Thursday, June 13, 2013

Simon Bar Kokhba and the Life of Jesus Christ

Simon Bar Kokhba lived in Israel during the second century.  He claimed to be Israel’s messiah and had a bunch of followers who called him lord.  He led a revolt that freed Israel from Roman rule for several years.  During that time, many credited Bar Kokhba for the redemption of Israel.  But, in the end, Rome recaptured Israel and executed Bar Kokhba.

To Christians, the life of Simon Bar Kokhba probably sounds familiar.  He shared a lot of experiences with Jesus.  But, in the midst of the similarity, there is one important difference.
Two thousand years later, billions of people still describe Jesus as the Messiah, Lord, and Redeemer of Israel.  Simon Bar Kokhba is remembered by few and called Lord by fewer.  Jesus’ messianic movement (Christianity) is one of the largest religions in the world while Simon Bar Kokhba’s died with him.

Why?  Why does Jesus’ movement live on and flourish while Bar Kokhba’s is forgotten?  Any Christian will tell you that the answer is simple.  The difference is that Jesus Christ is still alive.  Jesus didn’t stay dead when the Romans killed Him.  Jesus Christ defeated death, rose again, appeared to His followers, and is alive today.  Because Jesus is alive, working in the world today, His movement lives on.

As you worship this week, remember that your Lord and Messiah is alive and at work in the world today.  His rule isn’t a historical artifact that ended a long time ago.  It moves on.  It is leading to a new heaven and a new earth.  Rome, Simon Bar Kokhba and even death itself will not stop it.  Praise the Lord.  Jesus is alive!

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