Veiled in Obscurity

Had there been a newspaper in Jerusalem on the day Christ was crucified, His death would not have made the headlines.  After all, the Romans were constantly crucifying someone.  Causes around Israel and specifically Jerusalem, were not in short supply.  Some zealot, religious or not, was always trying to defy Rome.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, reporters would have disregarded the story as well.  Had sleazy tabloids existed in Nazareth, perhaps they would have disclosed a rumor – that one of the town’s teenage girls was pregnant.  The rumor mill would also have included something about angels appearing to several unsuspecting shepherds. They knew nothing about a supernatural plan that was in progress.
God has always operated in obscurity among the naturally oriented and spiritually blinded of the world.  That is why solid biblical preaching is so vital.  The Bible reveals God’s heart on any given matter. 
Pastor and author, David Crabtree wrote, “The world that crucified Jesus was a barbaric world, a world where the life of the commoner held no value.  One born in a stable, the Romans concluded, could only be an animal.  As the cross was raised and tamped into place, it was just like a thousand others crucifixions on a thousand other hills. 
The mighty Roman Empire was just taking out its trash – nothing more, nothing less.  What would it matter?  He was just one peasant Jew, a bit of dust in the world.”
Records for the crucified dead were non-existent.  Most of them died in obscurity.  They were placed in the tombs of the unknown.  Surviving family members, if any, were usually given permission to claim their dead.
Crabtree continued, “Today, however, the crucifixion of the man between two thieves is remembered on every continent and in every nation.  All of time looks back to a moment immediately forgotten by its executioners and forever remembered by its benefactors, the moment of ultimate grace.”
Some years ago a theologian summarized the death of Jesus in this manner:  “Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross – this is an historical fact.  Jesus died for the sins of the world – this is a theological premise.  Jesus died for MY sins – this is personal salvation.” 
The historical, crucified Jesus to the world at large was just a good man.  “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18a).  But to those of us who know Him personally, “it (the preaching of the cross) is the power of God” (verse 18b).  How I love the obscure man of Bethlehem, then Nazareth, then Galilee, then Calvary!  My Jesus!

Do you know Him personally? 



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