THE BIBLE-TEACHING MINISTRY OF CHARLES R. SWINDOLL
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Jesus – the Final Book
Jesus – the Final Book in the Greatest Lives from God’s Word Series
By Charles R. Swindoll
Back in the mid-1990s I began writing a series of books on some of the great lives in the Bible. I wanted to recapture the vibrancy and vitality many of these women and men exhibited and learn lessons from the ones that didn’t — lessons our modern ears so often miss!
You might remember the first eight volumes in the series, books about David, Moses, Esther, Paul, and others. God taught me so much as I studied. It was a thrill and a challenge to dig into God’s Word and to capture on paper the truths related to these very real lives.
A series such as this deals with life as it really is and sees people as they really are. It takes the people of the Bible and portrays them as people … with all the agonies of their failures and sufferings alongside the joys of their successes and accomplishments. It has come to be known as the Great Lives from God’s Word series.
And so, as I thought about the final volume in this series, it made sense that it should climax with the life of Jesus—the greatest life of all. Jesus, more than any other, knows real life. He created it. He lived it. He modelled it for us. This final book in the series puts all the other lives in perspective. His life is the pattern by which we evaluate all of life!
In approaching the life of Jesus, we see that His life — while greater than all others in its perfect righteousness — is still a life marked by suffering. We can understand the great pressures He went through. And more important, He can understand ours. Jesus knows what goes on in our living rooms and around our kitchen tables. He alone understands our most private thoughts and ambitions. He alone knows our suffering. He lived and breathed (and laughed and loved and suffered and died, I might add) in the real world.
As I began to study in detail the life of Christ, I realized that I needed to survey more than Jesus’s life on earth. I needed to go back to before He was a baby lying in the manger at Bethlehem. I needed to introduce Him as the second person of the Trinity, present before the beginning of time. The resulting volume covers the full spectrum: From before His birth through His childhood and ministry to the climax where He was wounded for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5). Of course, it also includes His resurrection, His departure from this earth, and the promise of His return. It covers the whole glorious gamut!
When we complete our survey of the life of Jesus, we come away with one great impression: He alone is Lord. He alone is the Son of God. He alone is the One worthy of our worship. Only Jesus is to be the object of our praise.
Winston Churchill once said, “The further backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
We look to the past so that we might have a clearer vision of where we are going in the future. The lives of old still guide us today.
I hope you will take the time this new year to read the final book in the Great Lives from God’s Word series. And I hope in doing so that your life will more closely conform to the life of Jesus—the greatest life of all.
1. Winston Churchill, quoted in Civilization’s Quotations: Life’s Ideal, ed. Richard Alan Krieger (New York: Algora, 2002), 40.
About the Author: Chuck Swindoll