I misplaced a key one day somewhere, the key that I used to toss in the air, the key that I used to spin along in my fingers was found missing, I was searching for many hours as if the purpose of my whole life was about the key. Nothing seemed to be important to me till I find it, the key that I never cared for became the most valuable thing at that moment, I was cursing myself of my mistake of not keeping it at the right place, but a great relief came inside of me, when I found it after a long search. It’s true about the following statement “you never know the value of something, until you miss it”.
Man’s quest for immortality began very early, and can be unarguably called as the mother of all quests. Historically, from the times the ancient civilization flourished on the banks of Euphrates and Tigris, to the present technologically civilized modern world, many things have changed but not this quest for immortality. Man still asks what happens to me when I die.
Alexander the great of Macedonia, the famous student of Aristotle, considered to be one of the greatest military leaders of all times, went on a mission to conquer the whole world and unify every person in the world under his rule. He thought by doing that his name will be etched among the immortals. He believed that no one could stop him from achieving immortality and to an extent it seemed true, when no other powerful army at that time could stop his force. But soon he faced his most crucial battle, this time it was not on the battle field but in his bed, fighting within himself, a battle between life and death. Alexander, who proclaimed immortality conquering humanity through physical force, was lying in a state of humanness, wanting to conquer death and be that immortal he hoped for. History registers his life as a mortal man who had great ambitions. He could destroy lives but could not destroy death.
The central theme here is not the life of Alexander, but someone who lived in ancient Palestine approximately 300 years after him. He too had a message for this world, but his message was totally different. He asked a question which is synonymous to the life of Alexander “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”(Mark 8:36). He didn’t wage a battle against life but against death to build a kingdom. A man who walked this earth like an ordinary man, but yet with the authority beyond ordinary, a man who taught to love your neighbor as yourself, a man who asked to show the other cheek when you are beaten in one, a man who lived his life in purity and according to all he preached, fearless in his own way countering the ideological battle of his times and times to come. His whole life showed that He is different from all of us; He healed the sick, chased out demons, opened the eyes of the blind, calmed the storm, walked on water and raised the dead. He demonstrated power, not that of man but of God. He was called “Jesus, the Christ”! Jesus Christ answered the ancient quest of human immortality, this time it really came with a proof. He said “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25). What did He really do to make us live? How did he answer the question of immortality?
In the beginning of creation as found in Genesis, soon after man lost immortality due to sin the quest for immortality began in him. Sin, which separated man from God made him to be unaware in time, that the answer for his immortality lies with the One who created him, the Creator God. To take away this ignorance of man regarding his destiny, God became man in Jesus Christ to give back what he lost in his disobedience. Jesus overcame everything caused by human sin (fear, disease, guilt) including death. He died for human sin which prevented human immortality. He didn’t remain dead, but rose again as He said (Luke 24:7), to give the hope of eternal life (John 3:16, 17&10:10). After his resurrection, Jesus reached out to this whole world not with arrogance but with love, not with an external force but with an internal transformation. Man’s quest for immortality is answered through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The only way to receive immortality is to receive Jesus Christ, who calls us with love. He can be trusted because He is the only person to have overcome death, and with that authority He calls us out to give hope to our hopeless lives which we live in fear.
The purpose of our life is to live beyond this life on this earth, that’s how we are designed for. We missed this greatest gift of eternal life and were curelessly searching all over as I was searching the key. But God in Christ has answered this quest in us. It’s in our hands to believe and enter in to this new life of freedom. Man lives as if there is no death and dies as if there is no life. Only one thing is going to make the difference that is to have Jesus Christ at the centre of our life and death. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36). Happy Easter!