Every now and then on the Blog I get bored with a topic and simply want nothing more to do with it (for a while). For some reason I feel like that about this question of whether Jesus was really buried on the afternoon of his death. It’s an effort to respond even to the comments. But for some reason I can’t seem ever just to let it die (so to speak). Still, this is my last post about the matter for the next 29 years. I think.
I just want to make one major point, which probably has relevance to a range of topics we deal with here on the blog.
For most of us, if we had to pick one person to name as the Single Most Important and Influential Figure in the history of Western Civilization, it would almost certainly be Jesus. Who else would it be? There are others that people today might choose – Hitler, Constantine, Caesar Augustus, pick your name. But I think it’s pretty obvious that none of them actually had the historical impact that Jesus has. Not only is he worshiped by two billion people in our world today, nearly a third of the entire human race, but in terms of Western civilization, what is the single most powerful and influential institution, ever, measured politically, economically, socially, or culturally – not to mention religiously? Surely, throughout the past 2000 years, the answer has to be the Christian church. And what is the Christian church? It is the group of people who worship Jesus.
I would say the only possible contender for Most Important Figure in the history of the West might be Alexander the Great (and I’m sure many of you will have your own candidates). But still, all in all, I think Jesus is a slam dunk.
Because Jesus is so important for our world, and for our history, and for our civilization, for some reason we just can’t HELP but think that he must have been highly important in his own world, set apart from everyone else at the time.
And so, when we think about his crucifixion …
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