A loser

Jesus from Nazareth died a criminal’s death on a rubbish tip in a place without importance on the eastern rim of the Roman Empire approximately 2,000 years ago. Most of his followers deserted him and left him for dead. If they were handing out prizes for the biggest loser in the 1st century, Jesus would have been one of the finalists. However, the Bible says that this was the whole point of what he was on about.

In his portrayal of the last day of Jesus’ life in the 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ” Mel Gibson starts with an epigraph from the Bible, the book of Isaiah chapter 53 which was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Part of that chapter reads:

“…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”.

In Isaiah 53 someone becomes a “loser” and takes a fall that others might benefit in some way. Christians believe that is talking about what Jesus was doing when he died – that through Jesus becoming a “loser” we can gain in some way and this was God’s intention all along.

What has resulted from this one loser’s life is staggering and undeniable. Today 1/3 of the population of the world calls Jesus their Lord in some way . The book that contains information about his life has been translated into more languages than any other book in history. As far as we know, Jesus never painted a painting, wrote a book or a poem or a play or even a song. And yet no other person in history has motivated as many works of art. Even today people are fascinated by this loser who died in all obscurity to become the most important person in world history.

Brett Richardson
City Central Presbyterian Church Wollongong