We looked at the first recorded Christian sermon in Acts Chapter 2 to hear the Christian answer to the question posed by Leo Tolstoy:
“Is there any meaning in my life the inevitable death awaiting me will not destroy?”
Everyone who has faced the loss of meaning in their lives understands Tolstoy’s question. According to the World Values Survey, 3 out of 4 people around the globe report that they think about the meaning of their lives. It’s a universal question, but it’s not exactly timeless.
Philosopher Julian Young, in his book, The Death of God and the Meaning of Life, noted that we have not talked about the meaning of life in Western civilization until fairly recently.
With the Darwinian revolution and the secularization of Western culture came a crisis of meaning. As noted Darwinian and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote, in a purely natural world there is “no reason for attributing to man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to a baboon or a grain of sand.”
Most of us find that unacceptable. But where do we go for meaning when our hearts are shattered by a broken relationship? When personal failure threatens to destroy the lives we have built? When tragedy steals our hope?
We need meaning that is bigger than us, bigger than our suffering and bigger than death. In Acts 2, we find Jesus presented as the solution to that problem.
Jesus is greater than us.
Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God . . .
Jesus is greater than our suffering.
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God . . .
Jesus is greater than death.
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it . . .
To know Christ is to find a meaning greater than death! No heartbreak, no personal failure, no tragedy, not even death can take that away!
Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown