Jesus fully embodied the Christ. Who and what is Christ? A woman named Anne-Marie once asked me what I believed the second coming meant. Who Christ and Jesus are is communicated in my response to Anne-Marie.
“I’m not sure what preconceptions you have about the second coming Anne-Marie, but I can certainly tell you what many Christians have believed about the second coming. Much of Christian theology has viewed the second coming as that time in history when Jesus will come again to earth. Many Christians use the book of Revelation in the Bible as the basis for these beliefs. According to this worldview, Jesus will come out of the clouds at the appointed time in history, and take up those who are “saved.”
I do not view the second coming as a literal second coming of Jesus Christ, Anne-Marie. I believe that the second coming is something profoundly different. Allow me to invite you into a new perspective about who Jesus and the Christ are.
Jesus was a prophet, teacher, and healer who lived on earth 2000 years ago. Christ was the name given to Jesus by his followers. Over the course of Christian tradition, many Christians have come to believe that the word Christ is synonymous only with the person of Jesus. In other words, Christians have come to believe that Christ was Jesus’ last name, belonging only and properly to Jesus.
This view, I believe, is a misleading one, and sets up a dysfunctional relationship between us and Jesus. Believing that Christ is a term reserved only for Jesus sets Jesus on a pedestal which we can never reach. Its implications are clear: Jesus was the Christ. Jesus performed miracles and healings, and was the Son of God: human and divine. We, on the other hand, are merely mortals. We can never attain what Jesus attained. Jesus may be our example, but we can never reach his heights or depths of spiritual attainment. We can never become “Christ-ed” as he was.
Such a relationship with Jesus gives us a distorted view of ourselves. Such a worldview causes us to believe that we are inferior, limited, and finite. It teaches us what we cannot do rather than what we can do. It lifts up Jesus’ divinity and downgrades our own. It says: “Look at all the things that Jesus did!” while forgetting that Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.” (John 14:12)
You see, Jesus didn’t come to put himself on a pedestal and us under his feet. Christ came to lift us up, and show us our own divinity. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” and then added, “You are the light of the world.” He didn’t want to make it appear that he exclusively had the light. For then we would think that he could be things that we could not; that he could do things that we could not.
Our temptation in the presence of a master as advanced as Jesus is to be so in awe of the mastery we see reached, that we downplay our own potentiality. We use Jesus’ magnificence as a way of believing that we can never be quite so magnificent.
Jesus came to lift us up and show us our own divinity. He came to show us that we too have the Christ potential within ourselves. The only difference between Jesus and us is that Jesus manifested the Christ potential. Many of us have not. Yet still, the Christ lies within us, waiting to be born and expressed.
This is where I find meaning in the second coming Anne-Marie. I believe that the second coming is the coming of the Christ into our own mind, heart, and consciousness. This is what it means to be “re-born.” Once in our lives are we born into our physical bodies. But when the consciousness of the Christ is born in our hearts and minds, then are we born into our spiritual bodies. It is then that we realize our true nature, and begin to live into it. Being “re-born” is not a one-time occurrence. It happens over and over again. Life is a continual process of re-birthing the Christ consciousness into our own consciousness, until the Christ consciousness is so fully who we are and what we live, that manifesting the Christ presence is completely and utterly effortless.
In the second coming as I understand it, Anne-Marie, I make a distinction between “Jesus” and “Christ.” Jesus was a Son of God 2000 years ago who manifested the Christ consciousness so fully that people said he was “God become flesh.” Christ is that consciousness which is not the exclusive possession of Jesus alone, but which all of us can access. When we ourselves access this consciousness, then others will call us “Christ-ed.” Not because we have become Jesus, but because we have become fully ourselves. And that is the life Jesus invites us to- not to become him, but to become fully ourselves. For there is only one Jesus, as there is only one Matt, and only one Anne-Marie. We are all Sons and Daughters of God: God become flesh. When we access and attune ourselves to the innate and internal Christ consciousness which exists in all of us, then not only have we been re-born, but we have experienced the second coming. The Christ has been manifested again in You.
Jesus was a person who so fully brought the Christ consciousness into manifestation 2000 years ago, that we stand in humility before his mastery. But what Jesus desires is for us to be exalted into the same mastery. The road to Jesus’ mastery, and our own mastery, is through the Christ consciousness which many masters have accessed throughout history- Christian and non-Christian. When the Christ is born again in you, Christ has truly come again: not in the clouds or out of the sky, but in your own heart.”
– Rev. Matt Carriker, excerpt from the upcoming book “Giving Christianity Back to Jesus”