By Jared Ratcliff | October 5, 2019
The story is told of King George III of England, who wrote on July 4, 1776, that “nothing of importance happened today.” King George went to bed peacefully after a boring day. But he was wrong; halfway around the world, the United States of America had just finalized the wording of the Declaration of Independence. Soon after, the Declaration was delivered to England, and the world as it had been was turned upside down by a new nation which quickly rose to become the center of the world.
King George of England never actually had a diary, as NPR discovered in 2007, so we don’t know whether he actually wrote this. But even if he didn’t put it on paper, he probably thought it, after a busy day of normal court work. How wrong he was! But he was halfway around the world from America, and it probably wasn’t at the forefront of his mind.
A few thousand years earlier, a similar event played out. It was late evening; the markets had closed and the temple was empty. The leaders of the Sanhedrin, King Herod in his palace, and the rabbis around the country of Israel all went to bed peacefully, bored after a long day of work. Perhaps some wrote in their diaries that “nothing of importance happened today.” How wrong they were, though; under a starry sky filled with angels, a Child was born who would turn the country, and later the world, upside down. He wasn’t born to an important family; he was born in a barn, and some cows’ food dish functioned as his first bed. His birth was completely missed by the leaders—those who should have noticed.
This Child grew older and began to have run-ins with the officials of the country. At the age of twelve, He showed up at the school in the temple, in His Father’s house—and when the teachers couldn’t answer His questions, He ended up functioning as teacher while they listened in surprise. Around 18 years later, He entered the scene again, and for three years ministered to the people’s needs. Many realized He was the Son of God; the leaders plotted to kill Him. They missed it.
Finally, their plots succeeded and Jesus was condemned to death by crucifixion, the most cruel method available at the time, long and drawn out. But He had the weight of the whole world’s sin on Him, and with that burden, He could no longer sense God’s presence, because God and sin cannot coexist. So though God was with Him the whole way, Jesus could not know it. Instead of a long, slow death, He died early—of a broken heart. His death triggered a storm like the world had never seen. And the leaders missed the significance.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to many of His followers. Then, after forty days, He was taken up into heaven in glory. Only His followers were there to see it. John concludes His gospel by saying, “There are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” And the leaders, the rabbis, who were supposed to be God’s representatives? They missed His resurrection, His ascension. They missed His legacy.
May we not miss things like they did! Jesus says that in the end, many will miss spending time with Him, miss out on Bible study and prayer. Thus they will miss out on a relationship with God, and will miss out on His second coming. Many people will close today, tomorrow, and even the day before Jesus returns, by saying, “nothing of importance happened today.”
God is King, and we are His children. Something has happened today—God has answered the prayer of many and drawn them closer to His heart. May we not miss it.
Jared Ratcliff is a young adult currently attending Wenatchee Valley College, pursuing a career in healthcare. Jared enjoys outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, and kayaking. He enjoys photography and design work, and is the Cashmere SDA web developer. He also enjoys writing, and works as an English tutor for the college he attends.