The influence of Jesus
By: Connecting Faith
Jesus was more than just a good moral teacher. Although His teachings were important and transforming, that is not what forever changed the world. Dr. John Dickson help us understand how the extent of Jesus influence.
“The thing that really set off the influence of Jesus around the world is that He died on a cross to bear on Himself judgment. He steps in the place of all the fallenness, all of the sin, and bears judgment on the cross.”
It is in Christ’s ultimate sacrifice that the world finds the ultimate example of forgiveness and the foundation of our faith.
“People look to that and find the enormous promise of forgiveness. It’s this draw toward the forgiveness they find in the cross that explains the launch of Christianity, combined with the extraordinary claim that Jesus rose again”
The resurrection is Christ conquering death, making Him more than a good moral teacher or martyr. Because He conquered death, Christians have the fulfillment of promises and hope of God’s Kingdom.
“This launched the Christian movement out of just being a teaching movement, or a philosophical movement, to the early Christians actually saying, ‘the new world is coming!’ Because the first act of God’s future kingdom has already taken place; that’s the resurrection.”
“The resurrection is God’s historic pledge that He will breathe new life where there is death, He will bring resolution where there is ugliness. The resurrection is like the down-payment.”
The resurrection of Jesus greatly impacted the early church and brought Christianity to a new level of influence. Dr. Dickson expands,
“This amped-up Christianity in a way that is quite phenomenal. As you watch the Christians preach this message through the book of Acts, and then on into the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries, what they pulled off is nothing short of miraculous.”
“Somehow, without any power, without any armies; while they were being persecuted and oppressed, they converted the Roman world, and from that – the world.”
Dr. John Dickson (PhD, Macquarie University, Sydney) is a senior research fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University; co-director of the Centre for Public Christianity; and senior minister at St. Andrew’s Roseville. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including A Doubter's Guide to the Bible: Inside History's Bestseller for Believers and Skeptics.
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