Reading through another pastor’s paperwork, I came upon his “statement of beliefs.” Here is how the first line read:
I believe in the one God, who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die upon the cross for our sins.
The entire point of the life of Jesus, in this pastor’s thought, is summed up in dying on the cross.
This is an interesting reflection, especially at this time of year. We celebrate the birth of God incarnate – Jesus, born to Mary and Joseph, the promised messiah.
And he was born merely to die? Was his life worth nothing?
I’ve heard several preachers wax eloquent at funerals about the “dash.” The dash refers of course to the line on the tombstone between date of birth and date of death. “It is the dash that matters; that makes all the difference,” they say.
Does the dash matter in the case of Jesus?
Jesus’ life mattered, and matters still.