Jesus lost his life so you could gain something even better.
To the people of his day, Jesus looked like a real loser.
He died a criminal’s death on a rubbish tip in a place without importance on the eastern rim of the Roman Empire. Most of his followers deserted him and left him for dead. In fact, if they were handing out prizes for the biggest loser in the 1st century, Jesus would have been one of the finalists. However, the Bible says that this was the whole point of what he was on about.
The prophesied loser
In his portrayal of the last day of Jesus’ life in the 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson starts with an epigraph from the Bible, the book of Isaiah chapter 53 which was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Part of that chapter reads:
…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The passage speaks of a ‘loser’ who takes a fall that others might benefit in some way. Christians believe that is talking about what Jesus was doing when he died – that through Jesus becoming a “loser” we can gain something great… and this was God’s intention all along.
What we’ve gained from his loss
What has resulted from this one loser’s life is staggering and undeniable.
- Today one-third of the world’s population (over 2.2 billion people!) call Jesus their Lord.
- The book that contains information about his life has been translated into more languages than any other book in history.
- He never painted a painting, wrote a book or a poem or a play or even a song. And yet no other person in history has motivated as many works of art.
And for those who believe and trust him, Jesus’ sacrifice and loss means you and I can gain eternal life if we turn and trust in him.
It’s true that Jesus may have been considered a loser – but he has become the most important person in world history!
Article by Brett Richardson, City Central Presbyterian Church, Wollongong.