He was born in an obscure village as the child of an unmarried teenage peasant. He grew up in another obscure village, where he worked as a carpenter until the age of 30. At the age of 33, after a brief public ministry during which he gathered a small band of followers, he was betrayed by one of them, abandoned by them all, arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. He died in the most humiliating, painful form of execution that humanity has ever devised, hanging on a cross between two common criminals on a hill just outside a small town. He died homeless and destitute – executed as a criminal, mocked by his enemies, abandoned by his friends, buried in a borrowed grave.
And now, over the next few days, countless millions of people all over the world will gather to worship Jesus of Nazareth as the Creator of the universe, the King of the world, and the Saviour of humanity. His life, death and resurrection will be proclaimed as the central events in human history.
“Today Jesus is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that have ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.” (James Francis, ‘One Solitary Life’)
It’s worth asking Why.