Apologetics is a branch of theology and an approach of using logical, reasoned writings to defend the Bible and Christianity as true. Some mistakenly see this approach removing “faith” as the key part of our Christianity. That is not the case at all. This is way to present things in a manner that reinforces one’s faith through logical explanations. In our world of science and very analytical thinking, it proves to be a very effective way to defend the Bible and our faith around the world.
For example, just before dying on the cross, Jesus exclaimed, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” Those words happen to be the first verse of Psalms 25. Following that first verse is a detailed description of the crucifixion. How did the writer of Psalms 25, write a description of an event that will not occur for another six hundred years? On top of that, it was written two-hundred years before crucifixion was introduced as a means of capital punishment. Statisticians tell us the odds of that prophecy being true is 1 of 14 quadrillion. These enormous odds logically say this event did indeed occur and it was Jesus on the cross, verifying the record as written in the Bible.
Today we will take a look at the life of Jesus in a different way. Let’s look at His impact on this earth simply as a person, for now ignoring his spiritual nature and look at him as a man. Then let’s evaluate the impact he had on this world and see if it makes sense for such a man to be able to do so. (see Scripture of the Month Above. People of Jesus day faced the same problem – how does this Jesus, apparently just a man, do these things?)
Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ extraordinary acts. In the Bible, we find the detailed account of His life. We read of miracles, how he speaks as no one has ever spoken before, and He bluntly speaks the TRUTH. The Bible is where one comes to know the entire Jesus, the details of both his earthly and spiritual life. Rather than concentrate on the details of His spiritual being, perhaps viewing him as just one person on this earth, emphasizing his “human” nature, will give us a new perspective on Jesus and what he accomplished.
A High-Level View of Jesus’ Life and His Impact on our World
Now let’s look at what many say is the most remarkable life in history and why they say it. We do so by looking at a quick summary, written at a high level, looking more at His “human nature” through our “earthly” eyes and understanding. Other than the Bible, the writing below is one of the most elegant and telling summaries of the life of Jesus Christ I have ever read or heard. Everything in it is true. For one man alone, what occurs after his life seems totally imposssible, and nothing like it has ever occurred before.
I would suggest the words below illustrate an impact by Jesus life so extreme and beyond belief to our earthly thinking that no man can do what is described without something beyond our comprehension was present to have this occur.
Please read carefully and take a moment to ponder:
He was born in an obscure village,
the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village,
where he worked in a carpenter shop
until he was thirty.
Then for three years
he was an itinerant preacher.
He never set foot inside a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles
from the place he was born.
He never wrote a book,
or held an office.
He did none of these things
that usually accompany greatness.
While he was still a young man,
the tide of popular opinion
turned against him.
His friends deserted him.
He was turned over to his enemies,
and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross
between two thieves.
While he was dying,
his executioners gambled
for the only piece of property he had –
his coat. When he was dead,
he was taken down
and laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
and today He is the central figure
for much of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched,
and all the navies that ever sailed,
and all the parliaments that ever sat,
and all the kings that ever reigned,
have not affected the life of man
upon this earth as powerfully as this
“One Solitary Life.”
This is an accurate summary of the “earthly” highlights of Jesus’ life as we see it in our human terms. He was born in what was essentially a ghetto. He was involved in the mission He was born to accomplish for only three years before He died. He never traveled any significant distance. He never owned a home. He never attended school. The only item he owned were his clothes. He left only twelve leaders to carry on His mission. And His impact — Christians make up one-third of today’s world population, just over two billion people Christians. One cannot explain this in terms of the world we know and our own understanding. One obviously must look beyond our world and our own abilites. When you do so, you find the explanation.
Our Almighty God enabled His Son Jesus and all of those that followed to spread the “good news” throughout the world. There is no way one single man followed by twelve leaders can do this. Behind it all was a loving God, that through His Son wanted the world to know that Jesus offered the salvation we all need to be saved from our sins and live eternally with God, our true Father. As is true thoughout the Bible, God has to do the extreme to get people’s attention and realize who He is.
One major element omitted in this elegant summary is that three days after His death, Jesus arose from the grave and appeared to hundreds to serve as eye-witnesses of his rising. What happens here is also astounding. He left behind a few hundred believers and twelve leaders. Not exactly an army. And then over time, all but one of His twelve leaders were executed rather than deny that Jesus was the Son of God and that everything He said and did was true. Think about it, eleven of the twelve leaders remaining after Jesus’ death also died as martyrs. When asked or ordered to reject Jesus, they chose death instead. Why would all of them do that if what they had witnessed was not overwhelmingly miraculous and without question from God? Can one’s belief and conviction be any deeper? The only disciple not martyred was John. John was exiled to the island of Patmos, a Roman prison and slave labor camp. There he wrote the book of Revelation, revealing His Son’s pending return to Earth. Most believe John died on the island around the age of ninety-four.
For those who do not believe in God and His Son Jesus, read the piece above again and tell me how Jesus had such an unbelievable impact if there is not a God behind Him and a God that is His father. Let’s look at one last thing. Allow the world map below to speak a thousand words. The black arrow on the map points to a small red area that is Israel. Remember, Jesus never left that small area.
Yes, a dramatic impact, resulting from events centered around one man, over only three years, contained within two ten-thousandths of the earth’s land area, spread to the entire world.
And it happened through “One Solitary Life,” Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A man of very humble beginnings, over a short and humble life, contained in a very small piece of this earth, did indeed impart the greatest influence on this world than anyone ever. The truly miraculous impact of Jesus’ life, without question, logically tells us He is indeed the Son of the living God. There is no other explanation. Just a man cannot have such an impact.
In the love of Jesus
P.S. (Prayer Suggestion) If you haven’t already, embrace Jesus today. Pray to Him, with a burdened heart, confessing you are a sinner and asking Him to forgive you of those sins. Tell Him, with His help, you will turn away from those sins and seek to be more like Him. Lastly, ask Jesus to come into your heart and give Him control of your life. Amen (if you prayed from your heart, you are now a child of God and your destiny is Heaven)