Is it something tangible, like a set of keys? Maybe a valuable piece of jewelry?
Maybe it’s something intangible—and much more valuable. Maybe you feel like what you seek is—out of reach.
About a month ago, my husband and I went to see the film “Risen,” the story of Christ’s resurrection as viewed from a high-ranking Roman soldier. The story begins with the end of the crucifixion.
Pilate instructs a Roman Tribune, Clavius, and his assistant to make sure “the Jew” is dead before sundown—ensuring that the body is not stolen. Of course, when Tribune arrives at Golgotha, “the Jew” is already dead. But Tribune’s attention is captured by the open, yet empty eyes, staring back at him.
Later that evening, Pilate and Tribune are alone discussing Tribune’s future. Noting his ambition, Pilate asks him, “Tribune, what do you seek?” He answers with a list of things, and ends with what he wants most, “Peace … A day without death.”
Think about it—living with brutal death every, single day. Unable to imagine it could be different.
Of course, the body does go missing, and the rest of the movie is about Tribune’s search for it—certain that if he can find the disciples, he’ll find the stolen body. Instead of discovering the stolen body, however, he finds something completely different—he comes face to face with the Risen Christ. This time, the eyes looking back at him are not empty with death, but alive—with love!
Toward the end of the movie, Tribune has a moment alone with Christ, who calls him by name when He asks, “Clavius, what do you seek?” Tribune responds with silence. Then Christ probes, “Peace? A day without death?”
The very things this hardened Roman soldier sought are the very things Christ came to give.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27) [Emphasis added.]
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full…I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:10, 28 NIV)
What is going on in your own world today?
- Are you so busy that you feel like you don’t even have time to breathe?
- Are you exhausted, mentally and physically, from caring for elderly parents?
- Are you adjusting to life with an infant?
- Sleepless nights and wearisome days?
- Is there a relationship in your life that is taking you to the end of your ability to love?
- Do you experience chronic pain?
- Are you physically ill and without hope?
- Do you have a child who is struggling in school and you have no answers?
All of these, and many more, can bring us to a place of desperation–ready to give up, ready to throw in the towel.
What are you looking for?
When we find ourselves in the middle of life that has no visible evidence of peace, how do we actually grasp what it is we are looking for?
Forever peace, forever life … happens in the “ever after” — when we are living in our forever home with Christ. Someday, there will be no more sorrow or pain. God will wipe away every tear and make everything new (Revelation 21:4-5).
In the meantime, He gives us the strength to endure. We can experience the peace of heart and peace of mind that Jesus promised His disciples. It’s a choice–to yield our hearts and our minds to the Spirit.
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (Romans 8:6) [Emphasis added.]
We follow Christ’s example when He did when He faced the most difficult trial of all. Because of the joy that awaited Him, He endured.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2-3)
We keep our eyes on Jesus.
It’s the only way I know how to get through the tough stuff. Starting each day alone with Jesus, in prayer and reading the Bible. Quiet moments before the busyness of everything else gets started. If I don’t start the day like this, there is no telling how I’m going to handle the rest of it.
I just came off of a two-month whirlwind of activity (as evidence from my absence here!). It was an incredibly busy time with my girls’ Winter Guard competition season (and we have one more competition to go!). The only way I kept my focus on what was important, was through my daily quiet time. Sometimes I could spend 30 minutes or an hour. Other days, 15 minutes is all I had. But it was just what I needed. It’s all about a relationship with Jesus.
The Roman soldier finally figured it out. In searching for the body of a dead man, he found life instead–and that changed everything. He found what he was looking for. He was finally able to experience peace … and days without death.What are you looking for? Jesus is the answer
What are you looking for? The answer is Jesus. If you’ve never met Him, you can get to know him here!