Everlasting Life Under the Christmas Tree

dan delzell opinion page

Man is on a quest, and it goes far beyond the fictional fantasy of "Star Wars." I am talking about something real and eternal. And everybody wants it.

Tech billionaires are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in their pursuit to extend life. This includes Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The ultimate goal of their expensive research is to find the holy grail of life extension, namely, immortality.

It makes sense. After all, everyone wants to live forever, right? There is something inside each of us that longs for everlasting life. Ecclesiastes 3:11 explains why we have this longing: "God has set eternity in the human heart."

No wonder we crave immortality. As oxygen is to the body, eternal life is to the soul.

And while certain billionaires attempt to discover the secret of life extension, God's Word connects the dots. It's all right there in Scripture. And so Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Mark 4:9)

This is no joke. Nor is it "pie in the sky" daydreaming. It's reality. And if it wasn't for the blinding nature of sin in man's heart, everyone would see it. Sin is a terrible thing. It's corrupts man's motives, and even worse, it blinds man from seeing how to obtain everlasting life in paradise.

How bad is this blindness you ask? Well, think of it this way.

Imagine yourself roaming around blindfolded out in the desert. Needless to say, your thirst would be extreme. Imagine there being a spring of water located 5 miles away, and a tall tree standing right next to the spring. Your obvious challenge would be to find the spring.

So how does this relate to Christmas? It's simple. Just connect the dots.

Man's sin had left him without spiritual water. Jesus was born into a world of thirsty human beings, and a fountain sprang up right there in Bethlehem. When Christ died on the cross, a tree was created at the spring. And ever since the Holy Spirit came into the world at Pentecost, streams of living water have been gushing forth continuously under the tree.

Meanwhile, man remains thirsty today. All of us entered this world with a blindfold covering the eyes of our soul. Man simply doesn't see why Jesus and Bethlehem and Christmas are that big of a deal. And yet he pursues whatever he thinks will satisfy him.

A famous rock star once said, "I've got everything a man could want — a beautiful home, a beautiful girlfriend, wonderful children, and money to enjoy life, and yet there's something missing."

Obviously, those things couldn't satisfy his spiritual thirst.

Thankfully, God provided a healing stream which soothes the soul and calms the spirit. It's quenches man's deepest thirst, and it's right there under the tree. This is the exact spot where man accepts Christ into his life to be his Lord and Savior.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) There is only one oasis where man can be forgiven and quench his thirst for truth, meaning, and life everlasting.

The moment a sinner drinks from God's spring, eternal life is granted. God's living water is truly miraculous. Make no mistake about it. Christmas delivers an everlasting gift which God gave to the world. And like all gifts, it only benefits the one who opens it.

Follow the clues, just like the wise men followed the star. Follow the prophecies about the Messiah. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. And allow the grace of God to fill your soul and quench your spiritual thirst as you trust Jesus to deliver your soul from sin and death.

Drink up. It doesn't get any better than this.

You really can live forever. And you don't have to be a billionaire to discover the secret. In fact, you won't discover it through expensive research. You will only understand it and believe it when the blindfold is off and your eyes see Bethlehem, the tree, and the spring.

Will this be your Christmas to finally grasp what the celebration is all about?

Jesus told a Samaritan woman at the well, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water." (John 4:10)

Jesus went on to tell her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:13,14)

So be bold in your response to Christ's claim. Either believe it with all of your heart, or reject it with all of your heart. But just remember. You won't find another spring in this desert that can give you everlasting life. That's because no other spring exists.

So much for "Star Wars." Movies can give you a temporary emotional buzz, but paradise in heaven is the gift that keeps on giving.

It really boils down to whether or not you want to live forever in paradise. If so, then go to Bethlehem. Trust in the cross. Believe in the Lord's empty tomb. Connect the dots, and receive the gift of everlasting life.

It has your name on it, and it's under the Christmas tree right now. Simply open it up through faith.

Go ahead. Take off the blindfold. Do you see your Christmas gift from God, or are you still walking in spiritual darkness?

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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