It was another Friday morning, but nothing was “typical” about it. I was at a hotel in India a couple of weeks ago (on the coast of the Indian Ocean) waiting for our ride to the morning seminar. As I looked around, I noticed a man walking up to a Hindu shrine in the center of the property. He bowed before it several times with his hands folded close to his chest. No doubt, he was asking for blessings and success in his life for that day. My heart went out to him, and, even though I could not speak his language, God could hear my prayers for him. As I watched him pray, questions came to my mind: “Do people think of Christianity as just another religion?” and “What was the reason Jesus came?” As I read the Bible, I discover that Jesus did not come just to offer people another religion to choose. God’s Word declares Jesus is the Good News, and He came to this world because God loves sinful, lost people. Jesus came to reconcile us to God that we might be a “dwelling place” for His very presence! Religions may need shrines and statues —along with many “works”—in order to appease their gods, but Jesus came to give us life in Him. Just before He died on the cross, Jesus prepared the disciples by praying with them and giving them promises about what really matters in life. In John 17:24, He prayed, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” The mission of Jesus is not to create a “religion.” He creates a “new humanity”—a people that belong to God through faith in the life and merits of Jesus. Jesus prays that we might be with Him where He is. Our true home is not found in this world; it is discovered in the presence and person of Christ. Someone once said, “Home is where the heart is.” My heart is not trusting in some religion but in the One who loves me and gave himself for me. Happy Resurrection Day!
Pastor Mark Boucher