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eBook: "What Have We Really Lost?"

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

What Have We Really Lost?

“For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10KJV)

Jesus speaks very clearly in this scripture concerning His mission “to seek and to save that, which was lost.” I wonder if we understand “what we have really lost.”

As we read this scripture, we find Jesus in Jericho, on His way to the cross. On His way to the cross, He chooses to go through Jericho where we see Him open the eyes of the blind and save the tax collector, Zacchaeus.

We read in Luke 18:35-43, where Jesus healed a blind man as He went into Jericho. As Jesus approached Jericho, this blind man cried out to Him, and Jesus opened his eyes. In verse 43 it says “he immediately received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God.”

Then in Mark 10:46-52. as Jesus went out of Jericho, He heard the cry of blind Bartimaeus, and He opened his eyes. In verse 52, it says “and he immediately received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

Between the healing of these blind men, we find Jesus in Jericho. (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus was here for a reason; He came on a mission to get Zacchaeus who was lost. Jesus, on His way to the cross, not only took the time to heal the blind on either side of Jericho, but went into the very center of the city to save Zacchaeus.

Jesus Wants to Come to Your Jericho

Take a moment and look at Jericho before Jesus came to visit. Jericho, which means “place of fragrance,” had a blind man on the highway going into the city, another blind man on the highway going out of the city and a greedy tax collector in the middle of the city. Jericho, “the place of fragrance” had at best a stench of blindness and lostness, until Jesus came.

Now, as Jesus leaves Jericho, there is a sweet fragrance of salvation and deliverance. Now, on both sides and in the center of the city, Jericho would never be the same. The blind are no longer blind and the lost are no longer lost. Those “walls” of Jericho have been penetrated once again, but this time by the Son of man, Jesus Christ. Jesus told us why all this was possible when He said, “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

As you read this message, you too have a Jericho, “a place of fragrance.” Have you allowed the Son of man to penetrate your Jericho walls? Have you allowed Him to open your eyes and save your soul, that you might follow Him as these men did?

If you are reading this, and you are truly born again, you understand the change of “fragrance” that came to Jericho that day. You understand what becoming fragrant with the sweetness of His presence means. You can appreciate the “fragrance of the bride” spoken about in the Song of Solomon; “filled with the Rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley, the fragrance of the apple tree among the trees of the wood, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the powders of the merchant.” Why this change? Why now this sweetness? Because Jesus came to your Jericho “to seek and to save that which was lost.”

That Which Was Lost

I want you to notice very carefully what Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save ‘the’ lost.” That’s not what it says, is it? But that is how we read it most of the time. Jesus said, “to seek and to save ‘that’ which was lost.” Now we know that Jesus came to save the lost. But why? Was it only to save lost mankind from hell? Or did He redeem lost mankind so that “that which was lost” could be restored?

What had been lost? What had been lost that God would send His only Son “to seek out and to save?” The word “to seek” means an intense action and attitude toward recovery. The words “to save” mean the ability to restore that which has been sought out, to make whole. Why this intensity on the part of Christ “to seek” and “to save”? What did He come to restore? What had really been lost?

We would have to go back to the fall of man, the Garden of Eden to find “that which was lost.” If we were to look in the garden before the fall, before Adam and Eve sinned, we would find that God was accustomed to coming to the garden at any time to commune and fellowship with His creation. But when Adam and Eve sinned, God came to the garden as before and couldn’t find Adam and Eve. God cried out to Adam. “Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:9) “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 3:8) Why? Adam said, “I heard thou voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10) Adam and Eve had sinned, so they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves an apron and then hid themselves from God. The communion and the intimacy had been lost. God could no longer just simply come to the garden and have sweet fellowship and communion with man. Man was hiding behind the trees from a loving father who desired their company. Can you imagine how the heart of God must have been hurt. The intimacy is lost and God is crying out, “Where art thou?”

What Has the Enemy Stolen?

We live in a society that does not understand what we have really lost, what the enemy has stolen. That same deception has walked boldly into the church. We hear a lot today concerning “recovering what the devil has stolen,” “restoring what the cankerworm and the palmerworm has eaten.” Most of this recovery and restoration is centered around material blessings, and healing and comforts in one’s daily life. It speaks of a God that almost guarantees these blessings to be a part of modern Christianity. Listen, I believe with all my heart that God can and will bless and heal and set free. I thank God for all that we are able to enjoy in this life.

But what about those who truly love the Lord and are not healed, and are not comfortable, and do not have the material “blessings”. What about the 12-year old girl in Pakistan who was beaten severely by her employer. She was working as a housekeeper to supplement her father’s income of 100 dollars a year, working 12-hours a day, 6 days a week. She was a Christian and refused to learn scriptures from the Koran, so they beat her severely. When her mother discovered what had happened, she confronted the employer. The mother was soaked with gas and set on fire and died. The oldest daughter went into shock when she heard what had happened and died of a broken heart. Yet, the father and the 12-year old girl are serving and loving the Lord with a joy that defies the enemy.

I wonder if Jesus has forgotten to “save that which was lost” in these lives. Could it be that God is requiring these and many others to live their Christian lives without “that which has been lost.” I don’t think so. I believe what the enemy stole was restored in these lives long before this tragedy. These and many like them have a fellowship and a communion with a living Christ daily in their garden. They still have time in their daily lives to spend with Him. God knows He is free to come at any time and find them desiring His fellowship. What the enemy stole has been recovered in their lives. The tragedy only made the communion sweeter.

Jesus has saved “that which was lost” in these lives. They have a desire to spend quality time in the “garden” in communion and fellowship with Him. Their Jericho has become a “fragrance” that testifies that spending time in His presence brings the only true joy and contentment.

Jericho And The Spirit Of This Age

As you read this message, multitudes are still hiding behind the trees in the garden with an apron of fig leaves. They are strangers to that secret place of communion. Many know about God but have no personal fellowship and communion with God. Many are hid behind their careers or their religion; while others are hid behind their habits or besetting sins. The “spirit of the age” has consumed their lives. God has become a “fixture” in their lives along with all their other activities. At best, he is “fitted in” as a conscious soother to insure Him that He has not been forgotten. Jericho has all the “blessings,” but without the time or desire to truly spend with the “blesser.” The trees and the fig leaves have all changed, but the hearts are the same. Men are blind to the living Christ who walks among them through the power of the Holy Spirit. They have been blinded by the “spirit of this age” to that man in heaven who is still seeking and saving “that which was really lost.”

Jesus Is Still On A Mission

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) God has sent His Son to mankind to restore that life, that communion. As you read this, He is on a mission through the power of the Holy Spirit to restore many places of fragrance. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11) That grace brings with it a desire and ability to “restore that which has been lost.” That grace will stir you with an intense desire to welcome Jesus into your daily life. Jesus came to Jericho that day on a mission. The Son of man knows the Father has sent Him “to seek and save that which was lost.” He has come to restore that which you lost when you chose to identify with the world and religion and things instead of Him. Jesus knows the heart of the Father desires to be welcomed in your garden once again. Jesus came to the garden at Jericho, the fragrance was not that of pleasant fruits. Men were hid from God. So, in Mark 10:50, as they departed Jericho, the last thing that happened was “the blind man cast away his garment, rose and came to Jesus.” This garment had identified him with his blindness. It was that which he had hid behind. But when Jesus called him that day, even before he could see, he came from behind his hiding place and came to Jesus.

Jesus is calling today. He is still calling for men to cast away their garments, to come out from what they are hiding behind. Jesus is seeking right now to restore “all that men have lost.” He will touch you going in, going out, and in the very center of your life, but you must cast away that garment. What are you possibly hiding behind? What has robbed you of that intimacy with Him? The bride in the Song of Solomon realized she had missed Him, and what did she say? “I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways, I will seek Him.” (Song of Solomon 3:2) Then what happened? “I found Him, I held Him, and would not let Him go.” (Song of Solomon 3:4) Rise now, by the grace of God, and don’t let Him go. He loves you and wants to spend time alone with you. He desires to come into His garden and eat His pleasant fruits in fellowship with you.

Open your heart to the Person of Jesus Christ until you hear the knock at the door. Then, be zealous and repent that He might come in and sup with you and truly restore what has been lost. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Revelations 3:21,22)