Sep 28, 2020 2504
During his earthly ministry, many people came looking for Jesus. And today, after he rose again and ascended to heaven, many look for him still.
The question of how to find Jesus is actually central finding not only fulfilment in this life, but also in finding eternal life. Jesus said, “I am… the life” (John 14:6, NIV). In other words, to find Jesus is to find salvation. Finding Jesus is finding eternal life.
In a very important passage in the letter he wrote to the Romans, the apostle Paul wrote about this. He compares those people who want to find Jesus by doing stuff, with those who realise that you don’t need to do any works to go to Jesus because he has already come to you. This is what he says:
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom 10:5-9, NIV).
Finding Jesus is finding salvation.
You often hear Christians talk about “coming to Jesus,” and in a sense there’s nothing wrong with that: except when it gives the impression that salvation is something they must do. For some, God is so holy that he is so far above us, and we must struggle to morally climb up to him. For others, God is so mysterious that he exists in some profound spiritual dimension into which we must descend through all kinds of spiritual disciplines and practices. The apostle Paul is talking precisely to those people here.
False religion tries to go on wearisome pilgrimages through life to find Jesus and his righteousness. What Paul is saying is that Jesus has already come to you. He has already brought his righteousness to you. He did it when he came to earth as a human, and died for you, to forever be the bridge of salvation between heaven and earth. Because of the Cross, Jesus is as close to you as your heart that beats and the air that you breathe.
Jesus is as close to you as your heart that beats and the air you breathe.
The righteousness that is by the law says that Christ is far from you. But the righteousness that is by faith says,
“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart” (v.8).
Why does it say, “the word”? Because the righteousness that is by faith is accessed simply by your declaration of faith that “Jesus is Lord.” This isn’t an idle mantra or ritual chant. This is declaration that is based on the belief “in your heart that God raised him from the dead.” Then, says the apostle, “you will be saved” (v.9).
Just like when he walked the earth, many people try to find Jesus today. He isn’t far. He is very close to you. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead to leave you, but to be always with you. Acknowledge him in your life, and you will be saved.