Summary: What is the greatest single event of history? What moment in the history of the world signifies the most to humanity?
What is the greatest single event of history? What moment in the history of the world signifies the most to humanity? Could it perhaps be the renaissance, when so many beautiful inventions and works of art were created? Was it the inventions of the 20th century that made life so much easier? Or perhaps medical advances, or scientific discoveries?
To me, all these events pale in comparison to one event that happened, two thousand years ago on a hill called Calvary, where a man named Jesus was nailed to a cross, who hung and slowly died, was buried, and left in a tomb for three days. And then on the 3rd day the impossible happened. And far from being an isolated miraculous event, it’s implications would be the seeds that would take root and transform the entire world.
We’re considering the scriptures today, 1st Corinthians 15, if you want to open in your Bibles there. It says in 1st Corinthians 15:3-4 that Christ had to die, be buried for 3 days, and that Jesus had to rise from the dead. This brings several questions to mind.
1. Why did Jesus have to die? 2. Why did Jesus have to rise from the dead? 3. If Jesus really rose from the dead, how should we live? Three questions, and we’ll consider the answers to each of them. The entire Christian worldview, as an expression of ultimate reality, rests on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The entire Christian faith worldwide is based around faith in Jesus as God come to Earth to save us, and Easter is about his resurrection.
First question: Why did Jesus have to die? Jesus was born into the world, but Jesus existed from the very first few verses of the Bible, where God said to himself, “Let us make humanity in our own image” (Genesis 1:26). Jesus was part of that creative process, in what we call the “God-head” or the trinity, which is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But the Son being the very image of God, was born, of the virgin Mary, into the world in a human body. He lived a life in which he became a representative for humanity, under the laws of God, living them perfectly, completely free from sin.
And who can live free from sin in our world today? Raise your hand if you’ve never sinned. If Jesus was in the room, though He is in the room, but if we could see him physically, he could raise his hand. Imagine that.
Every decision we make in life can either lead to sin or to goodness. And God has a vested interest in the decisions we make. Which implies that our God is a moral God, a just God, who deals with evil in the world.
I think 2nd Corinthians 5:21 sums up very well what Christ did for us, it says: “For our sake he(God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” So not only did Jesus live a perfect life, no easy task, but He also went to the cross for each of us, becoming our sin. Why? Because Jesus decided he would step in personally, to delete our sins. Jesus died on the cross in our place, taking the punishment we justly deserved, and took it upon himself.
It’s as if we stood in a court room, and the judge was reading off a list of the crimes: all my sins, the drugs I’d taken, the pains I’d cause my parents, things I’d done to friends, people I had the chance to help and didn’t help, and I know as the judge reads the charges, that I’m guilty, and I deserve to be punished. And as the gavel is pounded, and the guards come to take me away, all hope is lost. Then Jesus walks into the court room, and up to the judge and says, “This man, Justin, is mine, and because I love him so much, the crimes you’ve just read off, instead of Justin being punished, punish me instead and set him free.” And the judge agrees, and I’m set free. And the guards take Jesus instead. That is the answer to the first question, why Jesus had to die. Because I owed a debt I couldn’t pay.
Secondly, why did Jesus have to rise from the dead? If Jesus had stayed dead, we could all write him off. Well, he was just a good moral teacher, and the world did what the world does to good people. He was a good guy, but he wasn’t really God. And we can all go on with our lives and forget about Christ. But here’s the thing: Jesus did the impossible. Jesus resurrected from the dead.