Is it hope? The hope of life beyond death? The promise of immortality? The discovery of real life? Abundant life? The ‘flourishing’ life we were made for? Life that stretches beyond death and into eternity?
This sounds crazy but it is exactly what Jesus promises — he talks about this promise as a gift of water that quenches our thirst and bread that satisfies our hunger — and about this being an overflowing or abundant life — and his promises didn’t come out of a vacuum.
These promises point right back to the start of the Bible’s story, where people lived with God and enjoyed the life he gave them through the tree of life, in the paradise the Bible calls ‘Eden’, and point forward to the final picture the Bible paints of this new life in a new world, where God makes ‘All things new’ — including us!
It’s all these things. And more. It’s that as people experience things that are good, true, and beautiful these experiences — and so our lives — become richer and more satisfying when connected to this story; God’s story; the story of Jesus. It’s also that as we experience things that are ugly, broken, and evil we have the story of a God who does not stand apart from the suffering of the world, but offers a solution, and an invitation to come into his family forever.