If God came to earth as a man, you would expect Him to say and do things that would distinguish Him from all other men. Jesus provides us with the greatest demonstration of wisdom, power, and love the world has ever seen.
The reason todays date is 2012 is because 2012 years ago, a real Person came to this planet and had such a profound impact on the world by what He said and by what He did, the world marks time by His birth, His death, and His resurrection! It’s 2012 AD. The A.D. stands for Anno Domini which is Latin for, “In the year of the Lord.” That “Lord” is none other than Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory!
No other person in history can claim that his life was the fulfillment of dozens of stunningly detailed prophecies written hundreds and even thousands of years before they appeared.
It was 2,000 years ago when the Roman Empire ruled the world with an iron fist. They won all their arguments by killing their enemies.
It is a well-established historical fact that the Roman Empire killed Christians by feeding them to lions. Today we have the incredible perspective of being able to look back over 2,000 years of recorded history and what do we see? There are more Christians alive at this moment, than the total number of people that made up the Roman Empire over its entire 500 year history and the lions and tigers are on the endangered species list. With more than two billion followers right now, Jesus Christ is the most famous person in history!
THE GREATEST DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN
The teaching of Jesus could not have been more antithetical to the Roman Empire’s idea of justice. In Matthew 5:44 Jesus said,
“I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. If you only love those who love you, what reward do you have?”
JESUS DIDN’T JUST SAY LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
When His enemies nailed Him to the cross, He was naked and in unimaginable pain from head to toe. His accusers laughed, mocked, ridiculed, and spat at Him. The Roman soldiers were throwing dice at the foot of the cross to see who would keep His clothes. It was in that horrible humiliation and searing pain that Jesus prayed,
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
This concern for other people in a moment like that was so profound, so completely antithetical to human nature, the thief on his right (also being crucified) had a revelation— Jesus truly was divine. This dying man then cried out to Jesus,
“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
And Jesus replied,
“This day you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Who could make up such story and expect anyone to believe it? Where else can you find a more compelling or authoritative demonstration of love in all of history? No ordinary man could have expressed such selfless love and concern for the eternal destiny of the very people who were responsible for His suffering. You will not find this kind of love in any other religion, philosophy or system of thought. Jesus stands alone.
Some people ask, “Where is God when bad things happen?”
The answer is: the same place He was when His Son suffered and died on the cross as an offering for sin – on His throne!
The world seeks in vain to comprehend the realities of evil, justice, mercy, truth, and love. It was at the cross when these absolutes were not only defined, but reconciled.
John 3:16-17 is the heart of the Bible:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
With more than 2,000,000,000 followers, Jesus Christ is the most famous Person in history.
More on Jesus (and evangelism) in my next post (God willing).