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Who is Jesus? In the Eyes of Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte was the Emperor of France at the beginning of the 19th century.  He led France’s armies to victory after victory, often defeating armies whose numbers where far superior to his own.  For a time, Napoleon was the most powerful man in the world.  To this day, he is regarded as one of the most skilled, brilliant leaders of all time.  And this is what he has to say about Jesus Christ.

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.

What a conqueror!–a conqueror who controls humanity at will, and wins to himself not only one nation, but the whole human race. What a marvel! He attaches to himself the human soul with all its energies. And how? By a miracle which surpasses all others. He claims the love of men–that is to say, the most difficult thing in the world to obtain; that which the wisest of men cannot force from his truest friend, that which no father can compel from his children, no wife from her husband, no brother from his brother–the heart. He claims it ; he requires it absolutely and undividedly, and he obtains it instantly.

Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, Louis XIV strove in vain to secure this. They conquered the world, yet they had not a single friend, or at all events, they have none any more. Christ speaks, however, and from that moment all generations belong to him; and they are joined to him much more closely than by any ties of blood and by a much more intimate, sacred and powerful communion. He kindles the flame of love which causes one’s self-love to die, and triumphs over every other love. Why should we not recognize in this miracle of love the eternal Word which created the world? The other founders of religions had not the least conception of this mystic love which forms the essence of Christianity.

I have filled multitudes with such passionate devotion that they went to death for me. But God forbid that I should compare the enthusiasm of my soldiers with Christian love. They are as unlike as their causes. In my case, my presence was always necessary, the electric effect of my glance, my voice, my words, to kindle fire in their hearts. And I certainly posses personally the secret of that magic power of taking by storm the sentiments of men; but I was not able to communicate that power to anyone. None of my generals ever learned it from me or found it out. Moreover, I myself do not possess the secret of perpetuating my name and a love for me in their hearts for ever, and to work miracles in them without material means.

Now that I languish here at St Helena, chained upon this rock, who fights, who conquers empires for me? Who still even thinks of me? Who interests himself for me in Europe? Who has remained true to me? That is the fate of all great men. It was the fate of Alexander and Caesar, as it is my own. We are forgotten, and the names of the mightiest conquerors and most illustrious emperors are soon only the subject of a schoolboy’s talks. Our exploits come under the rod of a pedantic schoolmaster, who praises or condemns us as he likes.

What an abyss exists between my profound misery and the eternal reign of Christ, who is preached, loved, and worshipped, and live on throughout the entire world. Is this to die? Is it not rather to live eternally? The death of Christ! It is the death of a God.”

So to Napoleon, Jesus was the ultimate conqueror.  The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  But He did not conquer by force.  Jesus is also the Prince of Peace, and His conquest was one of love.  As Napoleon says, every leader who founded an empire tried, through force and over many years, to accomplish what Jesus did with a few words and love.  The unswerving devotion of millions, even long after He was no longer walking the Earth.

Next up: Mahatma Gandhi

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Who is Jesus?

Not in an absolute sense.  In an absolute sense, He is simply God.  This is going to be a series of posts talking about who Jesus was to certain people.  First up is Napoleon, and I should have that up today or tomorrow.

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Creative Writing – Nicest Thing

Second short story for Creative Writing.

The nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me…  It’s also the nicest thing anyone has done for you.  It’s the nicest thing that has been done by anyone, for anyone, in all of time.
My story begins many years ago, in a small town called Bethlehem.  In this town, something happened that staggered the world.  It was so unbelievable, so condescending, so wonderful…  The Almighty God, Creator of all things, Who was and is and is to come, became a human child, and came to earth to live among us, and He was called Jesus Christ.  That in and of itself is fantastic.  But it didn’t stop there.
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was thirty, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness.
The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial.
Finally, on a hill called Golgotha, which means the Skull, in what most historians believe to be the most brutal method of execution ever device, God died.  The All-powerful, all-controlling Creator chose to endure the worst beating any man has ever been given, chose to suffer the humiliation as the Roman soldiers mocked him, and chose to die upon a cross, like a common criminal.  On that cross, He took all sin from me, and you, and everyone else in the world.
Yet, if that were the end, it would have all been for nothing.  If God had died, it wouldn’t have mattered why He did it, because He would have admitted that anything in all of existence could overpower Him.  That’s why His death on the cross was not the end.
Three days after dying on the cross, Jesus Christ rose again, and in rising, he gave each and every human being the option to come to him and accept his gift: the nicest thing that has ever been done.

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Movie Review: The Encounter

Sometimes, low-budget films suck.  I’ll just start with that.  They do, sometimes.  There are, however, exceptions.  Like this movie I just watched, called The Encounter.

Synopsis?  Five strangers on an abandoned country back road in the middle of a storm find that the road is flooded.  They suggest waiting at the diner they passed a few miles back, which officer DeVille, who told them that the road is impassable, insists doesn’t exist.

At this diner, they meet a man whose nametag reads ‘Jesus’.

Nick: “Hay-zeus!”

Jesus: “Most people pronounce it ‘Gee-sus.”

It was very funny.

So he knows everything about them, and it feels very creepy for all of them.  And I can’t tell you any more without spoiling it, so I’ll just tell you what I thought of it.

It was a very good movie.  Of course, it’s not going to win any Oscars for acting or special effects, but the writing was excellent and the message was amazing.

Also! There were some really cool phrases and whatnot that you’ll probably hear me mention in later posts.

Five out of five for content and five out of five for delivery.  Go watch it.

Imdb: The Encounter

Amazon: The Encounter

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