He was called the Messiah. The Christ. The Son of the Living God.
He referred to Himself as the Light of the World. Bread from Heaven. The Way, the Truth, and the Life.
His name was Jesus of Nazareth.
He was born in a stable and raised as a carpenter’s son in a conquered land among conquered people.
He was only thirty-three years old when He was put to death as a criminal.
He was betrayed by a disciple, denied by a friend, and despised by the rulers and authorities of His time.
As His lifeless body was taken down from a cross, most believed that the final chapter of His life was over. Was He a footnote in history? More like no note in history at all.
But, for God, all things were still possible.
The Resurrection of Jesus marked the turning point in salvation history. It was not just a turning point; it was the turning point. From God’s perspective, nothing would ever be the same again.
Thousands of years later, mankind would engage in debate to determine the single most important event in human history. Some said the discovery of fire. Others said the invention of an alphabet and the written word. Still others said iron, the printing press, or the automobile. Today, arguments are made for the computer, advances in agriculture, or innovations in science and medicine.
As Christians, we recognize that all of these events, as well as many others, were important steps in the long march of humanity to where we are today. But none of them would have mattered, and none of them would matter today, if the Son of God had not come down from heaven, died for our sins, and been raised from the dead. As Paul the Apostle told the growing community of Christians in Corinth almost two thousand years ago, “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19, NLT)
But our lot was not simply to be pitied, nor were we destined to die in our sins. God the Father loved us too much to leave us that way, and His Son loved us too much to let our tears go unanswered.
This Valentine’s Day – indeed, each and every day – let us stop for at least a moment and give thanks to Almighty God – the One, True, and Triune God – who loved us so much that He became one of us and then died for us. This was real love (1 John 4:9-10), and it was the greatest love of all (John 15:13, Romans 5:6-8).
-- Dr. John Morris