Christ Our Prophet – Acts 3:17-26
by Pastor Rod Galindo
Many people today acknowledge that Jesus was a prophet, but what does the Bible say about Jesus as a prophet? Join us as we learn from Pastor Rod as h...Download
“I did not know what to think, I want to die,” said the young man when asked how he was doing. The young man was in a lot of pain. How would you approach this? What if you felt that way? Does life have value and why?
When I was studying to become a minister I remember being out with friends, family and even meet strangers and at some point many of them would ask me questions like the ones I mention above. Some of the questions were to the effect of, “So, Jesus, God, who’s to say that people like Muhammad or Buddha didn’t get it right? I mean isn’t there multiple truths for a multitude of people? multiple roads to heaven?”
Just so you know people that normally say this to me, I will normally ask, “have you read the Quran and learned what Buddha taught or learned the teachings of say Shinto or Daoism taught?” I ask this because most people I speak with will reply with a very reluctant shake of the head and admit that they have not.
More importantly, if you listen intently there are questions behind the questions. There are concerns and past hurts that these people were carrying as baggage as they ask these very deep spiritual questions. In fact, I think once in the airport while in line for check- in, a man said, “Why does God allow for bad things to happen and for Evil to exist? And let me tell you that it is only fair that I am carrying a lot of baggage with this question.” All these questions aren’t mere intellectual questions because I have never met someone that did not have something riding on the question. There always seemed to be a personal history, a struggle and wrestling with the questions. So I approach the questions very gently because I have learned that we all carry baggage. We all in some sense have a lot riding on how we think, accept and understand the answers to those questions, after all the questions affect our outlook on life and therefore our living.
With that said, my aim in these next few articles is to consider the fact that we are all in some sense on the same boat and we are all looking for some answers. This discussion is very personal for me because I have my integrity on the line and I have seen my own thinking, beliefs and teaching tested by very real experiences. The real impact of how you answer these questions hit me when I spoke with a friend who told me that they had considered that there life had no value. So with such a conclusion he told me “I don’t believe in suicide, but I do believe in a feeling. I believe that when I snort cocaine it will produce an emotion in me, in fact I only seem to feel anymore when I take cocaine. I believe in a bottle because it is always there to take the pain away, the ringing in my ear that says ‘I am not worth anything. You will never amount to anything.’” My friend John revealed something very dark, but this thinking is not unique to him. John truly believed he was alone on this life journey and he felt ashamed to admit that the cold he felt in the pit of his stomach was the emptiness that haunted him.
Why do we all at some point feel it? We feel this emptiness and it doesn’t matter where you are life or what you’re doing. It hits you like a ton of bricks when your making breakfast for the children before they go to school and you wonder “what has my life become?” and you feel that same emptiness inside the pit of your stomach. You feel that emptiness overcome you when you find out your spouse is having an affair. Emptiness wrenches your soul and your heartaches when you see your grown up children make a mess of their lives. Emptiness hurts when your faithful spouse of sixty years develops a disease like cancer and now there are few moments left and the darkness creeps in. Emptiness for those sleepless nights when you did not know if you could live another day with the shame given to you because someone you trusted abused that sacred trust. Though many of us have many different paths of life that have got us this far, we all have come through valleys of emptiness, heartaches, suffering, loneliness. At some point we ask, “Was this what life was supposed to be like?” Whether you are a soccer mom or high school student, a person who is well off in life or a person who is down and out on their luck, we all confront the questions in life that ask us, “What is life supposed to be about? What is my purpose? What am I here for? Is there more to life than this?”
I invite you on a journey with me in these next few blogs. In looking to answer the many questions life poses.