There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
What is life without Christ?
The people prepared for the great celebration. It came once a year and would last eight days. Everyone who could attend would. It would be a magnificent event.
The disciples were eager to begin their travel from Galilee to Judea for the upcoming Feast of the Tabernacles. It was a trip of over 70 miles and would take three days. They assumed that Jesus would join them on their long trip to Judea. But as they were leaving, Jesus told them:
“You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” (John 7:8)
Jesus had become known to the people through his miracles and good works. He had spoken in a compelling manner at the Temple. He had a large group of followers—as well as detractors. If this was not his time, then when?
His friends went to the Feast without him to take part in the weeklong gala. They sang and danced, ate fresh fruits and unleavened bread from grains of the harvest, drank wine, and exchanged gifts. For many, this was the greatest season of all.
Then, about halfway through the Feast, Jesus appeared. He had made the three day trip alone. He had something to say.
He began to teach them about who had sent him on his divine journey. He taught them about God.
When he had finished, the authorities made plans to arrest him and some even attempted to kill him. They could not believe that a prophet could come from the woeful town of Nazareth and it was inconceivable that this man was the Messiah. He must be a deceiver and a fraud, they insisted. When they approached Jesus, he said:
“I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” (John 7:33-34)
His tormentors were puzzled. Certainly they had the resources to locate and apprehend anyone under their regime. But their earthly dominion was not what Jesus was envisioning. When the time came, he was going to the one who had sent him; he was going to God. And the unbelievers could not come.
In rejecting Jesus Christ, they rejected the one true way to God. Yes, they could still have their expansive feasts and their grandiose festivals, their lavish parties and their extravagant gifts. But they would not have God. And they would not have eternal life in God’s kingdom.
This is life without Christ.
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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