Few people question Jesus’ literal existence, that he lived in Israel almost 2000 years ago. What has become increasingly confusing in our culture (and across the globe) is not his existence, but his significance. Who was he? Why has he consistently ranked as the most important figure in all of history?
It is clear, Jesus saw his own life and death and resurrection as part of a much bigger story than the 33 years he dwelled in the Middle East. He himself said that “God was his Father and that he existed before Abraham (who lived many years before him)” (John 8:54-59). He himself said that he was the fulfillment of “everything written about [him] in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). And he himself said that there is a day coming when he would return and judge the earth (Mark 13:24-26).
Jesus said his story encompassed the entire landscape of history, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, creation to restoration! And when you consider what he did while on the earth: healing the sick, curing the blind-deaf-mute, raising the dead, confronting religious hypocrisy, and proclaiming forgiveness of sins (Matthew 9:1-8 – something clearly reserved for God himself), it is plain that Jesus’ story is quite unique. Throw in the fact that the grave where he was buried after he was wrongly accused and crucified on a roman cross is currently empty, Jesus is easily the most important figure of all history! “In Christ,” one biblical author said, “God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). This good news: that women, men, boys and girls can have forgiveness of sins, restored life with God and hope eternal is God’s appointed means for all of Creation to delight in the supremacy of Jesus. Though often tried, there are truly none who compare to him.