Sometime during my college years I first heard and read this poem:
He was born in an obscure village.
He worked in a carpenter shop until he was about thirty.
He then became an itinerant preacher.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn't go to college.
He had no credentials but Himself.
After preaching three years, the public turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had on earth.
He was laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
and today He is the central figure of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched,
all the navies that ever sailed,
all the parliaments that ever sat, and
all the kings that ever reigned
have not affected the life of man on the earth as much as that ONE SOLITARY LIFE.
(“One Solitary Life,” Author Unknown)
I’ve known about Jesus for as long as I can recall. I have loved him since I first heard his name. I have imagined what he would be like and read the accounts of his life in Scripture again and again. And I believe that when I depart from this life I shall see him face-to-face.
The central thesis of the Bible seems to be that God chose to reveal himself to and through Israel. He was “Israel’s God.” But this God promised to become a king and in Jesus his kingdom was revealed in “these last days.” The God who could not be seen was to be seen in a human person who became like us, yet without sin.
Where did this Jesus get his authority? The biblical answer is that he got it from his Father, the God of Israel. The earliest creed of the church seems to have been three words: “Jesus is Lord.” The good news of this announcement has changed the world. It still does.
Jesus of Nazareth lived that one solitary life and is the one great central person in all of human history. If you stake your whole life on this truth, and by the Spirit see and love him above all else, you are his disciple. Make this your priority each day and you will age and die with few regrets.