I love questions. Perhaps I should qualify that statement, because I haven’t always loved questions. When forced to answer questions in situations over which I had no control, I have often hated them. For instance, when my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Holmes, decided to subject me to public humiliation by asking me right out loud in front of everybody what 9 x 12 was, I hated it. I hated the question and everything it represented. In that awful moment as Mrs. Holmes stared at me and tapped her wooden pointer on the floor, my only hope was that one of us would have some kind of a stroke and pass out. By then, I had developed a deeply felt and personal hatred for math, and even though I never told Mrs. Holmes directly, she somehow knew, which supported my conviction that she may have been a witch with power to read minds. In any case, my love for questions is not something I was born with. It has taken a lifetime of experiences to develop and to appreciate it.
Settings where interaction is possible have been, for me, the most personally stimulating and fruitful way to explore Biblical truth. Questions are provocative devices. They almost always provide challenging and intriguing invitations to think, to examine, to ask even more questions, and to delve more deeply into issues and problems that we might otherwise ignore or disregard. Questions lead to a search for answers and can ultimately become the doorway to achievement and understanding. Simple questions in many cases have provided the motivational springboard that led to some of the most beneficial discoveries and inventions human beings have ever developed.
The Relevant Question ~
And speaking of intriguing questions, there’s one that seems particularly relevant on the heels of last week’s Easter celebration. It emerged after that original “resurrection Sunday,” and it’s a question we would do well to consider, given the moral climate in the culture surrounding us. Luke records the question and gives us the context.
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Luke 24:1-5 (NKJV)
It was clear that what the women were expecting to find was not there. They were looking for the One who had offered them light, and life, and love, and hope, and peace, but the angels made it clear that they were looking in the wrong place. What they were looking for could not be found in a place reserved for death and darkness.
Equipped for the Good Life ~
We have been the recipients of the fruit of an endless search for ways to make life better. There has never been a culture in history that has had more resources for promoting, protecting, and preserving life than the one we live in. It would seem reasonable to expect that the prevailing attitude of our nation would be one of boundless optimism, collective gladness, and a sense of personal peace and security. Paradoxically, that is not the case.
We have learned that prosperity in and of itself does not provide fulfillment. Ease and convenience don’t necessarily make us better people. Sometimes we use it to promote laziness and self-indulgence. Medical expertise isn’t always applied to save lives. For instance, we use our incredible treasure of medical knowhow to kill some 3,000 innocent babies every day. We take solutions and chemicals that were developed to ease pain and promote healing and use them as tools to artificially enhance pleasure. We provide syringes so that people can easily inject them into otherwise healthy bodies, and thereby and manage to kill over 70,000 every year. We have more educational resources than any nation on earth, and we use them to expose our children to ideas and lifestyles that are empty and self-destructive while declaring that the Bible and prayer are dangerous and must be banned.
Right Things, Wrong Places ~
Most of us want a life with fulfillment for ourselves and perhaps even more for our children. We want relationships based on love that is faithful and enduring. We want the kind of internal strength that enables us to overcome obstacles, persevere against incredible odds, and achieve our most cherished goals. If that is indeed the kind of life that most of us want, why, then, are we looking for the source of a life like that in places that are little more than mental, emotional, and spiritual mortuaries? Why do we persist in promoting and supporting agencies, institutions, policies, principles, and practices that consistently fail to deliver what they promise and instead, produce only disappointment, frustration, anger, fear, pessimism, suffering, and death?
Maybe a basic problem is that we’re looking for the right things in places where they can never be found. A life of fulfillment can’t be found in empty philosophies, lifeless religions, corrupt political systems, or the lethal intoxication of hedonistic pleasure. Jesus said very clearly where everything about life we really want can be found:
All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers.., The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:8-10 (NKJV)
Jesus suffered a death he didn’t deserve in order to deliver us from the one our sins have earned. He visited the tomb long enough to validate its purpose and then vacated His presence from it forever. Tombs are places where dead things go to decay, not a place to find life and hope.
The whole world changed after that Easter morning, and those who heard the angel’s question started looking for hope elsewhere. They left the tomb in search of One who was and is alive, and they found in Him an abundant life that goes on forever. The angel’s post-resurrection question that morning wasn’t just for those women. The One waiting to give them more than they ever thought they’d find is waiting for us as well.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.
- “Questions lead to a search for answers and can ultimately become the doorway to achievement and understanding.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)”
- “We have more educational resources than any nation on earth, and we use it to expose our children to ideas and lifestyles that are empty and self-destructive, while declaring that the Bible and prayer are dangerous and must be banned.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “A life of fulfillment can’t be found in empty philosophies, lifeless religions, corrupt political systems, or the lethal intoxication of hedonistic pleasure. Jesus said very clearly where everything about life we really want can be found.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Jesus visited the tomb long enough to validate its purpose and then vacated His presence from it forever. Tombs are places where dead things go to decay, not a place to find life and hope.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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Ron, so many nuggets of truth in this post. I found myself nodding and saying, “amen” with each paragraph.
I suppose it all comes down to one question that has only one true response: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
If you’d allow me to, I’d love to post this on SoCal Voice. Let me know 🙂
Thanks, Beckie– my day just got a lot brighter again. Please feel free to share anything I write and I would be honored to have it submitted to SoCal Voice. I’m sure you get tired of hearing how much Diane and I love your work, appreciate your heart, and rejoice in your boldness, etc., but it’s hard to avoid mentioning it, so you might just have to suck it up and deal with it as best you can. I wish we could come to CA and get in on your next round of book signing events. Maybe if the socialists take over, plane tickets will be free– at least until AOC eliminates air travel of course. In any case, we’re praying for you and working to keep your East coast fan club alive and well. Oh, and if the leadership of the BRMCWC wises up and decides to bring you out to teach a class or two, please let us know.
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Too many people are “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Our only hope is in Christ Jesus.
Wonderful reflection, Ron. Blessings!
That’s so true, Martha, and you are precisely on point with the lyric about looking for love in all the wrong places, because love is the thing that everyone really wants, because nothing the world has to offer has any fulfillment without it. Thanks again, dear friend, for your faithful service.
Love the story of Mrs. Holmes. I sincerely hope that you will take time to come to the class reunion, I prefer, get together, but whatever. There are so many wonderful stories and memories to share. We will have a professional photographer there to do our “class pictures” and will produce a yearbook so that our memories of this get together are forever kept in our minds and hearts. The book is optional. Pictures are free, unless you want to order. she does an amazing job and is local.
Thanks so much for your gracious comment and for taking the time to respond, and I appreciate the reminder about the upcoming reunion. I’ve had several medical issues that have kept me pretty distracted and out of the loop in several areas, but I do want to come to the reunion and will get in touch in the next few days. I loved hearing from you and hope to see you again soon.