By Doug Redford
As the 20th century was ending, numerous attempts were made to select the “person of the century.” Time magazine suggested Albert Einstein. A good case certainly could be made for Einstein; he was likely the most brilliant mind of the century.
The late columnist Charles Krauthammer’s nomination was Winston Churchill. Krauthammer made a very strong argument on Churchill’s behalf. At the tail end of 1999, Krauthammer wrote,
Take away Churchill in 1940, and Britain would have settled with Hitler—or worse, Nazism would have prevailed. . . . Civilization would have descended into a darkness the likes of which it had never known. Only Churchill carries that absolutely required criterion for person of the century: indispensability. Without Churchill the world today would be unrecognizable—dark, impoverished, tortured.
Obviously not everyone would agree with Krauthammer’s choice. Consider, though, that quality of indispensability. The word describes someone or something that a person cannot do without.
That quality of indispensability makes Jesus Christ the Person of not only the 20th century but of any century—indeed, of all time. Jesus is truly and uniquely indispensable.
Jesus descended into the darkness of a sinful, broken world, a world reeling from the curse of sin. He came to this world to do what no one else—Einstein, Churchill, or any other human being—could have done. Jesus offered himself as the perfect sacrifice on the cross to break the tyranny of Satan (a tyranny far more brutal than Hitler’s) and provide forgiveness and salvation for the world. Take away Jesus, and humanity would have remained “dark, impoverished, tortured” for eternity.
In the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey is allowed to see what his town and what the lives of others would have been like had he never been born. The experience changed Bailey’s whole perspective.
At Communion, consider what your life would have been like if Jesus had never been born. What would you be doing? How would your choices been different? Without Jesus, the world would be, as Krauthammer put it, “unrecognizable”—and so would we!
Peter said it best: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is without equal or rival; absolutely no one meets the criterion of indispensability better than he does.
As you take the bread and cup, consider the indispensability of his body and blood for your forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Currently he is the minister at Highview Christian Church in Cincinnati.