Have you considered the supernatural power of the Word of God in conjunction with the ministry of the Holy Spirit? Think of the reams of material that have been written on Julius Caesar, for example, or Napoleon, or George Washington, or Abraham Lincoln. All were powerful men who shaped a nation, if not, to some degree, the world. But none made an impact that could compare with that of the Lord Jesus Christ. And although the first-hand accounts of the four Gospels have spawned millions—maybe billions—of pages of material, the brevity of those First Century accounts is remarkable. In the version of the Bible I use, the four accounts of Christ’s life run to considerably fewer than 150 pages. And what is even more remarkable than that is the brevity of information provided on the three most critical junctures in Christ’s life.
Christ’s Birth. Luke tells us this: “While they [Joseph and Mary] were there [in Bethlehem], the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (2:6, 7). Yes, we are all familiar with the many other details attendant on this occasion; nevertheless, the sparsity of information about this epochal event is remarkable. The population of all eternity hangs on this event in time, and yet the Word of God does not show us the stable or any events that occurred there except for a brief reference to the shepherds who came and found “the baby as He lay in the manger” (Lk. 2:16). Did I say, stable? Even that is not mentioned, but only assumed because of the reference to the manger in which the Lord lay.
Christ’s Crucifixion. Our salvation depends upon the fact of Christ’s substitutionary death and its efficacy as the crux of God’s redemptive plan. Admittedly, all four of the Gospels record the events leading up to and involving the actual crucifixion of Christ and taken together account for several chapters of material. Still the accounts are remarkably terse. Matthew gives no description but writes only in a past tense: “when they had crucified Him . . .” (27:35). Mark is equally brief: “they crucified Him” (15:24). Luke describes the scene in this manner: “When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left” (23:33). Similarly, John records: “There [at the Place of a Skull] they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between” (19:18). And with those few words, the payment of the price for our redemption is revealed.
Christ’s Resurrection. Perhaps most amazing of all is the account of Christ’s resurrection. Here is how the Word of God describes that seminal event. [ ] That’s correct. The Word of God is mum regarding the events that occurred within the tomb on that Sunday morning when Christ rose from the dead. We read that the tomb was empty, that the grave clothes which the Lord Jesus had worn during His three days and three nights lay neatly compressed but just as they had been when they were first wrapped around His lifeless body. But the Word of God is silent on any actions within the tomb.
What is the point? Simply this. For two thousand years an innumerable company of souls have believed the Gospel, have been delivered from death to life through faith in the death and resurrection of the virgin-born Son of God, have risked and even forfeited their lives for their faith, and have experienced God-given peace and ineffable joy in the full and real assurance that Jesus Christ truly paid the penalty of death that God demanded as the wages of sin, and that Christ was not ashamed to call them brethren, and that God has given them entrance into heaven and heirship equal to that of Christ. All of this because of the infinite power of the living and eternal Word of God and the blessed ministry of the Spirit of God opening their eyes so that they could see, and understand, and believe the truth. Historians would revel in the details; Hollywood would dramatize them. But only the Word of God through the Spirit of God brings the life and death of Christ truly to life in the hearts and minds of believers. Only the Word of God through the Spirit of God can transform historical facts into living, breathing salvation for those who trust. There is more power in one Word of God than in ten million words of men or in a thousand armies. Praise the Lord.
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