As we think about the meaning of life and wrestle through the question let’s take a closer look at why Jesus is the best candidate for a meaningful existence.
Jesus was seen as a manifestation of God in the Bahá’í Faith. The Quran mentions Jesus as the highest ranking prophet of God, the messiah, born of a virgin, a miracle worker and his name is mentioned 20+ times. Gandhi admired him and Castro regarded him a revolutionary. It seems that everyone wants a piece of Jesus!
Jesus is a great place to start because we have well preserved documents from eyewitnesses within a few years of his life and ministry. These documents are far better preserved than Caesar’s Gallic Wars therefore we should take them seriously.
Jesus is a fascinating historical figure because he astounded people and his words were thoughtful and complex. John Ortberg put it best in his book -Who Is This Man? when he said “Jesus is mysterious not just because of what we don’t know about him. He is mysterious because of what we do know about him.” Jesus claimed to be the author of life. Now if this is true, then Jesus really can know what the meaning of life is because he had the capacity to endow mankind with meaning.
Consider how a musician takes notes of music, which are simply pressure waves and arranges them in a way to make a melody and then uses linguistics to string words together to create a song. The song has meaning because the author gives it meaning. Meaning is an endowed quality.1
Reynolds Price wrote that Jesus says in the clearest voice we have the sentence humanity craves: “the Maker of all things loves and wants me […] In no other book our culture owns can we see a clearer graph of the need.”2
There is no question that Jesus claimed to be God, that’s the reason the high priest condemned Jesus: blasphemy. The earliest account of his trial is in the book of Mark.
Mark 14: 61-64 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.
We also have the apostle John, Jesus closest disciple claiming that Jesus is the author of life,
John 1~ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In conclusion we can see that Jesus is a great candidate for a number of reasons:
1. There are no suitable alternative candidates,
2. Jesus is esteemed by people from all walks of life,
3. Our historical records for Jesus are second to none,
4. There is no other figure that states with more clarity that “the maker of all things loves and wants me.”
5. Jesus explicitly stated that he is God, the author of life.
A significant life is possible because the author of life is Jesus.3
1 Thinking?, Pg. 10, Stieger.
2 Three Gospels, pg.177, Reynolds Price
3 Mark12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength […] and love your neighbour as yourself. -Mark 12:30-31, Thinking?, Pg. 23, Stieger.