Aishwariya Raitalked about it – a vacuum in her heart. She told the press once, “You know as Miss World, I was suddenly exposed to so much that after that year was over, there was a vacuum!” (The Times of India, 20 October 1999). Lindsay Lohan, actress of the erotic thriller movie, The Canyons (2013), told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that she wanted to go even to prison to “find some peace” (in an interview aired on 18 August 2013).
Do those real stories which you just read strike a chord in your bosom? Have you felt the same vacuum in your heart? Have to sought after serenity? Have you gone on a peace-chase? Think of the nights you hit the bed and stared into the ceiling and asked the question, “Is that all there is to life?”You walk with a spring in your step. You invariably flash a beaming smile. Your eyes sparkle. But deep down inside you are perhaps empty. Mankind – from Mahendra Singh Dhoni to Manpreet Goni – is on a search for meaning, for fulfillment in life. There is a universal feeling that “life means more”. Life surely means more than growing up, studying, finding a job, getting married, having kids, becoming a grandpa and dying. Man is constantly on the hunt to discover that ‘something that is more to life’. We are all searching for true peace. We are all searching for salvation.
“A college dropout, Steve Jobs floated through India in search of spiritual guidance prior to founding Apple.” (www.dnaindia.com
, 6 October 2011). If you are searching for the meaning and purpose in your life here is a promise for you from the God of the Bible: Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed (Jer. 29:11, The Bible, Message version)!
In our quest to find what is missing in our life we try out different things: Drugs and discos; porn-watching and perversion; shopping sprees; boozing binges; passionate petting of the private parts of the opposite gender; working long hours, etc. But when these are tried they leave us emptier than when we started out. We can try to fill that vacuum with loads of wit or wisdom or work or women or wine. Yet that vacuum will surprisingly and stubbornly stays, we have discovered, haven’t we?
Here below are extracts from one of most heart-crushing suicide notes you will ever get to read:
“I was scared of getting pregnant but I gave myself (to you) completely. The pain you have caused me everyday has destroyed every bit of me, destroyed my soul. 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. I leave this place with nothing but broken dreams and empty promises….”
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 apparently 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 a Monday night, minutes after receiving a ‘break-up’ bouquet. 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. 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. “You don’t find in sin, what you entered sin to find!” Ask Jiah Khan! Ask yourself!
Bollywood Director, Mahesh Bhatt makes a great point we must consider here: “It’s true. Stars (not just them, each of us, we would admit) hide their pain and emptiness not only from the media and the world but also from themselves.” Then Mahesh goes on to talk about how the movie stars “act out their inner pain in a wide variety of ways, including wild living, drug-intake, angry brawls, etc.” His conclusion is telling: “But having seen and experienced the highs and lows of the show business oneself. I can say with certainty that drugs won’t help you to deal with the loneliness of stardom. Money won’t help you. Sex won’t help you. You take a drink or drug to quench the fire that blazes inside you. Instead the alcohol and drugs (and the rest of the stuff you do) only make the fire burn more insanely….” (The Hindustan Times, 13 May 2001).
You know what? The Bible, God’s Word put in human words, agrees with Mahesh Bhatt here. The Bible explains why we have such emptiness in our hearts in the first place. It is because we try to fill that emptiness without God, who alone can give us real and ultimate enjoyment (Eccl. 2:25, The Bible). “Life under the sun, will be meaningless and futile until we make a living relationship with the one above the sun – God!” (This is how Selwyn Hughes summarized the message of Ecclesiastes – one of the 66 books that the Bible is a library of). Only God can satisfy our search for true meaning in life. “Show us the Father (Father was the word Jesus used for God) and we will be satisfied.” That is how Philip, one of the disciples of Jesus expressed this truth (Jn. 14:8 The Bible, NLT Version). Pascal put it precisely: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in our heart and only God can fill it!” That God-shaped vacuum entered our souls because of sin, the Bible explains (Isa. 57:20,21, The Bible). “Emptiness is their only reward,” the Bible says, when it speaks about people who make sin their life-style (Job 15:17,31; The Bible, NLT Version).
The emptiness, the God-shaped vacuum entered our lives because of sin, the Bible explains. We are all sinners – from Gandhi to Godse, from Mother Teresa to Lady Diana – without exception. This is an assertion of the Bible (in Rom. 3:23). Hollywood interestingly titled a movie, Six Degrees of Separation. The Bible’s teaching is that sin has separated us from God who made us in his pattern (Isa. 59:2, The Bible). Hence this empty feeling in our soul came into existence. The Bible also warns that sin will make us its slave and ultimately take us to the lake of burning sulfur where worms would feast on its ever-conscious human residents which Jesus called as Hell (Mk 9:48; Jn 8:34: Rev 21:8; The Bible). Hell was created by God for the Devil and his Angels, the Bible declares (Mt. 25:41, The Bible). It is the Devil who brings about an endless, restlessness and vacuum in our being as he is in that very state. In the Bible, Jesus pointed out that he wanders around desperately looking for a place to rest (Mt. 12:43, The Bible). The restless Devil brings in restlessness and void in your heart and, if given room, he can push you to self-destructive habits like smoking, porn-watching, having sex outside of marriage, fits of rage, use of profanity, etc. (See Mk. 5:5 in The Bible).
|This statement of Charles Spurgeon is biblical and true: “Morality can keep you out of jail. But it takes the blood of Jesus to keep you out of hell!
The Bible also makes it clear that we cannot fill this emptiness in our hearts on our own (Isa. 57:12, The Bible). You can’t lift yourself with your bootlace, can you? Our good deeds are like a woman’s menstrual cloth in God’s sight, according to the Bible (Ezek 36:17). This statement of Charles Spurgeonis biblical and true: “Morality can keep you out of jail. But it takes the blood of Jesus to keep you out of hell!” Max Lucado wrote, “Two kids in a mud puddle can’t clean each other. They need someone clean. Someone spotless. We need someone clean too. That’s why we need a Savior.” That brings us to the reason why Jesus – God cloaked in human flesh – came to planet earth two millennia back.
Let’s look at a Cricket story which will help us to understand why Jesus came into this world. Virat Kolhi had just got out as Dilshan took a brilliant return catch. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar were back in the pavilion, already. 161 runs were still needed by India. They had to score them in 170 balls. That was the equation. It was the 22nd over. India were in a tight situation in the World Cup final at packed Wankhade stadium, Mumbai, on 2nd April 2011. India was in the danger of losing the game. Then someone spoke up. “I will go in. Though it is not my turn to. Just give me a bat!” It was the Indian captain. It was Mahendra Singh Dhoni speaking.
The world is in trouble. You and I are heading to eternal, ever-burning hell, along with everyone else. “I will go in to save the world, Father! Just give me a body to clothe my eternal spirit. I will get into Mary’s womb!” So said the ever-existing Jesus in a possible planning meeting in the heavens dated eternity past. Then, over 2000 years ago, Jesus executed what was decided in that meeting. He entered the womb of virgin Mary. Thus happened the first ever Christmas (This paragraph is based on Heb. 10: 5-8 in the Bible air-brushed with creativity).
India became the first team to win the World Cup at home, thanks to Dhoni’s daring voluntary act. You and I have the only way of being saved from going to hell and finding purpose in life because of Jesus’ sacrificial, voluntary act that resulted in the first Christmas.
Jesus came to give each one of us LIFE – LIFE TO THE FULL, the Bible teaches (Jn 10:10, The Bible). He came to plug that vacuum in the soul of every human heart and save every willing person from the disease that is far deadlier than cancer or AIDS – the disease called sin! He in-effect told a woman who had sex with at least 6 different men something like this: “The water of sex and men cannot fill the emptiness in your heart, lady. But if you come to me in faith and drink the living water I give you, you will be satisfied. Just like you drink water every day, if you have a living, daily, relationship with me, your life will be satisfied (John 4, The Bible). He says the same thing to you as well. Without a relationship with Jesus, no matter what you do or what you have, your life will never be “full” – it will always be empty and void. Yes, Jesus came to plug that vacuum in the soul of every human and save every person from his sins! He alone is qualified to do so because he never ever sinned in all his life – something no one else has done in all of the world’s history – and therefore did not experience a vacuum in His heart. He wagged his bony finger at his worst enemies during that time – the religious heads of the Jewish religion – saying, “Which of you can truthfully convict me of sin?” They were mum (Jn. 8:46, The Bible, NLT version). You see, because Jesus never sinned, he never had this emptiness in his soul and therefore logically qualifies to be the only one who can plug the vacuum in every human heart and give it purpose and meaning. He is the Living Water we must drink (believe in) in order to never thirst again (or experience the empty feeling in our soul).
The Ram Gopal Verma movie The Attacks of 26/11 chillingly showed how Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, Tukaram Gopal Omble, a family man and a father of four daughters, armed with just a baton took on the dreaded terrorist Ajmal Kasab in a Mumbai road on 26.11.2008. Kasab acted as if he was dead when the police fired into the hi-jacked silver color Skoda car he and his accomplice were riding on towards a checkpost. Kasab’s accomplice died in the firing. When Omble daringly took the lead to open the Skoda car door, Kasab suddenly started to move menacingly. Omble acted quickly to catch hold of the barrel of Kasab’s AK47 rifle with both hands. Kasab, in retaliation, opened fire. A spray of bullets entered Omble’s stomach and intestines. Omble tightly held onto the barrel of Kasab’s AK 47 and would not simply let go of it till he breathed his last. This brave act forcefully prevented Kasab’s AK47 – a machine that he had mercilessly used to kill innocent people in the Mumbai CST Railway Station and the Cama Hospital just minutes before this event – from firing at anyone else. Omble died but he gave the police forces enough time to reach the terrorist and catch him alive. Kasab, part of a team of 10 terrorists who entered Mumbai that day, was the only terrorist to be captured alive (Story reconstructed using various news websites). Omble sacrificed his life for many Mumbaikars who did not even know him that day.
Omble’s sacrificial act somewhat typifies what Jesus did for us in an imperfect way. He died a cruel death for each one of us when we were still sinners and far away from him enjoying the temporary pleasures of sin, the Bible teaches (Heb. 11:25; Rom. 5:8, The Bible). The punishment that brings us peace was upon him when he hung on the Cross, the Bible declares (Isa 53:5, The Bible). Our backs should have been whipped as a punishment for the sins of our body – be that over-eating or masturbation coupled with porn-watching or any other unprintable sin. But Jesus took that punishment upon his own back. Strong-armed Arnold Schwarzenegger-like Roman Soldiers whipped Jesus’ back 39 times with leather belts that had broken bone and nail pieces embedded on them. As a result his back was lacerated and looked like a plowed field in accordance to a Bible prophecy – just one of over 110 major prophecies that Jesus fulfilled during his earthly life (Micah 3:12, The Bible). He loves us so very madly that he himself took upon his body, the punishment for our sins meant for our body (I Peter 2:24, The Bible). Because Jesus is 100% God who in turn is beyond the dimension of time he could die for all humans of all times. Because He is 100% human (even while he was 100% God) he could become the substitute for every human being. As the Bible puts it, “Jesus loved us and gave himself for us” (Gal. 2:20, The Bible). No one could have loved us the way Jesus did! No one loves us the way Jesus does. And what is more – Jesus came back to life, a feat that points to the fact that he is God and he is above everyone in the long line of self-proclaimed gods, so records the Bible (Rom. 1:4, The Bible).
The only cure for ache in your heart is to leave your life of sin and believe in Jesus. It is to turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. This is what the Bible teaches. When we will take a U-turn in our sin-filled life journey and get back to the ancient path called Jesus, we will find rest for our souls, the Bible asserts (Jeremiah 6:16, The Bible). The Bible calls this as “repentance”. Jesus preached repentance. He said, “Unless you repent you too will all perish!” (Luke 13:5, The Bible). We might think we have lots of time to repent. Jesus talked about the wife of a man called Lot who did not have lots of time to repent in the Bible (Luke 17:32). She turned into a salt shaft and suddenly died when she wanted to take one last look at sin! It is never too early to come to Christ. But at any moment it can be too late because there is no salvation after death, the Bible reveals (in Heb. 9:27). Over 300 times the Bible declares in various ways and using different imagery that Jesus will return to planet Earth in a public, dramatic manner. French News Agency AFP Photographer, Oliver Morin, clicked a picture of Usain Bolt crossing the finish line in the 100 meters final at the Moscow World Athletic Championships 2013. In that picture, there was a bolt of lighting across the black sky as (Usain) Bolt crossed the finish line. When Jesus returns back to the earth, to judge all of the earth, the Bible declares that lightning will flash and light up the sky from one side to another (Luke 17:24, The Bible). And to think the Bible – God’s Word in human words – has never ever gone wrong in over 600 historical events it has predicted! To ignore the words of the Bible would be like shooting yourself on the foot! And after Jesus returns for the second time, it would be too late for anyone to repent from their sin, then and come to him. He who is willing to save you now, would not be willing to do that when he comes back the second time, the Bible teaches (Luke 17:28-32, The Bible). If we uncovered our sins to Jesus and confessed them to Him with a repentant heart, our sins will be covered when he comes back the second time to judge the world, thanks to His shed blood on the cross of Calvary, the Bible teaches (I Jn. 1:9, The Bible). But, on the other hand, if we cover-up our sins now and act as if we have not sinned, then, on the great day of judgment our sins will be made public before the whole world much to our shame, leading us to an eternal torment in hell. This is the teaching of the Bible (Prov. 28:13; Rom. 2:5; Rev. 21:7-8, The Bible).
Michael Schumacher was racing against time to catch a flight after having bought a puppy. This seven-time Formula One World Champion car-racer was in a taxi on the way to the airport. At that time, he politely asked the driver to vacate from his seat and took over the driving from him. And he drove incredibly fast and overtook at some improbable places to reach the aerodrome near Coburg in time. He gave the excited and amazed driver named Tuncer Yilmaz a very generous tip of 100 Euros over the 60 Euro taxi charge (www.Telegraph.co.uk, 11 December 2007). Jesus asks you to trust him and turn over the driving seat of your life to him by faith. When he drives the car of your life, the journey would be incredible and the reward he will give you at the end of that journey would be immeasurable – life eternal in heaven. What is more, every moment of your journey with him will be meaningful and purposeful. Don’t wait even for a second to turn over the driving seat of your life to Jesus by faith.
You have to make a choice about Jesus. You can call Jesus the biggest liarwho ever lived. Or you can call him a nut-loose – a lunatic. Or you can call him the Lord – the only Savior of your soul and invite him into your heart and life. But you have no way of getting around his claims to say, “Jesus was one of the good men who lived in the earth.” In fact if you call Jesus as one of the many good men or god men of this world you are in-effect calling him a liar. He did not give you the option of doing that in the first place. So he’s got be one of the three: a liar, a lunatic or the Lord he claimed to be (as C. S. Lewis put it). He can’t be a liar. He was sinless, the Bible records. He couldn’t be a lunatic. He did not giggle in glee like a madman when he was hammered on the Cross – did you notice? That leaves us with just one option: he is the only Way to Heaven; the only Way to fulfillment and purpose in life. He categorically stated in the Bible, “For unless you believe that I am who I say I am, you will die (which ultimately means to be cast in the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented forever) in your sins!” (Jn. 8:24, The Bible).
So, come to Christ, with a simple faith – even if we may never fully understand all about him – that he died and rose to take away the blankness in your bosom, right now without any delay!
By praying this prayer with all your heart you can invite Jesus into your heart and life and see the vacuum in your heart go:
Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I acknowledge that the vacuum in my heart is because I have sinned against you. Please forgive me. I repent of my sin. Thank you for dying for me on that hill and rising up again. Cleanse me with your blood, which you shed for me! I promise to live for you – with you helping me out. So be it!”