Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Who are the people that are considered famous in the world? If you were to draw up a list, I wonder who you would include. The Time magazine ran a series on this very topic, asking about the 100 most influential people of the last century. The magazine was wanting to ask “who were the greatest minds in the past 10 decades—scientists and thinkers who have changed some aspect of our lives in a significant way”.
They included a brief mention of Wilbur and Orville Wright—the Wright brothers—who designed and flew their aircraft in 1903. They were the first to do so, pioneering air travel. They changed everything. Then there was Leo Baekeland who invented plastic, something that changed our world. Then there was Alexander Flemming, the scientist who discovered penicillin.
And the list goes on and on. Museums all over the world are filled with displays of the work of people who impacted our lives in one way or another, forever changing our world. But there is one who stands head and shoulders above them. Through his life, death and resurrection, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ literally changed the world forever:
More than 2000 years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived and that was during His exile in childhood. He possessed neither name, wealth or influence. His relatives were inconspicuous, uninfluential, and had neither training nor education. In infancy He startled a king, in childhood He puzzled the doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services.
He never wrote a book, and yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshalled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot being fired.
The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread 2,000 years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet still He lives. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life. (From The Incomparable Christ essay)
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” 1 Corinthians 15:20 – NIV
You may have heard this description before, but of course it refers to the life of Jesus Christ. One of the wonderful aspects of Jesus life was his level of influence on the world. Why? Because on the third day after his crucifixion on a Roman cross, he rose bodily from the dead. We call this the resurrection, an event specially celebrated each Easter.
And today millions of people around the world still celebrate his resurrection. So, who is the most influential person in the world? Jesus is because his resurrection from the dead did change everything.
The apostle Paul made some dramatic statements in 1 Corinthians 15: “How can some of you say there is no resurrection from the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is our faith” (Verses 12-14). Verse 20 says, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead”.
Paul is saying that if this is not true, then the whole basis of Christianity has been destroyed, and is useless. But Jesus did rise from the grave, and our faith is verified. Easter tells us the greatest message the world has ever heard—that Jesus was God’s only Son. He was the only One qualified to die for our sins, and he did just that.
(To be continued in The Resurrected Jesus – Part 2)
Source: Redland Baptist Church