Sermons

Summary: Easter is the day God made it clear to man that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to find the fountain of life. He, and He alone, has the power to make life immortal.

One of the reasons that Ferdinand and Isabella supported Columbus in his scheme to find a

new world was their hope that he would also find the fountain of life. When Columbus landed

he searched for it, and he questioned the Indians about the legendary fountain that would

make old men young again. These Indian legends made their way back to Spain, and they told

of how old men could make love again to a young wife and bear children, if they drank from

this fountain. King Ferdinand, not long after Columbus sailed, sent out Ponce de Leon to

find the island where this fountain was supposed to exist.

The Spaniards did want gold for the present, but they wanted the fountain for the future,

for they wanted life that lasted forever. This was one of the powerful motivating factors in

their drive to explore the new world. Men have always longed for life that was immortal.

Animals do not, but men do, because they are made in the image of the Immortal Creator,

and so they have an inherent desire for immortality.

Ponce de Leon went from island to island drinking the water, but with no effect. On

Easter Sunday he landed on what he thought was an island, and he called it Florida. They

drank water from many springs, but no miracles. Again, they asked the Indians questions

about the fountain of youth. He was convinced that Florida was where it was at. The Pope

was informed that they were on the right trail, and he too was excited about the search. It was

a Christian mission to find paradise, but instead, Ponce de Leon found death by an Indian

arrow, and the search ended. This deep devotion to the notion that somewhere across the

ocean there is a potion that will give eternal life has always been a part of the human drama.

Ancient stories tell of how men have been able to drink the Elixer of the gods, and thereby

be restored to youth. The Greeks tell of Tantalus who became immortal by drinking of the

nectar and ambrosia of the gods. The Koran tells of a fountain of life where dying fish are

renewed by drinking of its water, and a dead fish dropped in it will swim away as a young and

active fish again. Alexander the Great was told of a fountain in Arabia that would make a

man immortal if he could drink but one drop. In the middle ages Christians thought India

was the place where the fountain could be found. Many went in search, and Prester John

developed a Christian kingdom in India, and he wrote to the Pope that the fountain of youth

was there.

The legend has become a part of cultures all over the world, and texts on the pyramids of

Egypt talk of the everlasting beverage and the water of life. Whenever you have such a

universal legend you can assume there is some foundation for it in fact. Man wants to be able

to drink some water that will give him eternal life. Is this sheer foolishness, or does the Bible

encourage us to believe there is such a fountain of life? David writes in Ps. 36:8-9 about

God's provision for those whom He loves, and He writes, "You give them drink from your

river of delights, for with you is the fountain of life." So the idea is not far fetched, but just

the direction men go to seek it is foolish. It is not in Arabia, India, Florida, or on any island.

The fountain of life is with God.

Man in his rebellion against God seeks to find the fountain of life on his own, and become

independently immortal. Jer. 17:13 shows the prophet lamenting the folly of Israel in

choosing death instead of life. "For they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living

water." Like Ponce de Leon, men want to find their own fountain and not be dependent upon

God. They always find death, however, instead of life. This is the folly of man all through

history.

In Jer. 2:13 God describes this universal conflict: "For my people have committed two

evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for

themselves, broken cisterns can hold no water." The reason men are forever seeking for a

fountain of life is because they refuse to take the water of life as a gift. They do not want it as

a gift of grace. They want is as a result of their own labor and discovery, so they can say they

found it, and they did it, and they achieved immorality by their own wits and works.

Meanwhile the Bible gives clear directions to the treasure that men desperately seek. Prov.

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