The Most Important Event in History

by ProfDave, ©2021 |  The Post and Email

What do you think was the most important event in history?  The Exodus of Israel from Egypt?  The Resurrection of Jesus?  The Hegira of Muhammad?  Darwin’s publication of Origin of the Species?

Your answer depends on your worldview, doesn’t it?  They represent three of the great world religions (or four) – the others have no historical events at their core. The first two are not historical events, you say, but religious events?  As in they didn’t really happen?  Au contraire! Passover is the core of the Jewish nation as well as the Jewish faith, something happened. Take away the Passover and Israel has no history.  Likewise the Resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith; something happened.  The first Christians were adamant – take away the Resurrection and Christianity has no explanation, no raison d’etre.

Each of these historical events has had an undeniable impact on the course of history – the birth of the Hebrew nation and the revelation of the Almighty One, the birth of Christianity, the birth of Islam, and the birth of scientific materialism.  Which has had the greatest impact?  Which has had the greatest impact for good?  For enlightenment?  For peace?

We just celebrated Easter – Resurrection Day.  What difference does the Resurrection make existentially?  It means that death is not the end.  Mankind everywhere has imagined a life of some kind beyond the grave, but the post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus gave it a physical certainty that his followers carried to the coliseum – and still do.  I fear pain, but I do not fear death.  Mortality, like adolescence, is only a phase.  Heaven is my home!

Secondly, the Resurrection bears the seal of the Almighty on the life, claims, teachings and atoning death of Jesus of Nazareth.  My sins are forgiven, my debt to the Judge of all the earth is paid. My guilt is gone.  I need not fear to meet my Maker!  Indeed, I look forward to thanking Him face to face!

Thirdly, the Resurrection gives meaning to mortal life, the good, the bad and the ugly.  This is not all there is!  The good is a foretaste of what is to come.  The bad is only temporary, to be swallowed up in victory.  The ugly is the remnant of the conquest that my Savior won at the cross.  My “light and temporary suffering” is my part in that conquest.  I have but a few days to be part of the victory and all eternity to celebrate with Him!  All will be made right!

Fourthly, the Resurrection means it is OK to get old.  Age and handicaps can be borne.  Materialists and hedonists have a huge problem!  The deck is stacked against them in life.  Just when they begin to accumulate the resources to enjoy life, their bodies start to fail them.  Things start to hurt.  Time is against them.  The pleasure curve is ever downward.  No wonder they are so keen on suicide!  Actresses and rock stars are the first to go!

But for Jesus-followers, this isn’t all there is.  The best is yet to come, no matter how tough things get.  When the going gets tough, the believer gets all the more excited about their future!  Even the quadriplegic can live with meaning and joy – just ask Joni Erikson Tada.  Even our last day – especially our last day! – is filled with hope.  Do you believe in the Resurrection?  Don’t you wish you did?

David W. Heughins (“ProfDave”) is Adjunct Professor of History at Nazarene Bible College.  He holds a BA from Eastern Nazarene College and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota.  He is the author of Holiness in 12 Steps (2020).  He is a Vietnam veteran and is retired, living with his daughter and three grandchildren in Connecticut.

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