... trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:29b-31
Have you ever wanted an answer to life's questions? I mean the really deep questions of life?
Oliver Wendell Holmes, the father of the Supreme Court justice, found those answers, or at least he thought he had. Working in the early days of anesthesia, Holmes was intrigued by the use of ether. In order to understand how his patients felt, he once had a dose of the anesthetic given to himself.
In the la-la land between consciousness and oblivion, a profound thought came to him. The thought was of such magnitude that Holmes felt, if he could write it down, it would provide answers to the great questions of life. Sadly, when he awoke, the great thought was gone.
Hoping to recapture his answer, Holmes had the ether applied again, but this time he had a stenographer sitting nearby to record all that was said. The mask, holding a cloth saturated with ether, was placed over Holmes' nose and mouth. Just before he slipped into his anesthetized sleep, the thought reappeared. Using all his will, Holmes mumbled the meaningful message. Later, after he had revived, he asked the sentence be read to him.
The sentence was, "The entire universe is permeated with a strong sense of turpentine."
I am sure you would agree the answers to life are not found in ether ... or drugs ... or money ... or in any of the places where humankind normally looks. Unfortunately, many people are not as wise as Mr. Holmes who admitted he had been barking up the wrong tree.
The truth is if you really wish to find the right answers to life's questions, you will need to consult the Lord. He who called this universe into being and knows everything about what was, is, and will be, is able to provide us with the answers we need to these great questions.
Search the Scriptures and He will tell you how man's disobedience brought sin, sorrow and tragedy into His once-perfect world. In the Bible you can read how, when mankind asked, "Is there any way I can earn God's favor?" the Lord replied, "No, the soul which sins shall die."
But then the Lord took His answer one-step further. He said, "No, you can't save yourself. If you are going to be rescued, it will happen by My will and according to My plan. That plan is this: so you might be saved I have sent My only Son into this world. He will accomplish all the things you need to do, but can't. He will keep the prophecies made about the Messiah; He will fulfill My Law and wipe out your sins. Finally, when all has been accomplished, He will die the death you deserved."
And when we ask the great question of life, "How can we be sure what You're telling us is true?" the Lord responds with His great answer. He says, "Go to My Son's grave and watch. If He has completed His work perfectly, He will rise from the dead."
And so it was. Jesus did do as His Father had asked, and that was verified when He conquered death. On the day we received God's answer to our need: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for sending Your Son to answer our questions and provide the only way to forgiveness and eternal life, I offer my thanks. Now may I bear witness to Him and the salvation His sacrifice has won. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries