Friday, September 12, 2014

Classic Summations of the Life of Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 3)

The life of Jesus Christ is so intensely beautiful and powerful that verbal descriptions of it have moved audiences for centuries. Here are some favorites (Click here for Part 1):

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a pleasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He never went to college. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race, and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as has that One Solitary Life.”
Attribute to Philips Brooks (A.D. 1835 – 1893), American Episcopal minister

“Fundamentally, our Lord’s message was Himself. He did not come merely to preach a Gospel; He himself is that Gospel. He did not come merely to give bread; He said, ‘I am the bread.’ He did not come merely to shed light, He said, ‘I am the light.’ He did not come merely to show the door; He said, ‘I am the door.’ He did not come merely to name a shepherd; He said, ‘I am the shepherd.’ He did not come merely to point the way; He said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’”
J. Sidlow Baxter, British Bible teacher

“A catalog of virtues and graces, however complete, would merely give us a mechanical view. It’s the spotless purity and the sinlessness of Jesus as acknowledged by friend and foe that raises His character high above the reach of all others. In Him we see the even harmony and symmetry of all graces: His love for God and man, His dignity and humility, His strength and tenderness, His greatness and simplicity, and His self-control and submission. It’s the absolute perfection of Christ’s character that makes Him a moral miracle in History. It’s futile to compare Him with saints and sages, ancient or modern. Even the skeptic Jean Jacques Rousseau was compelled to remark, ‘If Socrates lived and died like a sage, Jesus Christ lived and died like a God.’”
Philip Schaff, Church historian

“The historian Will Durant, author of the massive Story of Civilization, devoted an entire volume of 751 pages to the years surrounding the life of Christ, and he entitled it ‘Caesar and Christ.’ In it he noticed the stylistic differences between the Gospels, but he concluded, ‘The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. No one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teachings of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.’”
Will Durant, historian

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