The Greatest Miracle?
I got lots of responses to my question yesterday. Resurrection. Incarnation. The 1969 Mets. I was surprised no one said creation. It’s pretty amazing to think that there was once nothing and then there was something. Something created out of nothing (theologians refer to this as creation ex nihilo) is astonishing and pretty hard to believe. But there aren’t many other logical explanations for how we got from nothing to something, let alone something as extraordinary as this planet and these bodies.
Still, I’m not going to say creation is the greatest miracle of all time.
What about the Incarnation of Jesus? Virgin birth is pretty remarkable. And let’s just dispense with this nonsense that people back then were primitive and backwards and gullible about this kind of thing. They knew how babies were made, and both Mary and Joseph were absolutely convinced that miraculous circumstances were involved.
God putting on skin and walking among us would be startling enough, but the way he chose to enter our world is nothing short of stunning. He came as a baby, born in terribly unhygienic surroundings, to two peasants in a backwater town. And have you ever been to an actual birth before? They’re gross.
Still, as miraculous as all this is, I’m not going to say the birth of Jesus is the greatest miracle of all time.
Most people said the resurrection of Jesus, and I understand that. Dead men tend to stay dead (then as well as now) so a man coming back to life after having been dead for three days is pretty spectacular. And, again, people weren’t more superstitious about this in those days than we are today. Roman soldiers were professional killers. They knew what they were doing, and they knew the difference between dead and passed out. Jesus was dead for three days, and then he was alive. People saw it with their own eyes.
The resurrection certainly is the pivotal event of human history, the one event that makes sense of all the other events in Jesus’ life and in ours. If there’s no resurrection, it’s every man for himself. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die – and after that there’s nothing.
But...no. I don’t think it’s the greatest miracle ever.
None of these get my vote because we wouldn’t know about any of them without the Bible. See, for the record, I don’t think the greatest miracle of all time is in the Bible; I think the greatest miracle of all time is the Bible.