A Solitary Life

Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village,
a child was born of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village where
He worked 
as a carpenter until he was thirty.
Then for three years
He became an itinerant preacher.
This Man never went to college or seminary.
He never wrote a book nor held a public office.
He never had a family nor owned a home.
He never put His foot inside a big city
nor traveled 200 miles from His birthplace.
Although he never did any of those things
that usually accompany greatness,
throngs of people followed Him.
He had no credentials but Himself.
While He was still young,
the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His followers ran away.
He was turned over to his enemies,
went through the mockery of a trial.
He was sentenced to death
on a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled
for the only piece of property He had on earth
–the simple coat He had worn.
His body was laid in a borrowed grave
provided by a compassionate friend.
But three days later this Man arose from the dead
–living proof that He was, as He had claimed,
the Savior whom God had sent, the Incarnate Son of God.

Twenty centuries have come and gone
and today the risen Lord Jesus Christ
is the central figure of the human race.
On our calendars His birth divides history in two eras.
One day of every week is set aside in remembrance of Him.
Our most important holidays celebrate
His birth, death and resurrection.
On church steeples around the world
His cross has become the symbol
of victory over sin and death.

This one Man’s life has furnished the theme
for more songs, books, poems and paintings
than any other person or event in history.
Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages
and other institutions have been founded in honor
of this One who gave His life for us.

All the armies that ever marched,
all the navies that ever sailed,
all the governments that ever sat,
all the kings that ever reigned
have not changed the course of history
as much as this One Solitary Life.

taken from the original version by
Dr James Allan Francis, 1926

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