– Duke Jeyaraj on what gives life, the ultimate meaning, real purpose and lasting joy starting with the Jiah Khan suicide story.

Here are extracts from a heart-crushing suicide note:

“I was scared of getting pregnant but I gave myself completely. The pain you have caused me everyday has destroyed every bit of me, destroyed my soul. I can’t eat or sleep or think or function. I am running away from everything. All I wanted was love. I did everything for you. I was working for us. But you were never my partner. My future is destroyed my happiness snatched away from me. You destroyed my life. The Goa trip was my birthday present but even after you cheated I still spent on you. I aborted our baby when it hurt me deeply. You promised me once we made it to one year we would get engaged. All you want in life is partying, your women and your selfish motives. All I wanted was you and my happiness you took both away from me.…”

Reportedly, those are actual lines from the suicide note of Bollywood starlet Jiah Khan made public by her mother Rabiya. Jiah was an American-born actress who was raised in London. In this note, Jiah was talking about her boyfriend, Suraj Pancholi, at whose home she reportedly stayed, in what was her last weekend of her life before she killed herself on Monday night. Jiah’s Twitter bio suggested that she wanted to see life through her rose-colored glasses. Seeing life through her rose-colored glasses, she perhaps thought (as is revealed by suicide note) a sexual relationship with the man of her dreams and consequent marriage to the same person would give her life ultimate meaning, real purpose and lasting joy. But it did not. She was left feeling empty. She was left feeling shattered. She was so miserable that she committed suicide. On June 4, 2013, Bollywood was rudely woken up the news of her suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan during the previous night in her Juhu flat. The news of her suicide reached Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma at 1:30 am on 4th June. She was just 25. She had acted in movies opposite to some big names in Bollywood – Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar. Temporary fame only whetted her appetite for more fame and when that did not come, Jiah took her life in disgust.
In the Bible, we get to meet a ‘male Jiah Khan.’ Bemused? Don’t be. I want to refer to Ahitophel, the counselor to kings of Israel as the ‘male Silk Jiah Khan’. Both folk reached the pinnacle of their professions in their times. Having reached the pinnacle of their careers, both suddenly faced failures. When Jiah starred opposite to Amitabh in 2007 in a movie, she was perhaps the brightest newcomer to Bollywood. While Jiah faced competition from other upcoming starlets, She was ignored. “Jiah was in Hyderabad the day before her death for an audition which didn’t go well,” new websites reported. When she contacted, Director, Ram Gopal Verma, he told her that he was not able to fit her in any of the movies he was currently working on. Jiah felt like a failure in her profession, following these experiences. She ended her life. In the same way Ahitophel’s sad end came after he committed suicide, just like Jiah’s – the Bible reveals (2 Sam 17:23). Unable to face failures in their professional lives, both of them tragically ended their lives. What Jiah and Ahitophel did not perhaps realize when they committed suicide was that they couldn’t really kill themselves. The real persons inside this duo – their souls – continued to live long after their body became lifeless following their shocking suicides. Yes, each one of us has a soul inside of us which will go on to live forever and ever. This is what the Bible teaches. God has placed, eternity in our hearts – this is the teaching of the Bible (Eccl 3:11).

In the Bible, we meet yet another Jiah Khan – we can see the woman from Samaria that Jesus met at a well that way. Both were similar in their viewpoint that sexual relationship and men would give their lives meaning and purpose. The woman from Samaria perhaps thought to herself that if she drank the water called ‘love of a man’ she would find true satisfaction in her life. She was married to five different men, one after the other. Marriage number 1, perhaps failed and she sought solace in Marriage number 2. Then Marriage number 2, too failed. This went on till Marriage number 5. After each such sour relationship, she became frustrated and sincerely believed ‘another husband who was different’ would make her life ultimately happy. But she could not find that elusive happiness. She could not find in sin, what she entered sin to find. Sin did not satisfy her soul’s inner longings! When she met Jesus at the well, she was in her relationship number 6 – a relationship that involved living-in with a man, a relationship that involved, most certainly, sex outside the boundaries of marriage. What Jesus told her was in-effect this: “If you drink the water of sex, you will thirst again. If you drink the water I give you (in other words, if you have a living, daily relationship with me) then you will never thirst again!”

“Life under the sun was meaningless unless one has a relationship with the one above the Sun – even God!” – that was the message he tried to convey in this key Bible book (Eccl 2:25). Jiah, too, perhaps, discovered that the fleeting fame of the movie world and a sexual relationship with a Movie Star’s kid, ultimately left her only to whine, one fine day. These, instead of cheering her, irreversibly wove the option of suicide into her thoughts, and drove her deep into bottomless well of depression.

Yes, you could chase all the pleasures in the world in a desperate effort to discover happiness and peace, like Jiah did. But the pleasures of the World will not offer true happiness and peace – you will soon discover that. Only a daily, deep, relationship with Jesus – the one who died on the Cross for each one of us – will give us true happiness, peace, meaning and purpose. The punishment that brings us true peace was upon Jesus while he hung on the Cross, the Bible declares (in Isaiah 53). Jiah Khan ended her life deeply disappointed with all what movies with big stars, a sexual relationship, etc., could have ever offered her. If you chase the very things she chased – sex, silver, soul-mates, stardom, etc – or those of that kind, you too will be disappointed. Come to Christ, the one who explicitly said that he came to give you life – life to the full (John 10:10)! And you will not be disappointed! And you will find true peace and lasting joy. A loving relationship with Jesus, the only God who revealed himself in the flesh during the first Christmas, would be “enough” to satisfy the inner longings of the human soul, the Bible reveals (John 14:5,6). What’s more, when you come to Jesus in true repentance, your sins – even if they uncountable and even if they are unprintable – will be purged clean through the blood he shed for us on the Cross. This is a promise of God in the Bible who never tells a lie (cf. Isa 1:18).

If we pursue a living relationship with Jesus in our lives, our soul will be joyous on this side of eternity while we are still on this earth. Not only that – we will join Jesus after death to live with him forever after our soul will be reunited with our resurrected bodies. On the other hand, If we rejected Jesus, our souls, along with its resurrected bodies, will go to a place of torment that Jesus often talked about called Hell (See Daniel 12:2). This is the teaching of the Bible. So, what would you decide to do? What choice would you make? Would you reject Christ, live a life of living hell and go to literal hell? Or, would you live in Christ, experience the peace and joy he alone can give, and go to heaven to enjoy him, forever? I hope your choice will be wise.

One of the shadow-names of Jesus in the Bible is “Rose of Sharon” (Song of Songs 2:1, The Bible). Jiah Khan hoped what she saw on the other side of her rose-colored glasses – a sexual-relationship culminating in life-long love and marriage, a successful movie career, etc., – would give her life ultimate purpose, real meaning and lasting joy. She was disappointed. She committed suicide. Come to the Rose of Sharon, even, the Lord Jesus. Just as a Rose flower’s full fragrance is felt when it’s crushed, Jesus showed his full extent of his unparalleled love for us, by allowing himself – God-in-flesh – to be crushed as a punishment for our sins on the cross two millennia ago – this is what the Bible narrates (see Isaiah 53:5 which says, “But he (Jesus) was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed”). This ‘Rose of Sharon,’ will not disappoint you. He will give purpose and meaning in life. Jesus put purpose in each step of his, confessed Paul, a Jesus-follower (I Cor. 9:26, NLT Version of the Bible). When you give your life wholly to Jesus, the Rose of Sharon, you too will have purpose in each step!

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