Back in the day, and I think to date, kids engage in games called treasure hunts. In case this is new to you, the point of the activity is to unearth or find something precious that has been by the guardian (let me not say parent because some do not have playtime with their kids) somewhere in the bush or wherever. Initially, at least for me, the treasure hunt thing was a movie thing. Pirates would be out in the high seas seeking for some treasure that’s hidden by some dynasty and possessing it would give one great wealth, power and authority. The treasures would vary from a chest of precious stones hidden on a mystic cave or some dungeon that was guarded by dragons or some strange power. Of the movies that I can remember almost vividly is the 1999 movie titled ‘The Mummy’ and the 1999 and 2001 movie titled ‘The Tomb Raider’. Now, we all know these are merely movies, and the director- minute by minute, designs everything. Whatever the case, we were glued to these movies and bought into the storyline is not the issue. The point is that there was a treasure of great significance and whoever got it won the day. In these movies, there were also bad guys. Those who worked to make it impossible for the good guys to end the Treasure or if they found its whereabouts, possess it. Because of this, we paid money to go for the movies to watch how some villains worked hard to make life difficult for the good boys and girls. Amusing right! After two or three hours, the movie ended, and we were hoping for a better one later in the year.
The fact the directors came up with a theme of a treasure beyond human mental value is an excellent picture of the man’s truest need- treasure! The reason we go in the theatres time and again to be baffled and wowed by great ideas of men in the movie industry is that none of the movies truly satisfies the soul. Our hearts are searching for something bigger than ourselves. However, we have been exploring all the wrong places. Do you remember the kind of feeling you had when you watched Wakanda as a Kenyan? Priceless right? I know. Yet there is something bigger than Wakanda that our hearts need. Usually, in the movies, the ones who go to search for the Treasure left behind family, friends, and career- everything they called life- to go for that one thing that, should they obtain it, will change the course of their lives and the fortunes of their families’ forever’. Well, not forever. I wish we could be able to see these movie stars years after their great treasure hunt success!
The Greatest story
Once upon a time, there was a great King who lived in a distant land. He had a great relationship with his countrymen, for he had provided them with everything. One day, a villain came and deceived the countrymen into believing that the King did not have the best interests for them at heart and that he was hiding something away from them. He convinced the people, against the will of the King, that if they walked away from the stipulated guidelines, they experience a better life away from the King. Little did they know that the villain was Ince a member of the high ranking officials in the empire and that he had fallen from favor. He intended to make sure that the people lost the Treasure the King had given them just as he had lost it because of disobedience. The people bought into the deception and gave away all the Treasure the King had given to them. They chose an instant yet perishing pleasure presented by the villain.
The King was so angry that he kicked them out of the Kingdom because nothing would pay for their offense. After a long time, the King sent His Son to go and battle out with the villain so that he could ransom the lives of the estranged citizens. They were lost and desperately in need. The Son did the work without failure and brought back the Treasure within reach of the citizens. The citizens only needed to reach out to the King’s Son to share the Treasure with them at no cost. The Son had paid for all the costs. He said, “No citizen can approach the King without my permission. Anyone who wills should come to me so that I may give them the red stamp as a pass that would grant them access into the King’s courts.” The citizens had heard about the Treasure. Their fathers lost it to the villain who had enslaved them for many years now. They had tried to cut off ties to no avail, for the villain was too strong and crafty. But when the King’s Son came to battle it out, he won the victory with finality. The citizens had were saved from a bloody battle that, for them, would only have ended in defeat. Many went for the red stamp pass and gained access to the King’s courts where there were treasures evermore but much more, where the greatest of all the treasures were- abundant life with the King.
Our story and our Treasure
Right now, this pandemic has shut down the world. Money does not answer all things eternal, not even all things natural, after all. Most fo the things we considered critical have become trivial and unnecessary. Humanity needs a real treasure because all the ones we have had have proven futile. People are in a forced quarantine situation, with lots of time to waste or use. The question is, “What will you do with this time?” My advice would be that you find the greatest Treasure ever and hold tightly.
God created us in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27) and set them in the garden of Eden, where they had everything they needed (Genesis 2:1-25). They were significant, secure and accepted. They had everything they needed- God. Eternity was in them by the eternal breathe of God in them. They were spiritually and physically alive (Genesis 2:17). After a while, the devil, in the serpent, deceived them into doubting what God had commanded them (Genesis 3) which led to spiritual death (Romans 7:9) and physical death eventually. Man was separated from God by nature (John 5:24) and became dead (Ephesians 2:1-3). After many years of groping in the darkness sue to the sin passed down to all men by Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:22), God sent His Son in the likeness of human flesh on account of sin to die for the human race (Romans 8:2-3). He showed us mercy and kindness (Ephesians 2:4-9) that leads us back to the place he ordained for us. Humanity had tried to reach out with their efforts to no avail. The whole book of Ecclesiastes is an expression of how empty and void the things of this life are since they cannot give us what our souls genuinely need- life! To make right this wrong, God sent Jesus to become for us what we could not (1 Corinthians 1:30) so that we might become all he designed for us to be (Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
When he walked this land, Jesus urged us to store Treasure in heaven, not on earth because that shows what we truly live for (Matthew 6:19-21). Paul reminded us that God had put this Treasure in earthen vessels so that glory returns to him (2 Corinthians 4:1-18). This Treasure is not gold or silver. It is Christ living in us (Colossians 1:27)– an eternity in bodies made of mud ((Genesis 2:7). In Jesus lies all the treasures that our hearts try to find when we chase after riches, great movies or personalities (Colossians 2:3). No concerts, no late night and midday dates, no pizza or soccer. Everything is gone away from us. Do you have anything else to cling on that is more precious than all these? What is your priced Treasure? Jesus told the Samaritan woman that his drink satisfies forever (John 4:10-15), of which she requested, “Sir, give me this drink that I may never thirst nor need to draw water.” Her sexual escapades with people’s husbands ended that day for she had found her real Treasure. When the tax collector met with Jesus, he gave back all he had stolen up to four times over. Stealing had lost meaning for he had found the real Treasure that fully satisfied him (Luke 19:8). At this, Jesus said that salvation had come to his house (lUKE 19:9) and that his reason for coming was to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The Treasure he brought is salvation, and it satisfies more than anything else.
As we continue in these times of uncertainty, may our hearts stop running after perishing treasures; sex, drugs, fame, wealth, health and status. Much as all these are good, if enjoyed in the God-given confines, they are perishing and have no eternal satisfaction. Take this time and focus on what will last forever- a relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the Treasure that we need. When we have him, all others will cease to be attractive. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a man who found a treasure and seeing its worth; he went sold everything he had only to have this One treasure (Matthew 13:44). Friends, it is time for a treasure hunt in this quarantine season.