I remember when at the end of Clinton’s presidency, he scrambling around the Middle East. He was so intent on getting all the countries in the area to sign a peace agreement with Israel, to stop fighting Israel for the land they occupied, some of which they gained because of a war they did not start but won. That was always a contention and Bill Clinton’s final quest, if you will, was to get all of them to sign a peace accord so that he could have a legacy of bringing peace to the Middle East. Let’s face it, a majority of the success he is credited for is because the Republican controlled Congress blocked a lot of his proposals (or Hillary’s).
A legacy. Some people are driven by the lust for power and the legacy they created while wielding that power. They want to be remembered, written down in the history books, having their accomplishments discussed and digested by generations to come. Some want the power because they love the absoluteness of it. Some want the position of power to make a mark in history. They want to be remembered forever, whether for good or for bad, they want later generations to talk about them.
Jesus left a legacy and twelve disciples spread that legacy. He didn’t desire earthly power because He already possessed an otherworldly power we would never comprehend, no matter how much we grew to know Him. His mission, His single-minded purpose was to tell people about His Father, how much He loved us and how much the Son loved us, enough to be nailed to a tree and bear the burden of the world’s iniquities and the full wrath of His Father. Jesus Christ’s legacy did not come from His use of power but from His refusal to use the power He possessed. He humbled Himself so that we could be exalted with Him. Through His death and resurrection we are able to share in His legacy.
When people in history die they leave a legacy behind. They can build a huge legacy of doing important things that are important to the world but mean nothing in the end. The legacy may live on but they are dead, and sometimes the accomplishment they achieved dies, like Clinton’s peace accord. They are still fighting in the Middle East, worse than before. And when people are dead, they will not know if anyone is talking about their achievements because they are dead. After they draw their last breath, they go to the Almighty and there their legacy will be judged.
The legacy of men is a dead thing. A human legacy cannot bring life. It can help in the struggle against death, because let’s face it, when someone does work fighting hunger, curable diseases, etc., they are fighting against the onslaught of death, but it cannot bring lasting hope to one’s life. The legacy of Jesus is alive, as alive today as it was in the first century. His legacy is alive because He is the Giver of life and the Sustainer of life so all that He did and all that He does makes people who believe in His legacy truly alive. The legacy of eternal love and eternal life.