Top 173 Things in World History: #2. Jesus

I know; I thought he would be No. 1, too. But this is the “Top 173 Things in World History” and not the “best.” And while Jesus may have been the best thing in world history—at least according to me—he didn’t do quite enough to get the top spot. You know, his ministry did only last like a year.

But, regardless where you stand on Christianity and religion in general, it’s difficult to deny the transformative significance of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the most influential individual human being of at least the last 2000 years and probably going back even further, into those years we define by how far they were from his birth. You can interpret that influence as good or bad, but you cannot reject it.

For a Roman Catholic such as myself, Easter Sunday is the holiest day of the year. Jesus’ Resurrection opened the gates of heaven and forever altered the fundamentals of existence. Still, my favorite moment from the Gospels isn’t Jesus’ Resurrection, his Ascension, his death, or any of his miracles. It’s not his chauvinistic snap at his mother before his first miracle (“Woman, what does your concern have to do with me?”). It’s not how he rewrote the covenant between God and His people, or how he altered our perception of God from one motivated by fear to one of love.

No, it’s in the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus asked his father if, maybe, it didn’t have to happen the way it was about to happen—if this whole death-by-crucifixion plan could be worked on, changed, and brought back down the road in a less painful and proximate fashion. It is the deepest we get into the mind of Jesus the human being, and too often our understanding of Jesus sells his humanity short.

And it is that moment that makes what happened the next day at Golgotha and two days after that in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb all the more special.

“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John S on April 4, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Christ’s Resurrection: The original April Fool’s Joke.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tim on April 5, 2010 at 12:15 AM

      Please, John, don’t act as if April Fools’ Day fell on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox every year…

      Reply

  2. […] Aught Lang Syne « Top 173 Things in World History: #2. Jesus […]

    Reply

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