A Hope Big With Immortality
Of all the people immortalized over millennia upon the pages of history,
Jesus of Nazareth had the shortest period of public labor. Only three and
a half years.
But what a three and a half years they were!
Socrates taught for 40, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, Jesus for not even
four. Yet the impact of Christ's short ministry infinitely exceeds that of
the combined 130 years of those three Greek giants.
Someone once wrote that "the grandest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo,
and Leonardo da Vinci are but a reflection of Jesus, the Light of the world.
Haydn, Handel, Bach, and Mendelssohn gave to the world their best melodies
in the symphonies and oratorios they wrote to glorify Jesus Christ. Art,
culture, music, philosophyall have been enriched by His teachings.
But Christ offers far more than philosophy, art, and music. These cannot
save. Jesus offers light and life and salvation to sinful men."
That statement, however eloquent, falls short of doing justice to the richness
of Jesus, for that quote is in the context of the West only; Christ's appeal,
in contrast, is universal, transcending all political, ethnic, and cultural
"You should search the Bible," Ellen G. White writes, "for it tells you of
Jesus. As you read the Bible, you will see the matchless charms of Jesus.
You will fall in love with the Man of Calvary, and at every step you can
say to the world, 'His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are
peace.' You are to represent Christ to the world. You may show to the world
that you have a hope big with immortality"Life Sketches, p.
With Jesus at its center, Christianity is also a historical religion, meaning
that it revolves around a person whose life and work are amenable to historical
study and analysis. Yet, at the same time, we cannot circumscribe Jesus Christ
within the confines of history. For the reality of His person is suprahistorical
(above history)there's a point beyond which historical analysis cannot
probe. History cannot take us into the mysteries of salvation, or into the
wonders of what Christ's death offers the world. For all that history offers,
it cannot begin to fathom what Ellen G. White called "a hope big with
This quarter centers on Jesus, on who He was, on what He taught, on what
He didand on what He is doing now. That last clause, "on what He is
doing now", makes all the difference in the world. It is what might be called
"the mystery of the present tense," a crucial element that distinguishes
Jesus from every other historical figure, for what other historical figure,
no matter how great, is doing anything for us now?
Who was this amazing Jesus? What was He like? What did He do while here?
What is He, indeed, doing for us now? And finally, why should He be a concern
for people in the twenty-first century?
The answers, as we will see, are far from academic. On the contrary, they
affect the destiny of every human being.
Roy Adams, a native of the Caribbean, the author of this quarter's Bible
study guide, is an associate editor of the Adventist Review, the international
magazine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is married to Celia (nee
Wilson), and they have two adult children, Dwayne and Kimberly.
(all lessons may
School Study Helps
Jerry Giardina of Pecos, Texas, assisted by his wife, Cheryl,
prepares a series of helps to accompany the Sabbath School lesson. He includes
all related scripture and most EGW quotations. Jerry has chosen the "New
King James Version" of the scriptures this quarter. It is used with permission.
The study helps are provided in three wordprocessing
RTF for our MAC friends (this is now a
zip file); and HTML (Web Pages).
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