“For this I was born and for this I came into the World, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” – John 18:37
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years was an itinerant preacher.
-He never wrote a book. -He never held public office. -He never had a family or owned a house. -He didn’t go to college. -He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. -He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. -He had no credentials but himself. – –He was only 33 when public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. -When he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life. – Author unknown
At the crucifixion, Christ not only fulfills His mission of reconciling God with mankind, by taking upon Himself the burden of our sins and paying our debt by His death; but also consummates His church. With He as its head and Mary as its mother, John then becomes the first son and member of the church. This is accomplished in Jesus saying from the cross: “Women, behold your son!(referring to John, who along with Mary, was at the foot of the cross), Son behold your mother!” – John 19:26-27
Peter is the first Pope of the Church. He is the first in the succession of 266 popes throughout the history of the Church; Pope Francis being number 266. From the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica a visitor can view all of Rome; including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. There, in Saint Peter Square, are statues that reverently honor the succession of popes. When one views the Colosseum and the Roman Forum one can find the succession of Caesars; from Julius Caesar(although a dictator and not an emperor) to Romulus. We know Francis is the present pope. But, where is Caesar? The point to be made is the following: The Church, established by Christ, with Peter as His vicar on earth, and consummated at the crucifixion, thrives to this day. The Roman Empire lasted some one thousand years; and no longer.
Do you think Julius Caesar’s mother had any confirmation that her son, to be, would one day end the Roman Republic rule and establish himself as Caesar of Rome; proclaiming himself a god? Even though his heritage rightly suggested that his future would likely be much more prominent than that of a laborer or servant, there was no guarantee of what was to come. However, it was revealed to Mary – the divinely chosen mother of Jesus – exactly who she would bring into the world. And in accepting she proclaimed: “Fiat.” No other person’s purpose in history has ever been pre-announced as was that of Christ.
Christ, in the person of God, was sent by God. Julius Caesar proclaimed himself a god. God is eternal and absolute. Man is temporary and fallible. That is why the Church, which is the person of Christ, is everlasting; and why the Roman Empire, shaped by its various Caesars, ended in ruins.
Christ, through His love for us, gave His life willingly and selflessly for the salvation of souls. Julius Caesar gave not his life for the good of men. It was, instead, taken by selfish and wanton men; men, who like himself, saw truth as subject to the powerful. Never did they once realize that whatever power they possessed was given by the One who relinquished His on the cross, only to regain it in three days; as the Son of God only could.