Advent – finding the Truth.
Acts 13: 28
“Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.”
At long last the people of Jerusalem and their rulers searched after Jesus. But it was not the search for personal transformation but rather to condemn. They lived in Jerusalem and were the spiritual rulers of the people, they knew the Scriptures and yet they didn’t truly know them. As a result the people followed their example. They searched to condemn but couldn’t find anything to pin on him, so they asked Pilate to sentence him.
Maybe they were the same people that were around at his birth. Very likely they were, but older now, yet nothing had changed. You see at the slightest rumour that a Saviour had been born you would have thought that the scribes, rulers and Pharisees would have been the first to be there, to check it out if nothing else. There are many who ought to be the first but because of familiarity and cynicism or anger and feelings of injustice, are last. They were not there at the birth but they were there at the death of Jesus.
John 6:24 “Once the crowd realised that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus”. And why? Well, Jesus wasn’t fooled. He told them it wasn’t a genuine search for him. It was just because they had been fed miracle food at the feeding of the 5,000. They were searching in order to fulfil their appetite for more. So we come back to the verse today. We realise we can search for all the wrong reasons.
In 2015 a scientist in Jerusalem claimed he had ‘virtually unequivocal evidence’ that could help explain the whereabouts of Christ’s remains. Yes, I know, the sentence doesn’t make sense and in fact it was virtual that was the problem for him! He had found a tomb with inscriptions on the sides. Apparently that is all that was needed. Anyway I think he is still searching.
From his birth the shepherds then later the magi searched. They wanted to find the Christ and they did. It is not easy in the English language to grasp the urgency that the shepherds had once the angels had left them. The Living Bible is probably the best at trying to convey the meaning of a 2-letter Greek word which means, “Come on! Let’s go!” It is not easy searching for Jesus. It must have been difficult and perhaps sacrificial to travel from their homes to the house where Jesus was born.
Let me encourage you to find something new in Jesus this advent. You do not know it all. Even the advent story, you may think you do, but there are still gems to unearth.
Don’t let yourself become so judgmental that it leaves you disappointed and angry.
Don’t let familiarity stop you finding truth.
Don’t let your own wish-list be the focus of what you try to find.
Don’t let your intelligence make you a virtual fool.
Don’t let apathy or any difficulty slow you down from the urgency of finding Jesus.
Find the Truth and the Truth will never disappoint.