PASSAGE: "This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead" (John 21:14).
QUESTION: Unity position on the Resurrection of Jesus.
COMMENT: As I frequently emphasize in these comments, I emphatically do not speak for Unity as a whole. Indeed, one of the significant aspects of Unity is that there is no “official line” on anything. We recognize universal spiritual principles. How those principles express, or how they have expressed in the past, is a matter of individual guidance and understanding. Since every person is intimately one with the Allness of Divine Mind, there is no need for a hierarchy or catechism defining what anyone should believe.
That said, it is central to those principles that everything is of God, and therefore everything is eternal. So we understand death to be an illusion of our human consciousness—no more than a transition from one aspect of eternal life to another. Since death has no spiritual reality, it cannot be said in spiritual truth that Jesus died and was resurrected from a separate dimension called death. Jesus moved through the experience of death, and appeared to his disciples on the other side of that experience, specifically to emphasize that death is an illusion, and fear of death should not be the great deterrent it often is to our progress in spiritual expression. It is important to note that the resurrection experiences in all the Gospels are not consistent. Often the disciples don't recognize the physical body of Jesus, but come to “see” him in an energy of love and guidance that reminds them of his life and teachings. Mark writes that his appearance was "in another form" (Mark 16:12). And even in the more physical appearances, Jesus makes it clear that he has not fully reclaimed his former body. "Do not hold on to me," he tells Mary Magdalene, "because I have not yet ascended to my Father” (John 20:17). This suggests to me that Jesus, out of his infinite love for all of us who are to be his disciples, struggled mightily to 'recreate' his human body after the transition of death, to emphasize the point he was trying to make about the illusion of death.
And I think it's true for us as well. Once we “die” to old limitations and move through a “resurrection” experience in which we step up to a higher dimension of spiritual consciousness, it is very challenging to try to continue relating to our previous life. We are forever changed.