The Preeminence of Jesus
B.C. and A.D.
By David J. Stewart
"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." —Colossians 1:18
I am going to share a simple, but deeply profound, truth with you. This truth is so simple and verifiable that no atheist could deny it. Yet, this truth is so deep and profound that it will challenge the greatest of intellectual thinkers. The truth is simply this:
Mankind's system of tracking time is centered in the Person of Jesus Christ.
There is nothing any more prevalent, important and necessary in the life of every human being than time, and yet we so wonderfully see how God has incorporated the preeminence of Jesus Christ into time. Even the vilest of Godless heathens, atheists, and God-haters cannot escape the preeminence of Jesus Christ. It is commonly thought that "B.C." stands for "before Christ" and "A.D." stands for "after death."
This is only half correct. How could 1 B.C. have been "before Christ" and 1 A.D. been "after death"? B.C. does indeed mean "before Christ"; BUT, A.D. actually stands for the Latin phrase "Anno Domini" which means "In the year of our Lord." The B.C./A.D. dating system is not taught in the Bible. Though the Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 A.D., it was not until the 8th century that the system began being adopted in Western Europe.
The Birth Date of Jesus
If Jesus was born in 5 B.C. (The Bible Almanac, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980) and if He died about at 33 years of age, that would fix his death around 29 A.D. The first Roman calendar was off four (4) years. Today's calendar is a product of the Julian & Gregorian calendars. There was a 1 BC and a 1 A.D. but there was no "0" between B.C. and A.D. Counting 33 years forward from His birth in 5 B.C. would fix his death in 29 A.D. Herod the Great, who ordered the murder of all the babies less that two years old in Bethlehem, died in 4 BC. Therefore Jesus had to be born prior to his death and therefore Jesus probably was born in 5 B.C. or earlier.
The Preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ
It is interesting to note that the purpose of the B.C./A.D. dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history. Clearly, we see the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout history, for our very system of time centers upon His birth into the world. The Creator dwelt amongst humanity. John 1:10, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." In this we see God's hand of providence and the preeminence of Jesus Christ in everything, including time. The birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ are the "turning points" of world history. Amen! "B.C." meant "before Christ"; and since His birth, we have been living "in the year of our Lord." Philippians 2:9-11 states...
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
It is amazing to me, and is evidence of God's divine handiwork, that of all the thousands of religions in the world, the name of Jesus is given the preeminence in man's method of measuring time. This is further evidence that the Bible is indeed God's inspired Word, and that Jesus is the Christ, the only way to God the Father (John 4:6).
Only a fool would deny the preeminence of Jesus Christ. This entire life is all about Jesus Christ, from our birth until our death. When the vilest of sinful men get angry, they sinfully curse in God's name, again showing the preeminence of Jesus Christ in this world. As much as atheists and hardened God-haters try to rid their minds of God, they utter His very name in blasphemy when at their angriest, and at moments of great fear or ecstasy. Everyday God-hating sinners continually utter the terms: God, Jesus, Christ, Hell, damn, Heaven, Holy, et cetera. While they do so in blasphemy, they don't even realize that God is preeminent in the universe. What a Savior!
If you are traveling this life's lonely road without Jesus, then you are truly the living dead. It is so wonderful to have the Spirit of Christ as a Christian (Romans 8:9). John 14:17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” The unsaved world does not have, know, nor recognize the Holy Spirit of God; but we know Him, for He dwelleth in us. If you'll receive Jesus as the Christ and His redemptive work as payment for your sins, then you will be saved too and know Him.
Open your heart my friend... the preeminence of Jesus Christ is undeniable!!!