Throughout my lifetime, I have been accustomed to seeing historical dates using BC – before Christ – and AD – Anno Domini meaning the year of our Lord. Although they have been around for a very long time, I have recently discovered an alternative to this dating: CE – Common Era – and BCE – Before Common Era. The C in these designations can also mean Christian or Current, but since Common Era and Before Common Era do not explicitly reference Christ or Domini, they have become more acceptable. It seems that because the BC and AD usage is offensive to non-Christians, authors, publishers and other groups wishing to be neutral use CE and BCE attempting to remove overt references to Christ.
Sadly, in America, this type of non-Christian sensitivity has reached a new level. Even though America’s beginnings are clearly and deeply routed in Christianity, our tolerant society is tolerant of everything but Christianity. Every other special interest group has increasing voice and rights while the voice and rights of Christianity is diminishing.
Try as they might, societies wishing to ignore the impact that Jesus made in history cannot be successful. His birth, life, death and resurrection remain the pivotal point in the history of His created world.
Even those who do not or will not celebrate or recognize Christmas and Easter cannot ignore them.
History is the story of God’s love expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really His Story. Everything preceding His arrival looks forward to it. Everything after His resurrection reflects back on the meaning of that event.
The sixty-six books of the Bible are divided into two sections. The Old Testament chronicles the journeys of faithful men and women of God who looked for the Messiah. Many prophesied about that day. The New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus, gives the story of His life, death and resurrection, the activities of the first century church, promises His final appearance and notes the judgment that will take place when history is over.
Of all the events in the life of Jesus that marked the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament that was fleshed out in His person in the New Testament, His resurrection is the culmination of all that had come before.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ marks the pivotal point in history where reconciliation between God and man became possible. His birth was miraculous. His life was pure and without sin. Jesus revealed God in the flesh. His death was the sacrifice for our sin. It was the resurrection that put the period on all that had come before. With the resurrection of Jesus, His mission was completed.
And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead... (1 Corinthians 15:17,19,20).