The Declaration Of Independence expressly states that all people are endowed by God with certain rights. The famous Document recognizes the three human Rights – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – as the most important. Now we need to choose which one of them is chief. We should say that it is Life because the other two, liberty and happiness, are only the quality of Life such as the sovereign life and the happy life in which one lives. By all appearances, Life is the most valuable treasure given to human beings by their Creator, and the Declaration proclaims to the nations that all people shall be accounted worthy to obtain and enjoy God’s made world.
However, the theory and practice don’t always meet in beautiful harmony. Thus, in terms of the quality of life, there is a big difference between the low and upper classes, for example, or among the educated people and the uneducated. Yet, in the highest point, the benefits of being wealthy and smart and even healthy are meaningless, says a wise man. For the wise man, like the fool, will not be remembered for very long, because in the days to come, both will already have been forgotten. Alas, the wise man dies – just like the fool! (Ecc 2:16). Alas, the rich man dies – just like the beggar, and the strong man dies – just like the unwell. Unfortunately, this statement is true, all who had lived before us came to the end of the line, and after awhile the majority of them have been forgotten. From this prospect, the priceless gift of God seems to be less significant in the sight of the rest.
You might take note where people discuss the meaning of life, there is always a sense of frustration that gives a spicy flavor to people’s intellectual grasping. It was seen in a quote from Ecclesiastes, and it can be found in other literature without number. One such saying we borrowed from Muriel Barbery, a writer. She said, “We think we can make honey without sharing in the fate of bees, but we are in truth nothing but poor bees, destined to accomplish our task and then die.” This mind is in agreement with the nature of things; after man’s passing away either good or bad things made under the sun had to be turned into nothingness.
Now, it would be interesting to hear the different opinion of the people who think contrary to the rational mind. Here is one of the optimistic views on the meaning of life expressed by Donald Van de Mark, the next writer. He wrote, “That is how every human’s life work: to construct an identity bit by bit, to walk a path step by step, to live a life that is worthy of something higher, lighter, more fulfilling, and maybe even everlasting.” In this latter sense a writer Max Lucado said also, “Philosophers can debate the meaning of life, but you need a Lord who can declare the meaning of life.” It is true, we can find the meaning of life only from the One who Himself is an architect and source of life, but apart of Him life would be null and meaningless.
The question, What is life all about? is mostly the matter of philosophical, scientific, and theological debates throughout history. But as for this moment, we don’t have enough time, even for a little, to discuss the philosophical and scientific theories on the matter of life. However, with respect to the key point by which the rational mind approaches the matter of importance, we should say a word. When the natural philosophers debate the question, What -Who is life all about? for them, it is not the matter of a Who? but a What? Contrary to this atheistic grasp, Christians see same things quite differently, because for us a Who is what it is all about!
Along with manifesting Himself in the work of creation, God has spoken to the apostles by His Son in these last days, (Heb 1:2). The inner circle of Jesus’ disciples were the first people who discovered God in their Teacher while he was with them, (Mat 16:16). They have heard the heavenly wisdom spoken through Jesus; they have seen the miraculous signs of transforming things, healing, and raising the dead; they have been touched by the divine hands in washing their feet. And finally, their deep frustration as the result of Christ’s death on the cross was turned into unspeakable joy when their eyes perceived the marks of death covered with everlasting life. “Peace be with you” he said, and showed them the marks of nails in his hands. Eight days later he came again in order to assure Thomas of his resurrection; then on hearing and on seeing the risen Lord Thomas exclaimed with awe, “My Lord and my God.” In the twinkling of an eye the perception of life as meaningless was reversed within the critical mind. We have seen the Lord!… We have seen the Lord! (Jon 20:25)… We have seen the Life! (1Jon 1:2).
What the apostles have seen and taught, they made it known to the public so that all the world may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing the believers may have life in his name, (Jh 20:31). In this instance, the temporarily life that has received its eternity in Jesus now can be adapted through the faith in him. Now to believe the apostle’s messages is a key by which a believer can open a door for the entire mining of life.
The question “Do you believe in God?” might have seemed to an ancient Jew as curious as the same question addressed to any Christian, or as curious as the question “Do you believe in alien abductions?” directed to any ufologist. Definitely, the Christians believe in God and the experts of UFOs believe in alien civilizations, even though they have never heard God spoken from the clouds, or more they seen an alien spacecraft. Despite this they might exclaim, “What is the tactless question!” But as to the ancient Jews, the question “Do you believe in God?” can be considered much more tactless because the presence of Yahweh among them was so evidently proclaimed and experienced. Rather the question ‘Do you have faith in God?’ made real sense for God’s people because for them to have faith in Yahweh was a matter of a practice, not of an intellectual belief.
The provided illustration is worthy to be reminded because if we follow the ancient Jew in their practical way to walk by faith, we’ll not miss the real meaning of life while we are living the temporal life. Therefore, the intellectual approach of the meaning of life cannot solve a problem, rather our willingness to live according to the everlasting codex given by God is the solution. To be one in mind and heart with Him is what makes our life meaningful and enjoyable. Here we again focus on Jesus, as the source of all goodness, who himself is Life eternal.
Since our Lord is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, then how can we have fellowship with him if we walk in darkness?, said the apostle. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us, (1Jn 1:10). The saying, “and his word is not in us” is the same if the apostle would say, “and his Life is not in us.” Therefore, if there is unwillingness to acknowledge our sin and to repent, it makes our lives fruitless and meaningless at the end. But how great, how great is our Lord! In order to make us his partners in eternity, he died on the cross becoming the “propitiation” for our sins, (1Jn 2:2), a righteous meeting-place between the sinner and God. It is therefore God whom the sinner believes; and in believing God he appropriates Christ, and His saving work. My little children, said the apostle, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1Jn 2:1).
God called us into existence through natural birth. And we have experienced this life as it is, with all its pleasures and pain. Yet, the mystery of having life within us is a totally remarkable. For example, the scientists can produce an artificial seed as if it would be real in shape and in substance, with all its amino acids, minerals, carbohydrates and so forth. They can do it so perfect that we would not be able to distinguish the artificial from the real one until both of them would be planted and watered. As soon as the original seed is ordered out, it takes its root, springs out a head, and enjoys its life under the sun. Contrary to this, the artificial one will never spring from the ground and multiply because it doesn’t have the living power in it. The answer to the meaning of life is here; it is our God – Jesus Christ himself – unsearchable and immortal. Now “I go to seek a Great Perhaps,” said a wise reader.