The central claim of Christianity is that God, in the form of Jesus Christ, came to this earth in human form. For the last three years of his life he was an itinerant teacher, during which time he upset the Roman authorities, who put him to death. There are many historical references leaving little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died. The real question is what happened next.
Rather than being the end of story, this is just the start. Christians believe that Jesus came back to life from the dead, fulfilling all of his teachings in the preceding years. That’s a big claim.
Think about this.
Jesus was one solitary life, with a small number of followers. He was killed because his message was at variance with the ideology of the Roman Empire. In the hours and days that immediately followed his death, his followers were terrified – with good reason.
And yet after Jesus’ resurrection, his followers were completely transformed. In the years that followed, Christianity spread throughout and beyond the Roman Empire – despite the fact for much of that time, the Romans actively persecuted Christians.
In a world without modern communications, that’s quite an achievement – an indication of something extraordinary. Even today, two thousand years later, our calendars are still calibrated to Jesus’ time on earth.
That’s quite an impact made by One Solitary Life