Finding meaning in life. what matters most? #four.
What is meaningful to you? If you have close family members or loved ones, being with them is likely what sprung to your mind first. Beyond that, finding meaning in life translates to an inner satisfaction in the living of everyday life.
Ergo, activities and responsibilities may shift or change according to our seasons of life, oft altered by things out of our control, yet our contentment need not falter.
So where do we find true meaning then-meaning that will translate to contentment? I have submitted to you, dear reader/listener, that
what matters most is the most fulfilling relationship possible
-that with our Creator God,
made possible through his Son's willingness to lay aside divinity
and put on human flesh to become one of us,
show us a better way, and then pay the ultimate price
-with his life on the Roman instrument of humiliating, agonizing torture: a wooden cross.
Yet, death did not keep Jesus in the grave; no, indeed not! He defeated death when he emerged from the garden tomb on the third day, just as he said he would do, Friend! Blaise Pascal had it right, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ."
How can I know these things are true? Simply, God gave us his word. O, not just his word, as in his promise ... yes, he gave us many of those, but no, I am referring to the written Word of God, the Holy Bible. In the last number of days, we have looked at prophecies (just a few of them) contained in the Old Testament, fulfilled hundreds of years later; we have looked at geographic sites referenced in Scripture, excavated and known today.
And hence, we draw nigh to the desert land where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered not too far from the shores of the sea itself, by Bedouin shepherds - just before the War of Independence broke out. On May 14, 1948, Israel would become a state again, which as mentioned the other day, was the fulfillment of a 2600-year old prophecy by Ezekiel. Who could ever think that it could happen?!
This discovery of the scrolls proved to be invaluable . . . "In February or March of 1946, a Bedouin shepherd boy named Muhammad was searching for a lost goat. He tossed a stone into a hole in a cliff about eight miles south of Jericho. To his surprise, he heard the sound of shattering pottery. Investigating, he discovered an amazing sight. On the floor of the cave were several large jars containing leather scrolls, wrapped in linen cloth. Because the jars were carefully sealed, the scrolls had been preserved in excellent condition for nearly 1900 years."
More than a thousand ancient manuscripts were discovered in the northwestern side of the Dead Sea close to a site call "Qumran" between the years 1947-1956, in 11 different caves, where the Essenes lived. Among the scrolls found, were books of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament: all the books, in fact, except Esther and Nehemiah. The most common books found were Psalms and Deuteronomy.
The scrolls were written around 250 BCE - 70 CE, putting them in the Second Temple period and at the time of the New Testament. Before the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest complete Hebrew manuscripts in possession were from A.D. 900. The Scrolls demonstrate the unusual accuracy of the copyists of Scripture spanning a 1,000-year period. For example of the 166 words in Isaiah 53, there is only one word (three letters) in question after a thousand years of transmission-and this word does not significantly change the meaning of the passage.
Prophecy and its fulfillment, and real places named in Scripture shore up the truths therein; the Dead Sea Scrolls shore up her accuracy. The holy scriptures God gave us are trustworthy because HE is a TRUSTWORTHY God, my friends. And having relationship with him is the key to finding true meaning in our lives as well.
Try it. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.