10. ENTIRE YEARS my brain has committed to the 121 episodes of what is WITHOUT ARGUE the greatest TV show of all time. And I mean it. I love this TV show more than pretty much any movie or book. I’ve even gone so far as to say it is my favorite story ever told. It was something different on Television every episode played like a movie. I loved it so much that if you had the privilege and the absolute honor of knowing me from September of 2004-May of 2010 this show is likely what we would talk about. In fact it was one of the things my Young Life leader and I greatly bonded over. People were well aware of my love for this show. Actually…even the creators of the show were aware of my love for their show. Don’t believe me!?!?!? I HAVE PROOF!!! Please lean in close….
That’s right, that was Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (CREATORS OF LOST) marveling at my obsession of their show. We don’t need to go into any tremendous details about my user name in high school (I really liked hobbits and it was before I had any hair of my feet) Moving on..
This show I laughed during, I flat out balled crying, I love every beat and every episode.
The question then was why did I love THIS show, why did I love THESE stories?
While it was an exciting and mysterious show where every week you would try and guess where is it going next it wasn’t the mystery that sucked me in. It was the characters each of which were dealing with their story and their journey in a specific way. In fact the creators of the show stated that the title “LOST” isn’t referring to how passengers of an airplane crash onto a mysterious island but rather how each of these characters in their own way…is Lost.
There’s Jack Shepherd who has an issue with letting go and moving on after his Father died.
There’s Kate Austen who is running from her past with the law and her reputation of something bad she once did.
There’s a guy named Sawyer who has spent his entire life looking for the man who killed his parents.
Each character has something to deal with but can’t quite find the right way to let’s say “Find themselves.” Jack decides to fill his life with fixing people. Kate by running from the law. Sawyer hides himself in the identity of the man who killed his parents by becoming a different person, a con man who tricks people out of their money.
Or maybe to simplify it even more:
For Jack it was something about himself.
For Kate, it was something she did in the past.
For Sawyer, it was something somebody did to him.
In what ways are we “LOST.”
Maybe you’re lost in the trap of meeting the expectations of your parents. Good grades. Never getting into trouble. Maybe you’re lost in your relationship. Doing certain things to gain the attention and love of your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe you’re lost behind a small aluminum can at parties because that’s what your friends view to be the cool way to be. We get Lost in doing things to be accepted by others. Or we get so caught up in what others want that we lose who we really are.
Tonight I’m going to share that there is freedom from this. There is a way out.
We’ve been talking about this guy Jesus. We’ve asked you to ditch what you think you know about him and simply come along with us as we take a closer look at who he was and what he came to do.
Now in this book The Bible we hear about a man who was lost.
Maybe you have heard of the man known as Zacchaeus. “He was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.”
Well Zacchaeus was a Tax collector which means in many ways he was hated by society. Lost in his reputation. Tax collectors were despised by those to which they took taxes from. They were infamous for taking more money than they should have. So Zacchaeus wanted wealth and power so he took from the less fortunate. And here is where the Bible picks up.
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
See something was wrong here. Jesus the “Son of God” wasn’t supposed to be hanging out with scumbags like Zacchaeus. This guy isn’t worthy of Jesus’ company. He’s a sinner. He does wrong to other people. Why isn’t Jesus hanging out with someone who has it all together. I mean, that is what the Jesus crowd should be right!? People who have it all together. Not HIM. Not Zacchaeus.
But Jesus stayed with him.
And the story continues.
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus looked at Zacchaeus and said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. (Another way of saying this man belongs to God).
And then Jesus says something special. Something important. He reveals to the people the reason he has come. The reason that God put skin on and left his throne to live with us. He says:
10 For I have come to seek and to save the lost.”
Or another way he puts it when Jesus was asked why he hangs out with sinners and tax collectors:
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a doctor, but those who are sick; 32 I have not come to call the perfect, but the imperfect.”
I have a clip from LOST that I think describes what happens when imperfect people come to Jesus and say they are willing to come along with him.
In the clip Kate who is this fugitive on the run (but nobody really knows what she did) comes to her closest friend Jack to tell him what she did.
See our past our filth, our probelms, our brokenness, our “Lostness” isn’t something that get’s in the way of coming to Jesus. In fact it is all of that that gives us invitation to him. Jesus says I see all of that. Come to me if you want the new life that I have to offer.
In fact the bible says:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s not some hey let’s fix our problems, let’s work on who you used to be. No! It’s you come to Me, and that person doesn’t exist anymore. They are gone. You are new. “That’s why people use the term “new life in Christ” or “born again.” Because that messed up individual with all their crap. They are dead. You no longer have to be lost because Jesus has found you and no matter your imperfections, no matter the things you filled your life with, you are now FOUND in Christ. This doesn’t mean you will never have another problem or you’ll never experience hurt in any way or even that you won’t ever make a mistake again. But it means that you have found the source of life. As Colin told us Jesus came to bring life and life to the full. And as we learned tonight that invitation is for all of us because he came to seek and to save those who are LOST.
Find yourself with the new life that Jesus freely offers. “The new has come the old is gone.”
Friends, That’s all I have for you tonight. If this was challenging or you want to know more come talk to any one of us leaders. That’s why we are here. To help lead you to the new life that is found in Jesus.