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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Jesus gives us an explicit reason for His coming to earth in John 10:10. It is in His great lesson on the sheep and the Good Shepherd, and He says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” His purpose was to give us something: life. But note, it’s not just any kind of life. It’s an abundant life.

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are all on a search for “the good life.” We are all after that person, place, or thing that will make us satisfied. Something that will give us meaning in this world. And since that’s what we’re all looking for, that’s what everyone else is trying to sell us. Someone may claim that the good life is entertainment, or the good life is found in riches, or in religiosity. There have been countless objects touted about as the secret to lasting personal peace and satisfaction.

But they all come up short. Why? Because nothing and no one except Jesus can give us—not just the good life—but the abundant life. That is, a life that is so full it is beyond measure. For that to be the case, it certainly cannot be capped by our lifespan here on earth. That is certainly measurable. Rather, Jesus gives life that begins here on earth but reaches to eternity. The abundant life is a life lived with one foot on earth and yet the other in heaven.

This is the great gift that Christ brought us through His incarnation—life, death, resurrection, and ascension. He left his abundant life in heaven and took up a meager and miserable life like ours here below. And He says, “Put your faith in me, your trust in me, believe that I have done everything necessary to satisfy you, and you can have the good life, the abundant life.” And it’s all a gift. One that we open now by faith and will enjoy by sight for ages without end.

Jonathan Cruse