (God) am your Lord and Lover, therefore fear me, and no other. Yet, people have cut off their affair (of unity), between themselves into sects, each party rejoices in that which is with itself” (Holy Qur’an, “Believers” verses, 50-53).
“When Jesus found unbelief on their part he (Jesus) said, “Who will be my helpers (to the work of God)? Said the disciples, “We are God’s helpers. We believe in God, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims (servants). Our Lord (God), we believe in what thou hast revealed, and we follow the prophet, so then write us down as those who bear witness…” (Holy Qur’an “The Family of Imran” verses 52 and 53).
“Behold, God said: I will take thee (Jesus) to Myself (God) and clear thee of the falsehoods of those who blaspheme; and I will make those who follow thee superior (more spiritually advanced) to those who reject faith, to the day of Resurrection; then shall you all return to me, and I will judge between you in the matters wherein you dispute” (Holy Qur’an, “The Family of Imran” verse 55).