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Life Means What?

Some of the most surprising people are sad, fearful and lonely. Some people show it, while others hide it very well. Other people seem happy on the outside but if you were to ask them honestly, they would tell you that they are not content with life. Is there something more? Are we obsessed with collecting things, filling our lives with things to compensate for the way we feel? Do we have goals? What are they? A good career, a big salary, ambitions to reach the top? What if you get there? What if you don’t? What does it cost? What if they don’t make you happy?  So many questions that can be boiled down to, “Who are we?” and “What are we doing here?” These are good questions. Would you consider faith in Jesus Christ as an answer?

Many writers and artists have tried to face the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” and communicate his significance for each generation. Despite the many personalities and celebrities whose reputations have been shattered by some kind of scandal, Jesus Christ continues to remain a dominant figure. There is no denying the importance of Jesus Christ in human history and in the lives of millions of people living in the world today.

Time magazine has described him as ‘the most persistent symbol of purity, selflessness and brotherly love in the history of humanity.’ Even people who do not come from a faith perspective have to admit there is something more about this man Jesus. For example, H.G. Wells an atheist wrote this: ‘I am a historian, I am not a believer. But this penniless preacher named Jesus is irresistibly the centre of history’. This is very true because over the last 2000 years of history, of empires, governments, political systems and philosophies, Jesus has remained a dominant, challenging yet mysterious personality.

Yet many today think of Jesus as irrelevant, a joke, or merely a swear word. Maybe you are such a person and have never really thought much about the person of Jesus Christ?

How about reading on?

Where would we begin?

Jesus Christ was a human being just like us. At times, he got tired and hungry, but always human. Jesus’ life had been a hard life. He never knew luxury; he was born in a barn and when he died, he only had the clothes that were on his back. He simply travelled the countryside teaching and helping people. We can say that, although his life was difficult, he did carry with him a joy and a sense of humour and fun. The people of his day enjoyed being with him because of his warmth and understanding. In fact, they flocked to hear Jesus and be near him. Yet this is not the whole story. All the writers in the Bible, and millions of people all over the world, have been convinced that Jesus is more than just a man.

Jesus is no less than God, who has come to our rescue. Why do we say this? Read on.

                                                         

His character

The character of Jesus has captivated millions of people for 2 thousand years. He appeals to men, women, young and old alike, and all types of personalities and nations. His balance in life, his qualities of grace and love, especially for people who were on the outside of society, all of this has persuaded thoughtful people that Jesus was more than a man.

His Unique teaching

Jesus teaching stands head and shoulders over all the teachers in the world. His teaching is the basis of most civilized society today. Laws, morals, and ethics have been radically affected by the timeless teaching of Jesus.

His behaviour

Jesus taught the highest standards of behaviour and living. Not only that, he kept these standards himself. He claimed to be without sin or wrong in his life. Every part of the New Testament of the Bible shows how his followers, who knew him the best, agreed. Even those who were his enemies could not hold a contradictory claim against him.

His miracles

Jesus was not only a good teacher, he was a doer of good. He healed the sick, fed the hungry and miraculously touched people in a supernatural way. The miracles were powerful testimony to who Jesus was. They were not done to show off or for selfish ends. Rather, they were done to point to the reality of God working in his life.

His claims

Jesus claimed that God was his father. He claimed to forgive sins, to merit worship, to rise from death, and promised that one day he would return to judge all humanity. He claimed to be the Way to God, the Truth about God and the Life of God.

What do you make of such claims? Do you write him off as a mad-man, or a lunatic or worse?  Or is there some kind of truth here?  Read on.

                 

His death on a cross

Jesus was wrongfully accused and sentenced. He was tortured, yet did not call out, he was spat upon and laughed at and then put to death on a cruel cross. In fact, the bible tells us that he went willingly to this death. Why? Because somehow in the providence of God, Jesus’ death on the cross would take away our sins and wrong. God was at work in the cross. What else happened?

                                                       

His resurrection or, his being risen from the dead

It is important to give special attention at this point, because the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without it, there is no clinching evidence that Jesus was more than a great teacher and person. If the resurrection is true, it sets Jesus apart once and for all as the unique Son of God. Nobody has risen from the dead to a new dimension of eternal life like Jesus. But you might be asking yourself, ‘Can this really be true?’ You might find the next couple of paragraphs helpful for you to think about.

Jesus was dead

Jesus was really dead. He was put to death by public execution. The people who did this were experts at the grisly task of crucifixion, (nailing a person to a cross and waiting for them to die by asphyxiation.) Their victims did not survive. Jesus was dead and then placed in a rock tomb.

The tomb was empty

The tomb was empty either because someone took Jesus’ body out, or, by Divine intervention. The first is unlikely because those who put him to death wanted him to be dead. They did not want any rumours that he was still alive. It is also very unlikely that the followers of Jesus stole his body and said that he was alive again. First, they could not get past the human guards around the tomb and they would not have been able to remove the heavy stone covering the entrance of the tomb. Psychologically it seems unlikely as well. Why would the followers of Jesus maintain that he was still alive if they stole his dead body? Why would they themselves face torture and death based on a lie? No. There is no believable explanation except the Christian claim that God raised Jesus from death. That makes the empty tomb so important. Everything that Jesus said and did in his earthly ministry pointed to the reality of God. He said in effect, ‘God really cares for you’ and he healed the sick and fed the hungry. He said, ‘Nothing in this life can separate you from God’s love.’ And it is like the raising of Jesus from death proved that every claim, every truth that he taught, every promise that he made was absolutely true. It is like God’s seal of approval.

The church was born

Nothing could stop the followers of Jesus armed with the fact that Jesus was alive again. They themselves were thoroughly convinced that Jesus was the way to God. They themselves even faced death because they had seen the risen Jesus. The worldwide movement which we know as Christianity, was launched by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Lives were changed

The lives of the people who encountered the living Jesus after the resurrection were totally transformed by that meeting. Once they were scared and hopeless, but that changed forever. No prison, no death sentence could stop them from talking about the risen Jesus and his message. Lives changed then, and lives have been changed ever since. Jesus life, message, death and resurrection are the power of God to change lives.

Would you like to have a changed life?

Life has meaning with Jesus

Jesus came to show us what God is really like. He took care of people, he gave them hope and encouragement and Jesus gave people a purpose. He was so perfect that he completely reflected the personality of the God of the Universe. Jesus was the face of God. Jesus not only lived to show us what God is like, he died in order to take away the evil and sin in our lives. Sin can be described as a small word with “I” in the middle. Selfishness, greed, wanting our own way is the basis for many evils in this world. Jesus came to forgive us and take away our guilt. In the mystery of God’s love Jesus took upon himself the punishment we deserved to forgive us and win us back to God’s presence. All of this is free. What a gift! So Jesus lived, he died, and he rose from death. That is the third and vital component of the message. Because Jesus really did rise from death and is alive, you and I can meet him. Christianity is not so much a religion but a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ. Yes, because he is alive, you can meet him. Because Jesus is alive, you can have a constant friend and companion. Because Jesus is alive, you can have purpose in life. Because Jesus is alive not even death can separate you from God’s love and presence. This sounds good to me, I hope it seems good to you.

Would you like to consider this?

Think, decide, and pray

Think about what you have just read. Decide in your heart if you would like to invite Jesus into your life. And then simply pray this prayer.

“Jesus, I come to you now in faith. I want to believe, help me. I want something more in this life. I want true meaning. I have done things that are selfish.  I have hurt myself, those around me, and ultimately you as well by the things that I have done wrong. I am guilty.

I believe that you died on a cross to set me free and forgive me of my guilt.

Thank you for dying for me. I believe you are alive by the power of God.

I decide to turn to you and try my best to live for you in your ways.

Please cleanse me and give me strength and power to live a different kind of life.

Fill me with your Holy Spirit and start transforming me into the person you want.

Thank you for all that you have done for me.

Thank you that you are my friend as well as my Lord.

Thank you for this new life.   Thank you.      Amen.”

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