It’s a funny thing about the way the entire world tracks time.
Every person in every nation knows that it is now the year 2014. Something must have happened 2,014 years ago that made people take notice. It had to have been rather dramatic, spectacular and amazing for all nations and all people to adopt this new calendar.
Of course, most of us know what it was.
(Contrary to what a number of Twitter users apparently believe, the New Year does not mark America’s 2014th birthday.)
Jesus came into the world approximately 2,014 years ago and life was never the same again.
He came as a baby born of a virgin, fulfilling hundreds of Hebrew prophecies about the coming Messiah. He lived approximately 33 years in Israel and never traveled beyond Egypt and what we know as Lebanon and Syria today. He taught that the Hebrew Scriptures were God-breathed and true. He claimed to be the Son of God, the Savior of the world and the Messiah. He healed the sick, raised the dead and foretold that He would come again as a conquering king of kings.
Since then, there have been efforts to portray Him as:
- simply a great teacher who told magnificent parables;
- a lunatic who happened to be at the right place at the right time to captivate billions of followers;
- the leader of a group of “Bronze Age peasants in a backwater called Israel”;
- a magician or sorcerer;
- a misunderstood socialist and advocate for the poor and downtrodden;
- a revolutionary zealot;
- merely another in a long line of Hebrew prophets;
A few even insist, despite the overwhelming and well-documented historical record, that he never existed.
Despite efforts to conceal the nature of his unique calendar-changing life, such as the use of terms like C.E. (common era) and B.C.E. (before the common era), everyone knows it was Jesus who reset mankind’s clock. The original terms used to divide time were A.D. (abbreviating the Latin “Anno Domini” or “in the year of our Lord”) and B.C. (“Before Christ” – “Christ” being Greek for the Messiah).
There have even been efforts by some anti-God tyrants to change the way nations keep time. They tried it after the French Revolution to no avail. They tried in Cambodia during the reign of terror by Pol Pot. Technically, in North Korea today, it is the year 103, marking that many years since the birth of “great leader” Kim Il Sung in April 1912.
Let’s just say such efforts have been … in vain.
Still, I watched the ball drop in Times Square the other night, and there was a lot of chatter about 2014, yet not one celebrity, not one participant braving the cold night air in Manhattan, not one musical guest, not one news commentator ever referenced what happened 2,014 years ago to change our concept of time.
In fact, in the nearly 60 years I have been alive, I’ve never seen anyone in public life make the point I am attempting to drive home today – that Jesus, or Yeshua, as He was known to his Hebrew brethren, is the one and only life in the history of mankind that changed everything – even the way we count the years going by.
Not only that, we also use His earthly life to count the years before He came. We simply do it backward.
I don’t believe followers of Jesus make this point effectively enough. I don’t think they appreciate it enough. I don’t think we use it to share the Good News Jesus came to share. I don’t think we underline it every chance we get. I don’t think we recognize how important it is to stave off efforts to popularize terms like C.E. and B.C.E. rather than B.C. and A.D.
In short, I don’t think we do enough to remind believers and non-believers alike just how much it’s all about Jesus.
He is, after all, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the King of kings, the Lion of Judah, the Lord, God with Us, The Alpha and the Omega, the Word, the Lamb of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
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