The Eternal Hope
Having said these things about the eternal nature of Jesus, “everlasting to everlasting”, we can now appreciate the hopeful message of spiritual life found in the opening lines of John’s gospel. He speaks of the eternal “Word” or “Logos”, which in Stoic thought represented the force of reason that held the cosmos together. Jesus was this force, and more. He was the personal God who created all things, sustains all things, and cares to be intimately involved in our lives. John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).
Consider how these profound truths speak to the hopelessness we see around us. As our society invests more faith in human systems is relies less on God’s strength. I am a proponent of the “In God we Trust” phrase stamped on our country’s coins, but I must also admit it has become more of an ideal than a fact. We turn to God when tragedy strikes, or when we reach the limits of our human understanding, but we don’t aggressively pursue His will as a nation. This secular trend slowly strips life of its significance since man’s goals are largely full of envy and selfish ambition.
But if the Christ who gave His life for us is God, and if He is eternal, then there must be a storyline that gives us meaning and draws all of creation into the design. We may not always understand our suffering, or the expected twists and turns of life, but a Savior who is “everlasting to everlasting” reminds us He is working everything out for good (Romans 8:28), and can even take the shattered pieces of our worst moments and use them for His purpose.
John’s words remind us there is a moral clause in creation. In other words, the world of which we have been made stewards is not ours to use as we please. We are accountable to God for the way we respect all of life, human and otherwise. We are also responsible for the wise use of natural resources and the precious environmental balance that is so essential to our existence. Why can’t we use human beings as utilities and cast them to the curb when we are finished? Why is it immoral to destroy an ecosystem or play dangerous games with genetics? It makes no sense to care about any of these things unless our Savior made everything and reminds us we are accountable for our actions.
Finally, we know in Christ there is a life that transcends this world. Our modern world is keenly tuned to spirituality, and rightfully so since we are spiritual beings. But spirituality only acknowledges a need and can set us on a futile journey if we only focus on ourselves and fail to find the truth. Jesus, the Word certainly addresses our personal needs, but He does so within the context of eternal themes and divine promises for the entire human race. He calls us to the life we were always meant to have and frees us from the chains that keep us from reaching our potential.
Only the Eternal Word can help us make sense of our complicated circumstances and point us back to our purpose for being. Without Him, we are bound to this world and its temporary fixes. With Him, we taste eternity, and as an old song suggests, “what the world didn’t give, the world can’t take away.”