Why Does Jesus Matter? He Brings Meaning To Life

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 16, 2014 0 comments

When I was in college attending a Campus Crusade for Christ event with a special guest speaker, the focus for the teaching for all of us who were young adults newly out on our own was on the danger of disobeying God’s command to remain sexually pure until marriage. This is because sexual temptation is one of the most powerful tools Satan uses to try to ruin the lives of young people. I vividly remember the speaker’s explanation of his feelings immediately after he had lost his virginity as a 19-year old, single man. He spoke about how he and his buddies had talked about sex for so long and how they couldn’t wait to experience what they thought would bring ultimate contentment. They were wrong. The speaker talked about how, when it finally happened and his buddy asked him how it was, he responded, “It was alright”. He said that, at that very moment, he thought to himself, “Did I really waste all that time and energy building myself up to something that was just ‘alright’?” The idea that something so desired could be meaningless because he experienced it apart from God brought him despair.

You have probably experienced this with something you desired in your life. Some of you have probably experienced this despair regarding sex. It’s true that anytime we seek things apart from Christ, we really cannot find complete satisfaction. Perhaps this is why Jesus tells us to keep our focus on that which can bring joy now and reward us later. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20). The Greek word in that passage for “treasure” also means “storeroom” and is the root of our English word “thesaurus”. If you think about it, a thesaurus is a storeroom of words and phrases that both helps us now and is saved for later use. In the same way, our treasures in heaven make us feel joyful now and are protected for all of eternity!

No matter what we do in this world, we cannot protect our earthly treasures. The wisest and wealthiest man there ever was, King Solomon, learned this toward the end of his life, most of which he spent chasing worldly pleasures. In Ecclesiastes 2, he brings the reader through his mindset to the shocking conclusion that “everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (v. 11). He repeats this declaration or variations of it several other times in the chapter. He talks about seeking pleasure through entertainment and drinking (vv. 1-3), through projects, working hard, planning well, acquiring servants, amassing wealth, and sexual pleasure (vv. 4-9), and through philosophy, intelligence, and education (vv. 17-23). These are many of the things we chase after today as well! However, none of the aforementioned pleasures are inherently evil. What makes them meaningless in this life is trying to attain them apart from Christ. If our focus is on Jesus, we can use what he has given us to advance his kingdom, also known as “storing up treasures in heaven”. Without that focus, the best we can do is enjoy things for a short while on this earth and then either lose them completely or hand them over to someone else when we die. That moment could come tomorrow or a hundred years from now. Either way, it’s just a small fraction of eternity.

If we continue with an “under the sun” focus, there won’t be much meaning to life. Under the sun, we can be wise, plan well, and do everything right in the eyes of the world and still have our reward taken away by moth, rust, thieves, and even the government! This is true with more than just money. Your education and knowledge can be rendered meaningless. Sex outside of God’s command can lead to unwanted pregnancy, disease, and depression. Even if you are a boss with power and status, you could lose your job in a heartbeat. You can work hard to develop a good reputation and have it destroyed through no fault of your own. In heaven, however, all the treasures you’ve built up are secure for all of eternity. You’ve trusted Jesus with them and he will not allow them to be stolen away or damaged. If you grasp this concept, you can walk through this life with joy, peace, and meaning even as you watch your earthly treasures disappear.

After telling his disciples that he was going to his Father’s house to “prepare a place” for them (John 14:2), Jesus makes it clear why he matters so much. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus matters to you and me because he is the ONLY way to heaven, where our Father dwells with us (Revelation 21:3). Knowing there is a joyous eternity awaiting us where our treasures are protected is the only way we can find meaning in this life.