Recently, I was talking to a friend who had just returned from a visit to family in Australia. She commented on the propensity for the media to focus on the latest and what is deemed to be the greatest news item.
I suspect we all know that only too well here in North America. Her comments were occasioned by the loss of the Malaysian airliner and the enormous amount of time, energy and expense involved in searching for the missing aircraft. Only today, I read that it has been the most expensive search ever conducted and it still hasn’t produced any definitive result. The answer is proving to be most elusive.
One has to feel for all those who have suffered a loss in this catastrophe. Having said that, the scale and cost of the search raises a number of questions about how we establish priorities in a global context. When, for example, do we conclude there is nothing more that can be done? How long does one continue to search? Are we prepared to put huge resources into other greater catastrophes around the world?
I obviously have no answers, but the questions will not go away.
It was this time of year two thousand years ago there was another great search taking place. It was a search for answers about the most significant person who has ever lived. There were questions about where he was to be found but, more importantly, there were questions prompting a search about the identity of Jesus.
On the last night of his human life, there were those who were searching for him in order to arrest him and get rid of him. That was the substance of the betrayal by Judas Iscariot — he provided the information as to where Jesus could be arrested with impunity. Those desiring to remove him from the nation had to do so under cover of darkness. Fear driven by self-interest leads to that.
Those searching for answers to the question of the identity of Jesus found there were no easy answers, but they were able to do so openly. Greek-speaking enquirers came to Philip the apostle and asked to see Jesus — they had to see for themselves.
The answers were only to be found by putting the relationship to the test and trusting that Jesus was the person he claimed to be, even though the events that were almost upon them were going to be horrifying and traumatic.
So many are searching for meaning and answers in life. Jesus is not elusive. He has always been “out there” for all to see. The search is not difficult, but it is not inconsequential. It requires of us something of a surrender of all the control that we like to exercise in our lives, but the discovery can lead to results that are greater than all we could ask or imagine.
This holy season, may I encourage you to embark upon or continue your search?
The cross and the resurrection of Jesus are where the answers are to be found.