AT Easter, in remembering the death and bodily resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we celebrate a most important event within the Church calendar. This event is significant for, in witnessing to the fact that Jesus did not remain in the tomb but rose from the dead, it points to the promise that one day we too can thereby rise to eternal life. It is important to recognise that whilst we reside upon this earth in physical bodies, we are also spiritual beings intended to live for eternity.
In too many places across the globe, a resolute turning to materialism has led to an unhealthy exclusion of those other key elements required for men and women to know deep and lasting satisfaction. Materialism can never address the deepest longings of our heart, and this superficial feature of too many societies around the world is simply incapable of giving true joy and freedom. Life is more than the accumulation of possessions and many individuals today, despite owning so much, remain unsatisfied.
Some do earnestly seek after the point of and purpose for life, and also desire an assurance that there is indeed ‘something’ after death. Too often, though, people look in the wrong place – how many readily consult horoscopes in an ultimately fruitless attempt to understand present unknowns, or gain a form of security for a sometimes daunting future?
My attention was recently arrested whilst reading Tim Leberecht’s comment: ‘We live in times of major uncertainty. The doom and gloom of the economic crisis, the deterioration of mass markets, the pervasiveness of the digital lifestyle, and the fragmentation of traditional societal institutions are not only inducing anxiety but also inspiring a search for simplicity and noneconomic value systems. Consumption-driven wealth and status are being replaced by identity, belonging, and a strong desire to contribute to – or to experience – something “meaningful” rather than to acquire more things.’
The Bible, of course, does address the most fundamental needs of and questions from humanity. It speaks to us about the purpose of our lives. It speaks to us about our destiny. It speaks to us about our eternal future being made secure. It is only as we carefully read the Bible, as we diligently study it, as we meditate prayerfully on it, that we begin to appreciate the true fullness of life that can be ours if we will but reach out and grasp it.
In the book of Acts we find an account of two apostles, Peter and John, being hauled before the Sanhedrin after they had healed a crippled man. Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, made this bold statement: ‘If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.” Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:9-12 NIV 1984).
There is nothing more important in this life than for us to discover the truth that indeed, ‘Salvation is found in no one else’. The Christian message is unique, because this message is not merely about a set of doctrines and beliefs. It is not about religion. Rather it is about the living man, Jesus Christ. We celebrate a risen Lord and Saviour. In him alone we find peace, joy, and assurance regarding our eternal future. May this be your personal and daily experience!
General André Cox