Where Do You Look for Meaning and Purpose?

When Mary Magdalene and the other women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body after his crucifixion they encountered two men described by Luke as angels who asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)

To their astonishment, these men told them that Jesus was alive!  He was not dead, though he had been put to death on the cross.  How incredulous the whole scene must have appeared to them.  Two days earlier, they saw him die and taken down from the cross.  They saw his dead body embraced by his mother as she wept.  They saw his body placed in the tomb.   How could he be alive?

Our God is the author and creator of life.  He is not confined by the boundaries of our perceptions. 

How often do we look for the living among the dead?  How often do we search for Jesus where he is not present?   How often do we look for real meaning, purpose or happiness in life where they are not to be found – in that next job, promotion or the ever-changing notion of success; in a particular friend, group of friends or organization; in a sports team, sports hero or celebrity entertainer; in that new house, boat or car; in breaking 80 in golf, achieving a perfect 300 game in bowling or completing a full marathon in record time; in food, alcohol, drugs or other unique experience?

I know a friend who was looking for meaning and purpose in life and tried all kinds of things, even traveling to the Himalayas in India, searching for the “Living Master.”  He did not find him.  Only later, after attending a weekend retreat in his hometown conducted by a Christian outreach to the business community, Christians in Commerce, did he find the true living master, Jesus, the Messiah.  This friend found that Jesus had been waiting for him all along.  “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

Jesus became alive and present to my friend, providing the meaning and purpose he had long sought.  Ever since, he has been operating a construction business, bringing God’s presence to his employees, customers and community in how he relates to others, does business with integrity and seeks excellence in all that he does.

Where do you look for Jesus – among the living or the dead?  He is present to you this very moment. 

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