Inspired by Mark 9:9-13
“As they were coming down the mountain, [Jesus] ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.” Mark 9:9-10 (NRSV)
The historical figure of Jesus was many things to many people: a teacher, a healer, a miracle worker, a friend. Looking at his actions and his words, we can learn much, as his disciples did. But if we look only at his actions and words, we miss the most important aspect of Jesus—that which gave all he said and did power that endures even today.
There have been many people who have done great things, but none of them brought salvation. The historical figure of Jesus was God incarnate, God made flesh. Jesus was the Great I AM, living as a mere human being, telling us what he wanted us to know, demonstrating for us how we can help make life more bearable for our fellow human beings, and then taking the penalty for our sins upon himself. God incarnate died for our sins and then defeated death, not only for himself, but for all of us. There are many other wise teachers and moral leaders, but none of them accomplished that.
Jesus Christ is no mere example to follow; he is the one who brings salvation. And because he has conquered death, the actions and the words from his life continue to hold true today, because his life itself continues today.
Let us pray. Savior God, you became truly human. Help us to reflect on your earthly life, that we may better understand how you have given us eternal life. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.