I have begun reading a book I have had on my shelves for years: THE SPREADING FLAME -by FF Bruce, lifetime New Testament scholar and author of a huge bevy of wonderful faith-building, articulate books. As I read I am putting little * in the margins as so I can easily revisit this and that great insights.
Here is one example - on the uniqueness of Jesus death:
"Jesus was not the first or the last to die because his death seemed expedient to certain highly placed interests. Of all the parallels which history offers to his death, perhaps that of Socrates comes nearest. And yet there is a gulf between the two, the contrast which the grisly narrative of the crucifixion forms to the peaceful scene where the old philosopher (Socrates) talks with his friends until the hour comes to drink the hemlock, and then dies quietly and painlessly.
And....For Jesus Himself...the role he was to fulfil was that of the suffering Servant, obedient to God even unto death and by His death bearing the sin of many and achieving deliverance and victory for them." p.56
So - a man who is well-acquainted with the sweep of history says, his death is utterly unique.
And the same man, a man of faith who understands the true activity and meaning of his death says, his death (and resurrection) stands alone in space and time.
How wondrous our Lord.
How staggering what He has done for us by way of His death.
What a mind-boggling gift, this gift of His forgiveness and our salvation.
Live in the joy of grace sufficient, all day.