Are You Missing Out on the Gift of the Good and Abundant Life?
The entire life and ministry of Christ was one of apparent weakness, and this began at his birth. The King of the universe born in a cattle stall? That's a hard sell. Therefore, the great question posed to the human race has always been: Do we have the faith necessary to rest in such a Savior? Do we trust that a strong and sure salvation can come from one who seems so small and so inadequate?
Tragically, the majority report on the answer to that question has been "no." It's especially tragic this time of year to see the whole world searching for some kind of happiness and fulfillment and love, and yet they look right past Jesus who alone is able to provide all of those things in the fullest.
Are you looking past Jesus for your happiness and fulfillment?
Dare we do the same? As we look through the pages of Scripture, we know that Christ is not small or inadequate in the least:
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Heb. 1:3)
He is, as Samuel Rutherford puts it, "bottomless and boundless." Even when Jesus was a helpless infant, the government rested on his shoulders (Isa. 9:6). So we are to look past the apparent weakness and see the underlying glory and wonder that is our Savior. Thus, Rutherford writes:
O, pity for evermore that there should be such a one as Christ Jesus, so boundless, so bottomless, and so incomparable in infinite excellency, and sweetness, and so few to take Him! O, ye poor dry dead souls, why will ye not come hither with your vessels and your empty souls to this huge, and fair, and deep, and sweet well of life, and fill all your vessels? O, that Christ should be so large in sweetness and worth, and we so narrow, pinched, so ebb, and so void of all happiness, and yet men will not take Him! They lose their love miserably, who will not bestow it on this lovely one. (Letters of Samuel Rutherford [Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1984], 446)
Jesus gives us an explicit reason for his coming to earth in John 10:10. It is in his great lesson on the sheep and the Good Shepherd, and he says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” His purpose was to give us something: life. But note, it’s not just any kind of life. It’s an abundant life.
Jesus came to give us the good and abundant life.
Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are all on a search for “the good life.” We are all after that person, place, or thing that will make us satisfied, someone or something that will give us meaning in this world. And since that’s what we’re all looking for, that’s what everyone else is trying to sell us. Someone may claim that the good life is entertainment or that the good life is found in riches or religiosity. There have been countless objects touted about as the secret to lasting personal peace and satisfaction.
But they all come up short. Why? Because nothing and no one except Jesus can give us not just the good life but, even better, the abundant life—a life that is so full it is beyond measure. For that to be the case, it certainly cannot be capped by our lifespan here on earth. That is certainly measurable. Rather, Jesus gives life that begins here on earth but reaches to eternity. The abundant life is a life lived with one foot on earth and the other in heaven.
This is the great gift that Christ brought us through his incarnation—life, death, resurrection, and ascension. He left his abundant life in heaven and took up a meager and miserable life like ours here below. And he says, “Put your faith and trust in me, believe that I have done everything necessary to satisfy you, and you can have the good life, the abundant life.” And it’s all a gift—one that we open now by faith and will enjoy by sight for ages without end.
The Letters of Samuel Rutherford (Puritan Paperbacks) by Samuel Rutherford
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