The Gospel and The Human Dilemma

May 2, 2019

Written by Paul Wilkinson

The Struggle with Purpose

Who am I and why am I here? These basic questions have driven individuals to despair, anxiety, hopelessness, meaninglessness, and a number of other maladies. We struggle to find purpose in our existence. It all seems meaningless: one human being amongst 7 billion on one planet in one galaxy amongst billions of others. What’s the point?
We know that death awaits us, sooner or later, and that death’s persistence imposes itself upon our choices and actions today. We can’t escape it, and we refuse to embrace it. So, we find ourselves in a dilemma: we must continue to exist, but the longer our existence goes, the more meaningless it becomes.

A Familiar Feeling

Acts 3 introduces us to a man who was utterly in bondage. His body betrayed him. He relied on people to carry him around. He hoped others would supply his monetary and dietary needs. Begging others for help was his only option leading to despair.
Like us, he was trapped. Each day that he continued to exist led him to a greater sense of meaninglessness and hopelessness. Yet, on this day, Jesus broke into this man’s life in a dramatic way. Peter tells him to get up and walk, and through the power of God, the man regained mastery over his body, having never walked before, and freedom in his spirit to worship God!

Liberation in Jesus

Likewise, in our darkness, Jesus broke into our lives in an even more dramatic way. He became human without forfeiting his divinity so he could die to forgive us and free us from the enslavement of sin. In doing so, he welcomed us to life. Death continues to await us, but with new life in Christ, we mock it. Paul taunts death through the words of Hosea, “Where, death, is your sting?” Jesus liberates us from fear and death with a new identity, security, and purpose.
Through Jesus, we can answer the questions: who am I and why am I here? Like the man in Acts 3, we are healed, rescued children of God empowered to worship with awe and astonishment. Our existence, our life, is no longer meaningless because we are now in God’s family. We are victorious because Jesus died and was raised from the dead. We are freed to make disciples with Jesus among those still in the chains of despair.

From Plagued to Promised

Continued existence once plagued us. Now, it fuels us as we look forward to everlasting life with the Triune God, bringing as many other captives with us as we can. The Gospel of Jesus collides with the human dilemma and transforms the wreckage into hope, assurance, and freedom.
In the midst of our fears, our insecurities, our anxieties, our desire for control, our loneliness, our anger, our regret, and even our hopelessness, may we remember the clear message of the gospel — The Father is good, Jesus loves us, the Spirit is with us, and we are held by our dilemma no more. We live from this cross-secured identity. May we be witnesses of how this truth has to come to bear in our everyday thoughts, conversations, and relationships.