A person isnít great of or in him/herself, but itís what that person does that sets him/her apart from the ordinary.
We look at heroes as those who have done great exploits on the battlefield, or have battled against extreme odds.
A soldier is an ordinary person, but pitted against extreme odds in defense of his or her unit could change their status from ordinary to great.
The greatest heroes of the Bible were ordinary men and women who faced extraordinary situations.
There was nothing that set David apart from the rest of Israel until he used a slingshot against Goliath.
There was nothing great about Elijah until God used him to destroy the prophets of Baal.
Elisha was known as the servant who washed the hands of Elijah. Daniel refused to pray to anyone other than God, and was thrown to the lions. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faithful to God to the point of death in a fiery furnace. Mordecai saved the life of the king, and was elevated to a position of power, despite that Haman sought his life and all the lives of the Jews. Esther sought an audience from the king in order to save her people. The list is endless of men and women who became great because they stood up for what they believed in, and they believed in God.
But the Man who was greater than them all was Jesus.
He was the Son of God, but that isnít why He was great. Nor is it the fact that He could heal the sick, make the blind to see, or heal the lame.
He wasnít great because He could walk on water, calm a storm, or pay taxes from a coin found in the mouth of a fish.
He wasnít great because he could feed four or five thousand people plus women and children with a few loaves of bread and some fish. And He wasnít great because He could raise the dead.
No. What made Jesus great was that He, being sinless, took our sins on Himself. He allowed Himself to be nailed to a wooden cross after He was whipped beyond recognition, spit upon, the hair of His beard pulled out, and a crown of thorns pressed into His skull.
He laid no charge against any that put Him there. Instead He loved them while He hung there as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.
Only a lamb without spot or blemish could be offered as an atoning sacrifice for sin, but it had to be offered yearly. Jesus was the perfect Lamb who was offered only once for the sin of all mankind, and having completed His mission to defeat sin and death with His resurrection on the third day when He also defeated Satan, He went back to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede for all those who would accept His ultimate sacrifice.
That is what makes Jesus great. That is why men fight wars in His name. Why we sing praises to Him. Why we dedicate our lives and our children to Him. For an ordinary man would not be worthy of the accolades that we give to the One who is greater than all. To the One who gave His life that we might live.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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