Imagine a world of no hope. All you have to look forward to is the end.
Imagine a world of no forgiveness. Every mistake is held against you, so just sit and wait for the gavel to drop.
Imagine a world with no righteousness. You can never do enough. You will never be enough. Are you foolish enough to keep trying to get it right?
Imagine a world of no peace. Every moment you know only fear. Even your sleep is consumed by visions of terror.
Imagine a World Without Jesus
As I read the book of Job, I realized that many people live in a world without Jesus. Such is the world Job lived in.
Job had it all – possessions, family, and reputation – but he lost everything in the matter of one minute. Shortly after that, he also lost his health.
Three friends came to console Job: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. They arrived confident of the perfect solution. Certain that Job’s circumstances were a just punishment for the sins of him and his household. They urged Job to repent before God.
My belly burns to hear such harsh accusations during unspeakable suffering. Job needs a heroine to come to his defense! I long to insert my services into the story and share the hope and comfort I know…
… until Job 9:32-35.
“He (God) is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.”Job 9:32-35 NIV (emphasis mine)
Job and his would-be comforters lived in a world without Jesus.
Without Jesus, there was no lifeline to God. Without Jesus’ righteousness, Job could not claim himself worthy to be in God’s presence, to ask questions, or to seek comfort. Without Jesus, the only thing Job looked forward to was death.
Maybe I’m too harsh on Job’s would-be comforters. What hope and comfort could I offer without Jesus? Hope and comfort devoid of Jesus’ name is just that – a void. Maybe Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did the best they could with what they knew.
Our Life This Side of the Cross
I grew up in the church, so I’ve always known about Jesus. I read my sepia illustrated, giant-print children’s Bible. I thanked Him, prayed to Him, cried to Him, wrote to Him, and sang to Him. These things were as normal as breathing and I’ve known nothing else.
And as an adult, I know Jesus as my Savior, my most cherished Friend and Comforter. Jesus is my faithful Defender from the lies and torment of anxiety. How much sweeter my life is now living in surrender to His grace and truth.
As I consider a world without Jesus, my awareness becomes as the blackest night. The depth of the void is drowning me! I flee to the surface of my present reality. That first panicked gasp of breath gives birth to a new appreciation for our life this side of the Cross.
We have hope for all the tomorrows of eternity.
We know forgiveness through the One who made no mistakes, yet fulfilled all judgement.
We don’t have to get it right, because His sacrifice is enough.
We have peace beyond understanding in the Holy Spirit inside us.
All Because of Jesus
As a mortal man, we can’t handle the fullness of Jesus’ sacrifice and love, but we can thank Him. We can also honor Him by obeying the last command He gave as a Man on earth: Go and teach to make disciples of others. For in sharing Jesus with others, we rescue them from a world without Jesus.
How will you give thanks and share His message today?