Great leaders have great vision. Jesus Christ is the greatest leader who ever lived because he had the greatest vision. Through his ministry he painted a vision of a better future for what could be and should be in the lives of his followers.
- To a people living in fear, Jesus cast a vision of living with dramatic trust.
- In a culture where people thought their lives were meaningless and had no value, he told them they were light for the world and salt for the earth.
- In a world, where people thought they had to live enslaved to poverty and oppression, Jesus showed a way to live with this radical freedom.
But on the first Easter morning, that vision seemed dim, in fact, dead. Jesus had been betrayed and beaten and then nailed to a cross and died a savage death. His followers fled in fear. It appeared that his whole vision for a better future for his followers was over. And that should have been the end of his story. But it was, in fact, the beginning.
Acts of the Apostles tells us the story through the Apostle Peter.
You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
Everyone in that part of the world had heard about Jesus: he had magnetic personality and this revolutionary message no one had ever heard before. Wherever he went, people could feel his power. Far from the meek and weak buddy Jesus sometimes presented. Jesus moved in power.
Not everyone, however, liked him. Many people, especially the religious leaders disliked and even hated him mostly because they were jealous of his popularity and success, and furious that he wasn’t very interested in their religious rules.
Peter goes on.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did.
Jesus wasn’t only a force, he was a force for good. He healed people. He challenged them, he changed them.
He was definitely a great man. But Peter goes on to explain he was in fact, more. He continues,
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day.
The religious leaders, conspiring with the Roman authorities put Jesus to death. But Peter preaches the astonishing message that Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose from the dead. And that is basically what Christianity is all about. It is about a person and an event. The person is Jesus Christ and the event is his resurrection from the dead.
What separates Jesus from every other good and great and wise and wonderful person who ever lived is that they’re dead. He isn’t.
This is why I follow Jesus. If a guy can rise from the dead, I am just going to assume he knows more about life than I do.